March 29, 2013

2013 Minidoka Pilgrimage Press Release

Posted in 2013 Minidoka Pilgrimage, Civil Liberties Symposium, Friends of Minidoka, Japanese American Incarceration, Minidoka, Minidoka Pilgrimage, News tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 8:53 am by minidokapilgrimage

Press Release – For Immediate Release

2013 Minidoka Pilgrimage June 20 – June 23

Scholarship for 80 Years Old and Over Imprisoned in Any of the American WWII Concentration Camps

Seattle, WA – March 11, 2013 –Seventy-one years ago, close to 13,000 people of Japanese-ancestry, many of whom were American citizens, were removed from their homes in the Pacific Northwest and sent to a desolate “incarceration camp” near Twin Falls, Idaho.  This summer, the 11th pilgrimage will take place with former incarcerees, their families, and friends – from Seattle, Portland and across the nation – to the former Minidoka Camp in Idaho.  This is an opportunity to learn, share memories, and ask questions about the Minidoka experience.  Consider participating as a way to bring your family together and reconnect with friends.  Participation is limited.

The 2013 Pilgrimage will include:

  • Access to an original barrack building and mess hall.  People will be able to go in portions of both historic buildings.
  • Reconstructed fence is complete.  It runs about one mile in length from the stone entrance buildings along the North Side Canal to the historic swimming hole.  The trail is parallel to the fence, so that visitors can see the fence and walk along it.
  • New collections storage building completed to house Minidoka collections items at Hagerman Fossil Beds.
  • Guided tour of the Minidoka National Historic Site by National Park Service staff.
  • Commemorative Closing Ceremony at Minidoka.

This year, the Civil Liberties Symposium sponsored by Friends of Minidoka is going to be held at the College of Southern Idaho (CSI).  The Pilgrimage will officially begin in Twin Falls on Thursday evening, June 20, 2013.

Registration deadline is June 1, 2013.  You can mail your forms and payment to:  Minidoka Pilgrimage, 511 16th Ave. S., Seattle, WA  98144.  Please note that lodging is not included in either the Seattle/Bellevue Package or the Twin Falls Package. Please arrange your lodging accommodations in Twin Falls, Idaho on your own.  Also, Pilgrims in need of services of a personal nature are responsible for arranging for such services prior to registering for the pilgrimage and are encouraged to travel with a companion for such purposes.

We will again be offering a SENIOR SCHOLARSHIP for this year’s Pilgrims who are over 80 years of age and older, and were imprisoned in any of the American Concentration Camps during WWII.  This scholarship covers the registration fee, hotel, and bus costs (roundtrip bus transportation from Bellevue College to Minidoka) will be waived.  We are grateful to the 2003 Minidoka Remembrance fund and the proceeds from the 2013 Day of Remembrance Taiko Festival for making this opportunity available.

For other questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at minidokapilgrimage@gmail.com.  All documents will be available on the Pilgrimage website: minidokapilgrimage.org.  If you are unable to access the forms and information by computer, please leave your name and address with Ann Fujii Lindwall at 206-367-8749 and they can be mailed to you.

Contact:  ANN FUJII LINDWALL; (206) 367-8749; fujiilindwall@comcast.net

 

April 17, 2012

2012 Minidoka Pilgrimage

Posted in 2012 Minidoka Pilgrimage, Civil Liberties Symposium, Japanese American Incarceration, Minidoka Pilgrimage tagged , , , , , , at 1:52 pm by minidokapilgrimage

Press Release – For Immediate Release

2012 Minidoka Pilgrimage June 21 – June 24, 2012
Celebrating our 10th Annual Minidoka Pilgrimage and recognizing the 70th Anniversary signing of Executive Order 9066

Seattle, WA – April 1, 2012 –Seventy years ago, almost 13,000 people of Japanese-ancestry, many of whom were American citizens, were removed from their homes and sent to a desolate “incarceration camp” near Twin Falls, Idaho.  This summer, the 10th pilgrimage will take place with former internees, their families, and friends – from Seattle, Portland and across the nation – to the former Minidoka Camp in Idaho.  This is an opportunity to learn, share memories, and ask questions about the Minidoka experience.  Consider participating as a way to bring your family together and reconnect with friends.  Participation is limited.

