Lil Dan’l

Rohwer internment camp opened on September 18, 1942, and reached a peak population of 8,475 by March 1943. Most detainees had been forced out of their homes and businesses in Los Angeles and San Joaquin Valley in California. A large portion of Rohwer detainees were school-age children, most born in the United States. the camp was located at 140 feet of elevation in Desha County in southeastern Arkansas, 110 miles southeast of Little Rock, with the Mississippi River 5 miles to the east. Summers were hot and humid, with chiggers and mosquitoes adding to the discomfort. The site had severe drainage problems with about half of the site under swampy water during the spring. 

Entrance to the Rohwer Relocation Center. Rohwer Heritage Site. Arkansas State University. 

In the Rohwer, Arkansas internment camp George Akimoto created a new cartoon character named "Lil Dan'l" for the “Rohwer Outpost.” The comic book "Lil Dan'l: One year in a relocation center" made him very well known among Nisei. Cover page illustration was signed by George Akimoto as Georgy Akimoto.  "Lil Dan'l" can be seen below.

George Akimoto “Lil Dan'l: One Year in a Relocation Center” 1943. Harold S. Jacoby Nisei Collection. 40. Scholarly Commons, University of the Pacific. 

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