The 2012 Pilgrimage will include:
· Access to barrack building and mess hall.  The buildings are now safe to enter.  People will be able to go in portions of both historic buildings.
· Reconstructed fence is complete.  It runs about one mile in length from the stone entrance buildings along the North Side Canal to the historic swimming hole.  The trail is parallel to the fence, so that visitors can see the fence and walk along it.
· New collections storage building completed to house Minidoka collections items at Hagerman Fossil Beds.
· Guided tour of the Minidoka Internment National Monument by National Park Service staff.
· BBQ dinner hosted by the city of Eden.
· Commemorative Closing Ceremony at Minidoka.
· New activities for 2012 are in the works – stay tuned!

This year, the Civil Liberties Symposium sponsored by Friends of Minidoka is going to be held in Boise, ID at Boise State University. The Pilgrimage will officially begin in Boise on Thursday, June 21 and then travel down to Twin Falls, ID once the Symposium concludes on Friday, June 22.

The second day (Friday, June 22) of the Civil Liberties Symposium at Boise State University is included in both packages. For more information about the Civil Liberties Symposium or to register for the first day, please contact Hanako Wakatsuki at: info@minidoka.org.

Please review the Hotel and Information document and the Registration Form for more information on Pilgrimage packages (Seattle and Boise/Twin Falls).  This information can be found on the Minidoka Pilgrimage web site at www.minidokapilgrimage.org  (The Seattle Package cannot accommodate the 1st day of the symposium).

Registration can either be sent in via mail or done online: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/242260

This year we are very excited to be offering a SENIOR SCHOLARSHIP for this year’s Pilgrims who are over 80 years of age and older, and were imprisoned in any of the American concentration camps during WWII. Please review this Senior Scholarship Registration Form to apply for the scholarship. This can be found on the Minidoka Pilgrimage website, mentioned above.

For other questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at minidokapilgrimage@gmail.com.

For those who cannot access the forms and information by computer, please leave your name and address with Ann Fujii Lindwall at 206-367-8749 and they can be mailed to you.

Contact:  Ann Fujii Lindwall
(206) 367-8749
Fujiilindwall@comcast.net

November 1, 2011

Pilgrimage Reflection by Casey Jones

Posted in 2011 Minidoka Pilgrimage, Civil Liberties Symposium, Japanese American Incarceration, Minidoka Pilgrimage tagged , , , , at 1:37 pm by minidokapilgrimage

Pilgrimage Reflection by Casey Jones

Pre-Pilgrimage

I want to first express the gratitude that I feel toward the Minidoka Pilgrimage Planning Committee and all who contributed to the Seattle University Scholarship that is allowing me to be part of remembering and maintaining a painful but important part of history.  My thanks will likely multiply as I delve further into the pilgrimage itself.  The possibility of attending the pilgrimage, however, would not have been were it not for their efforts in general, and the generosity they have shown me in particular.

Preparing for the pilgrimage to Minidoka started when a friend who had gone encouraged me to apply for a scholarship to go myself.  Since before I even applied, the process has drawn on so many facets of my thinking and feeling that I have become dizzy at times reeling from the immensity of the prospect and its profound significance.  I have known and talked about the incarceration since middle school, when the sense of familiarity and interest that led me to Asian Studies at Seattle University was born.  For a long time I hit cold, silent walls of unawareness and apathy towards the prejudice and pain manifest in the injustice of the expulsion and imprisonment of the Japanese-American communities on the west coast.  Even now, as I tell family members and friends of my plans for early July, I am confronted by one or both of two legacies: a lack of awareness stemming from the absence of the incarceration from general historical education and insistent defense of Executive Order 9066.  Explaining the racism and civil injustice behind the incarceration is painfully frustrating at times, like talking to fences of barbed wire.

There is much that I wish to learn from this year’s pilgrimage to Minidoka; there is much more that I hope to feel.  Learning more about the direct experiences of incarceration, I hope to have a greater capacity for explaining how wrong it was.  I want to have a firmer foundation for discussion and advocacy that branch into current manifestations of prejudice, and the glossing-over of injustice in such a way that makes possible its repetition.  Going to Minidoka and participating in its educational and anecdotal programming, I know that I will have both a greater knowledge to spread to others and greater confidence in that knowledge.  A large component of my preparation for the trip, and an internal struggle as well, is what I expect to feel while there.  Here I must admit that I am something of an outsider to the community’s historical experience of racism and the ramifications of incarceration.  I have been privileged, in a sense, to be free of the pain associated with this past; as someone with white skin, there are different issues that I have with incarceration and how I situate myself with relation to it and the people it has more directly affected.  Nonetheless, I expect to be emotionally reeling for some time after the trip is over; I feel too close to the Japanese-American community and its past for this not to happen.  And, to a degree, I think the shock will be appropriate.  I can never know what it was like to be imprisoned in a country that I considered my home, the rights so much a part of my identity stripped, and my identity itself attacked.  What I can do, however, is strive to get as near it as I can empathetically, and keep the weight of Minidoka in my heart as a reminder of what I care about and who I am; at once removed from and tied to this community’s past, present, and (if permitted) future.  Going to the place where so many were forced to live in uncertainty, their homes and lifestyles taken from them, I want to get closer to them.  I already feel this past as part of me, and now I want to know it better, now I want to serve it better in what I know and say of it.  Most importantly, I want to approach the feeling of Minidoka at the site, so that the passion and personal reality, rather than the pallid historical “facts” are what I return speaking.

Post-Pilgrimage

The pilgrimage to Minidoka was too tremendous and profound for me to believe that I will understand its ramifications fully for some time to come.  I learned much, as I had hoped to; I felt much, as I had hoped to.  But among the learning and feeling with which I had hoped to return from that sacred and infamous place, I find hungry emptiness reawakened and made keener.  It was my great joy to form the first tenuous threads of friendship with fellow pilgrims, my great honor to hear the stories of family and personal histories tied to incarceration.  The trip as a whole was, as I remarked to several, a bitter sweet affair.  Bitter in the way of something ugly brought to light and examined, its full weight no longer veiled by the fog of everyday dissociation.  Bitter in the sense that the pride one takes in the numerous expressions of strength embodied by Japanese-American incarcerees is matched by sorrow for the fact that such strength was so unjustly made necessary.  Sweet for the friendships and sharing of thoughts and the hope for future honors to those who lived this history and allowed us to be the survivors of it.  Sweet in the stirring up of ideas and courage, to challenge a continuing legacy of racism systemic to a country the foundation of which holds so much promise otherwise.  There is no hotel at the corner where these two feelings meet, but there is a community, there is a past, and there is a future.

To offer a few thoughts that have stricken me most powerfully in the week since returning, I want to share with the reader a few events that capture them.  I am sure others could speak better or would have better things to say, but I will do my best with what I can offer.

Minidoka is a sacred place.  Stepping off of the bus at the entrance to Minidoka National Historic Site, the sun beating down hot from a sky bereft of familiar clouds, I noted how quiet the place seemed despite the throng that had just arrived.  The land here was not the hostile desert of which I had read and heard; a fertile swath of farmland had long since been born of the determination of the incarcerees (only to be taken from them when it was time to give the land to returning white soldiers).  Meandering about the entrance, I walked to what was once a visitor’s center and found there an engraving of the names of those who had been imprisoned at Minidoka but given their lives to protect the nation that had put them and their families there.  Soon other pilgrims found their way together, and I was soon caught up in the Shinto ceremony of which I had heard before leaving Seattle.  Being a fledgling adherent, I wanted to honor the spirits of those who were imprisoned, especially those who never left.  The reading of each name on the placard, giving honor to each soul that had faced the uncertainty of an American concentration camp and persevered so boldly, set a reverent tone for the rest of my time at the site.  Perhaps the greatest lesson for those of us born after incarceration is a mindfulness of the past and present personhood of those who were there.  Many walked the earth that I trod at Minidoka, each with a complex life and spirit, each with unique but shared pain and hope in confinement.  We honor them by remembering this to the level of intrinsic, intuitive knowledge.  We honor them by speaking against the hurts that they faced, and in challenging the potential for reiterations thereof.

Minidoka is plural.  Two excellent films at the symposium on Civil Rights at the College of Southern Idaho must be plugged here for their worth in understanding the various ways in which the community encountered overwhelming wickedness with admirable strength.  Honor Bound produced by Ms. Wendy Hanamura highlights the valor of the young men who fought for the country that had turned so viciously on them and their families.  It chronicles the strength of their determination to serve community and country, challenging racism with their deeds despite what might be seen as the government’s exploitation and under-acknowledgment of the all-Japanese 442nd and 100th.  Frank Abe’s Conscience and the Constitution tells a different story of strength, exploring the courage of resistors to military service and the unequivocal loyalty demanded by a racist US government.  It portrays the passion of these young men and their endurance of suppression from concentration camp authorities and their own community alike.  The discussion incorporated the role of women in military service and the too-often taboo topic of those dubbed “No-No Boys”.  Though these stories are, for various reasons, derided and underplayed, they are no less crucial to understanding, and thus honoring, the experience of life in the camps.  There is great pain in the incarceration itself, even more demarcated along lines of separation within the community to this day.  It may be a long process to reconcile these various ways of challenging the events of the early 1940’s, but it is no less worthwhile for the fact.  It is no less important due to the challenge it poses.

Minidoka is not the end.  On the bus ride home, before we even left Idaho, an original propaganda piece by the US government was screened.  It struck several strings of discussion that I believe to be important for Minidoka to be truly meaningful.  As one pilgrim said to me “What you know isn’t enough.  What you feel isn’t enough.  What do you do?”  Learning and feeling from the pilgrimage are important, but they must be part of a greater movement toward action if their meaning is to reach fruition.  We cannot accept the obfuscation of incarceration histories (emphasis on plural) and the reiterations on the theme of racism sewn subtlely into the fabric of the US promises of liberty, justice, and equality.  I mentioned in my pre-pilgrimage reflection the concept of “talking to fences of barbed wire.”  These fences remain around us in the paradigms that allowed physical incarceration to be forced on the Issei and Nisei.  Though we do not have to feel the fear and betrayal that they did, we and others remain the targets of racism fueled by state power and popular unawareness.  These fences will continue to constrict this and other communities unless we recognize and oppose the patterns of separation and confinement in service to dominant interests and force.  We must stay rooted in the feeling and knowing of Minidoka, but we must carry these with us into the future and into partnerships with others willing to work for change.

Once more I want to thank those who made this affecting experience a reality for me.  Thank you, my fellow pilgrims, for the wisdom, stories, and conversations you shared.  Thank you also, reader, for tolerating what may not always be a perfect article, and one that is certainly longer than my skill merits, though too short for what needs saying.

Reflections on Minidoka

Posted in 2011 Minidoka Pilgrimage, Civil Liberties Symposium, Japanese American Incarceration, Minidoka Pilgrimage tagged , , , , , , , at 1:03 pm by minidokapilgrimage

Reflections on Minidoka

by: Antoinette M. Spillers

On June 30th-July 3rd, I had the opportunity to visit a horrific and shameful part of our nation’s history, participating in the 9th Annual Pilgrimage to the Minidoka Concentration Camp. The Minidoka Pilgrimage was one of the most powerful, educational and life-changing journey I have ever endured. This trip challenged my understanding and perspective on the teachings of American history, realization of my emotional connections to this past, and my role as a change agent to educate others and prevent such heinous crimes from re-occurring. I was exposed to the realities that many Japanese Americans endured before, during and after living in the incarceration camps. It’s very dishearten the more I learned about our country’s history, the more pain and shame this country has brought upon itself. This trip further my understanding that each demographic group as endured many challenges and oppression in this country, but instead of allowing further separation, we should use our unique stories to connect us as a nation, for the betterment of the human race.

My studies of the incarceration camps began as a junior in high school, while conducting research on Japanese Americans in Internment Camps during World War II, for my English class research paper. During my research, I discovered information about the 442nd Infantry Regiment and the 100th Battalion, both consisted of men who volunteer to fight for this country, as proof of their loyalty and pride. I am astounded, as by the amount of sacrifices many people have given to a country to have oppressed and discriminated against them since the founding of our nation; this complex love-hate relationship many of us experience with this country. Since high school, I have been eager to learn more about the incarceration camps and to gain a better understanding of the teaching techniques of American history. I constantly wonder about the multitude of stories that are erased from our history book; concealing America’s shameful past and ignorance. There are many more stories out there, in which I am eager to uncover our past, seek out the millions of untold stories and learn more about the other concentration campus in our nation.

During the bus trip to Idaho, we watched movies and documentaries about the many experiences and stories from the concentration camps. I was extremely appalled to learn many families were forced to live in horse stables prior to relocating to the incarceration camps. It is a tragedy that our government treated human beings like animals, placing them in horse stables, expecting them to living comfortably. In addition, American citizens were removed from their home with uncertainties; families were unsure about their relocation area, the location of other family members, and no legitimate reasons for the massive evacuation orders (Being that we were also at war with Germany and Italy, but no European Americans were order to relocate). When I heard these stories, I sense the pain and trauma because I know the feeling of evacuating with many uncertainties. These stories resurface many emotions I endured during my evacuation in August 2005 from Hurricane Katrina, whereas my city received a mandatory evacuation on short-notice on a Sunday morning. When comparing the two events, it seems as if history did repeat itself, but for different reasons. It is still painful to know that thousands were forced out of their homes, places into massive, unsanitary living quarters for matters out of their control. Many of us share those pains and struggle of losing everything you worked hard for; obtaining the American Dream and suddenly, that dream was stolen. It is very hurtful to have your life earnings taken away, but these shared emotions will bring us together, as humans, as a nation.

During the Pilgrimage, I learned many other untold stories, such as the No-no, men who decided not to volunteer for the war, the Women Army Corps and the most dangerous battles the 442nd Infantry and the 100th Battalion were sent to combat in order to save other American soldiers. During the midst of battles, the U.S. government persisted in their discriminatory practices, by sacrificing hundreds of Japanese American soldiers in deadly battlefields to save white American soldiers, establishing a segregated military unit for Japanese Americans and sustaining the segregated African-American units. I also learned the government reasons for sending Japanese Americans to these deserted camps, placing them on desert, uncultivated land, so they can cultivate the land into farmland, which supplied food for the soldiers and other citizens. When the camps were closed, the land was given to other veterans, not the people who cultivated the land. It is dishearten to learn about these stories of oppression, yet these same stories are reminders of the importance of sharing and preserving history. By sharing the truth, we learned how to prevent these discriminatory events from re-occurring. These untold stories provided an in-depth understanding of my place in serving as an agent of change to, expand and preserve citizens civil rights and liberties.

When I moved to Seattle a year ago, I realize my new location will provided exposure to another aspect of history, something different from the southern history I grew-up learning. Many local residents explained the location of the Japanese Town and Little Tokyo that existed in Seattle and other parts of the country, but after the incarceration campus, many of those communities never returned. The Minidoka Concentration Camp was occupied from August 1942-October 1945, but those few years forever changed the lives, cultural and family structure of many Japanese American families in the Pacific Northwest. There is much trauma many have suffered living in these facilities, but I am thankful for those who are able to remember and  share their stories, teaching us and preserving history with the next generation. I know Japanese American history did not start, nor will it end with the concentration camps.

There have been many recent discussions about another potential incarceration and relocation of American Citizens, but I hope our society will take a greater stand and speaking out against these injustices in our nation. Each ethnic group endures their only challenges and pains, but when we began to put our differences aside and realize how we as humans have suffered, we begin to move forward in working for a better, more just society.

In the words of Mark Twain, “History never repeats itself, at best it sometimes rhymes.” After attending the Minidoka Pilgrimage, I assure you history will not repeat nor will it rhyme, and I am ever more grateful to learn and share these remarkable stories with others.

Thank you for this opportunity.

May 4, 2011

2011 Minidoka Pilgrimage Registration now open

Posted in 2011 Minidoka Pilgrimage, Civil Liberties Symposium, Japanese American Incarceration, Minidoka Pilgrimage tagged , , , , , , at 7:33 pm by minidokapilgrimage

Registrations for the 2011 Minidoka Pilgrimage, to be held from June 30 – July 3, are currently being accepted.  Please join us for our ninth annual pilgrimage to Minidoka!  Registration information can be found online at: http://www.minidokapilgrimage.org/info.html.  We are also pleased to announce that we are now accepting online registration for the 2011 pilgrimage as well!

For more information on the 2011 Pilgrimage, please see our information page at: https://minidokapilgrimage.wordpress.com/2011-minidoka-pilgrimage-information-page/ or email us at: minidokapilgrimage@gmail.com

April 20, 2011

2011 Minidoka Pilgrimage

Posted in 2011 Minidoka Pilgrimage, Civil Liberties Symposium, Japanese American Incarceration, Minidoka Pilgrimage tagged , , , , , , , , , at 8:48 pm by minidokapilgrimage

Press Release – For Immediate Release

2011 Minidoka Pilgrimage

June 30 – July 3

Seattle, WA – Close to 70 years ago, during World War II, almost thirteen thousand people of Japanese ancestry, many of whom were American citizens, were forcibly removed from their homes in Washington, Oregon and Alaska, and sent to a desolate “incarceration camp” near Twin Falls, Idaho.

To commemorate the 69th year of this historic event, former incarcerees, their families, friends, and those interested in this historic event will make a pilgrimage from Seattle and Portland to the former Minidoka Internment Camp from June 30 – July 3, 2011. The Seattle Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League, the Nisei Veterans Committee, and the Friends of Minidoka invite all those who are interested to join us on our pilgrimage.

This year’s Pilgrimage highlights include:

  • Honor Roll will be dedicated.  While Minidoka had seven percent of the males of all the centers, it provided 25 percent of the volunteers that made up the most highly decorated regiment in the history of the U.S. armed forces, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, an all Nisei unit. As a way of honoring those volunteers, an Honor Roll was constructed in the Victory Garden just inside the entrance to Minidoka.  It named each individual from Minidoka who volunteered to serve in World War II.
  • 1.6 mile walking trail will be completed and way signs will be installed to guide guests at the historical site.
  • Optional tours to Hagerman fossil beds are scheduled for Friday with morning and afternoon visits to view a small collection of Minidoka artifacts that are being temporarily stored there until the Visitor’s Center is completed.
  • An original barrack that is being returned to camp will be in place on the Block 22 site.
  • BBQ on Saturday to be hosted by Roy Prescott, local rancher and the town’s people of Eden, ID.  Eden is the end of the rail line where the internees from Camp Harmony were off loaded and put on buses for the final leg of their journey to Minidoka.

Today, most of the 33,000 acres that once made up Minidoka has been taken over by farms.  However, in 2001, 73 acres along the North Side Canal, near the entrance was designated a National Historical Monument.  On December 21, 2006, President Bush signed H.R. 1492 into law guaranteeing $38,000,000 in federal money to restore the Minidoka relocation center along with nine other former Japanese incarceration camps.  And on May 8, 2008, he signed into law The Wild Sky Wilderness Act, which changed the status from U.S. National Monument to National Historic Site and added the Nidoto Nai Yoni (Let It Not Happen Again) Memorial on Bainbridge Island, Washington to the monument.

There will also be a two-day symposium on Civil Liberties in Wartime at the College of Southern Idaho prior to the Pilgrimage. The theme is “Patriotism, Honor, and Sacrifice.”  Speakers include Dr. Bob Sims (Minidoka history), Dr. David Adler (constitutional issues), Dr. Martin Cutler (Native Americans during the war), Larry Matsuda (poet), Dr. Linda Tamura (MIS), Dr. Brenda Lee Moore (Japanese American Women in the Military during WWII), and Prof. Eric Muller (draft resisters).

Registration is due by June 3, 2011.

To register and for hotel and registration information, please visit our website: http://minidokapilgrimage.org/ or email: minidokapilgrimage@gmail.com .

Contact:

Ann F. Lindwall
206-367-8749
206-251-6713

October 4, 2010

2011 Pilgrimage Dates June 30-July 3

Posted in 2011 Minidoka Pilgrimage, Civil Liberties Symposium tagged , , at 8:34 am by minidokapilgrimage

The dates for the 2011 Pilgrimage has just been announced.  The bus from Seattle will depart Bellevue College on Thursday, June 30th for the 2011 Minidoka Pilgrimage.  The Pilgrimage will again incorporate 1 day of the Civil Liberties Symposium on Friday, July 1 and then begin the rest of the pilgrimage programming on Saturday, July 2.  More information will be released as it becomes available.  Schedule is also subjected to change.

August 7, 2010

2010 Minidoka Pilgrimage Pictures

Posted in 2010 Minidoka Pilgrimage, Civil Liberties Symposium, Japanese American Incarceration, Minidoka Pilgrimage tagged , , , , , , , , at 8:55 pm by rkozu

Here’s links to various sites where pictures from the 2010 Minidoka Pilgrimage have been posted!

Feel free to browse and use for your own personal usage but if you wish to use pictures for commercial purposes please contact us at: minidokapilgrimage@gmail.com for more information.

Ryan Kozu: http://picasaweb.google.com/minidokapilgrimage/2010MinidokaPilgrimage#

Eugene Tagawa: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bakatare/sets/

Byron Kato: http://gallery.me.com/katobyron#100131&bgcolor=black&view=grid

August 2, 2010

Scholarship Recipient: Janice Young reflection on 2010 pilgrimage

Posted in 2010 Minidoka Pilgrimage, Civil Liberties Symposium, Minidoka Pilgrimage, Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 8:29 am by chiyokomartinez

I heard about the Minidoka Pilgrimage last year from a fellow coworker at South Seattle Community College, but was unable to attend. This year I was able to go because, I just recently graduated from school. Since I am a poor college student paying off my loans, I decided to apply for the scholarship that the Minidoka Pilgrimage Committee had to offer. To my surprise, I was awarded the scholarship. This helped me a great deal and took away the financial burden.

During the bus ride, we played ice breaker games to get to know each other. As we got to know each other, folks that were once imprisoned at Minidoka shared their stories while forced to live in the camps. It is fascinating to hear the stories that were being told because each story was different.

Something that was added to the Minidoka Pilgrimage was the Civil Liberties Symposium at Crest Canyon. At the symposium, there were many interesting speakers and performances. Such as, Larry Matsuda, and Grateful Crane Ensemble, the Camp Dance: The Music and the Memories. One person I wanted to mention who I thought was really interesting was Roger Shimomura-when I first saw Mr. Shimomura on stage I thought to myself, “He looked familiar” but, didn’t know where to place him. I got to talking to people- come to find out Roger Shimomura was featured in an art exhibit called “Yellow Terror” that was displayed that the Wing Luke Art Museum. I visited the exhibit and I learned many things through collection and paintings- it was truly an eye opener. I was thrilled to be able to meet Mr. Shimomura in person.

The day to visit Camp Minidoka came- for me I felt mixed emotions. I’ve studied about the temporary concentration camps through textbooks. But to actually go the site where the camp was formally held it was quite over-whelming. During the bus ride to the camp everyone looked anxious as me- people were talking amongst themselves. Our tour guide, Emily Momohara asked those that were imprisoned at Minidoka raise their hands- about ten people did. Emily suggested that we walk with the individuals who raised their hands because they are the ones with the stories. I ended up walking with the Kashino family- Louise told her daughter Debbie that, “it was difficult for her to imagine what was what now; it was all desert before- now it was farming land.” In all honesty, it was hard for me to imagine too. But, being there and listening to all the stories that were being told was really a lot to take in. I took many pictures to educate my family and friends about the Japanese concentration camps. The stories must be kept alive. This is a part history we must not forgive has happened.

I would like to take this time and thank the Minidoka Pilgrimage Committee for selecting me as a scholarship recipient. I learned and seen so many things that weekend- too much to explain every detail on paper or for a blog- it will always be in my heart.

————————————————————————————————–

Janice Young is a 2010 Scholarship Recipient to the Minidoka Pilgrimage. She graduated with an Associate of Arts from South Seattle Community College and a Bachelors of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Central Washington University.

July 12, 2010

Scholarship Recipient: Bree Keaveney Reflection on 2010 Pilgrimage

Posted in 2010 Minidoka Pilgrimage, Civil Liberties Symposium, Japanese American Incarceration, Minidoka Pilgrimage, Uncategorized tagged , , , at 2:00 pm by chiyokomartinez

What was most  meaningful for me was spending time with Japanese Americans.  Spending time with people interested in Japanese American history.  Spending time with wonderful people.  The symposium was definitely the most important event of the pilgrimage for me.  I came to terms with many thoughts and feelings I have had about identity and family and community.

I learned Issei’s and Nisei’s were not allowed to live on campus a t the University of Washington.  Most people couldn’t afford, and still can’t, Seattle University.  I learned a greater depth about how much privilege I have.  I learned about the dust storms.  I learned people committed suicide after the incarceration. I learned about the shame and pain of the Japanese American community.  I see how Japanese Incarceration has shaped my family.
Being mixed race and deprived of Japanese culture, I never felt like I was a part of the community.  But after this weekend I feel like I am.  My story is not that uncommon in the community–not being raised with Japanese culture, being mixed race.  What I have taken away from this pilgrimage is a sense of belonging to a greater Japanese community outside of my family.  It is wonderful.
Action: What I plan to do with what I learned from the Pilgirmage

I took a class called The African American Religious Experience.  My professor, Dr. Flora Wilson Bridges is a pastor, ordained in three different denominations in the Black Church.  She was very active during the 1960s Civil Rights Movement.  Dr. Bridges is a key person in charge of the ecumenical practices at SU.  She essentially builds bridges between different faith traditions by fostering dialogue.  She is also an excellent teacher–I really enjoyed her class.  One of the main themes or lessons I learned from Dr. Bridges is how I can apply the three components of African American Spirituality to my life.
The three components are
1. Cultural/Historical Memory
2. Forgiveness
3. Ability to form community
I think these three components are what I can do for really anything in life.  For the Japanese American community I will learn the cultural and historical history.  I will forgive myself and my family and the United States government.  I will form community with people of Japanese ancestry, and also people who are interested in Japanese culture and history.
Another professor I greatly admire is Dr. Cornel West.  Like Dr. Bridges, Dr. West is an activist and peace maker.  He has written several books, one of the most famous is called Race Matters (1993).  I heard him speak last December in Seattle.  Dr. West was discussing his autobiography entitled: Brother West:  Living and Loving Outloud.  He kept emphasizing the importance of family and faith in his life.  Dr. West also said that anger is a good thing and that everyone should channel their anger through love and education. So I try to live his advice and Dr. Bridges’ too.
I have become angry because of cultural/historical memory, but I try my best to forgive.  Forming community helps me to channel any anger I have through love and education, which ultimately helps me to live and love out loud.
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Bree Keaveney is a 2010 Scholarship Recipient to the Minidoka Pilgrimage. She will entering her third year at Seattle University, studying Global African Studies and Sociology.

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