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.

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Quiet and Honor at Minidoka National Historic Site

Posted in 2011 Minidoka Pilgrimage, Honor Roll, Japanese American Incarceration, Minidoka Pilgrimage tagged , , , , , , , , , at 1:25 pm by minidokapilgrimage

http://blog.preservationnation.org/2011/07/11/quiet-and-honor-at-minidoka-national-historic-site/

Quiet and Honor at Minidoka National Historic Site

By National Trust for Historic Preservation on July 11th, 2011

Written by Sheri Freemuth

Historic photo of Minidoka's honor roll of service members. (Photo: Friends of Minidoka)Historic photo of Minidoka’s honor roll of service members. (Photo: Friends of Minidoka)

The wind often hides the quiet of south central Idaho, just as the broad expanse of irrigated crops can mask the rugged lava rock and sagebrush land. The passage of time has also obscured evidence of four years of incarceration for over 10,000 Japanese Americans at the Minidoka Relocation Center, or Hunt Camp, now known as the Minidoka National Historic Site.

But this Independence Day weekend there was no rustle of wind or hissing of pivot sprinklers to distract the participants in the 9th annual Minidoka pilgrimage. As in years past, pilgrims saw the dark lava stones near the banks of the Northside Canal, the old entrance road and the ruins of the historic waiting room. For the first time, pilgrims saw other traces of the camp delicately revealed by the National Park Service (NPS), along with new interpretive signs along a 1.6 mile walking trail. These signs were a reminder to those who bore witness (and there were some original incarcerees among the pilgrims), and offered fresh insights to visitors who do not recall World War II nor the many painful sacrifices it entailed.

The most striking addition to the site, the focus of the Sunday morning ceremony, is a large triptych signbearing the names of all who served in the military during World War II from the Minidoka Relocation Center. Made possible by the diligence of the Friends of Minidoka and a grant from the NPS, it is a replica of the Honor Roll initially erected by camp incarcerees in a personal and deliberate display of patriotism.

The ribbon-cutting for the replica of the Honor Roll, July 3, 2011. (Photo: National Park Service)The ribbon-cutting for the replica of the Honor Roll, July 3, 2011. (Photo: National Park Service)

With the installation it is also possible to see the outline of the original Victory Garden, whose design is attributed to Fujitara Kubota, who was incarcerated at Minidoka with his family (the mastery of Kubota can be seen today in the public Kubota Garden in Seattle). At Minidoka, only the embedded lava rock that lines a “V” shaped pathway and outcroppings of carefully placed boulders are hints of what the original garden may have included.

The three large buses of this year’s participants in the pilgrimage, many coming from Washington’s Puget Sound area, were joined by local friends and partners to acknowledge the dedication of those that work tirelessly to preserve and enhance the Minidoka National Historic Site. I was pleased to be a part of the group gathered on Sunday and honored to work for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which has endeavored to ensure a bright future for this historic site, one that it richly deserves.

Most of all, though, the Sunday morning ceremony honored the bravery of those who served in World War II, particularly the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, a segregated unit in the US Army. Comprised solely of Japanese Americans, this unit became the most highly-decorated regiment in the history of the United States Armed Forces for their size and length of service. Minidoka provided 25 percent of the volunteers that served in the unit.

The testimony, the tears and the laughter of Sunday morning were captured best by Brooks Andrews, retired pastor and son of Seattle Pastor Emory “Andy” Andrews, who left Seattle for Idaho when his congregation, the Japanese Baptist Church, was uprooted to Minidoka. Brooks provided the invocation saying:

“We gather today to remember, honor and pay tribute….to the dedication and integrity of our young Nisei and the greatness that came, not from worldly assessment, but from an uncommon greatness that came from the quietness and serenity of the soul.”

Sheri Freemuth is a Program Officer for the Western Office. She resides in Boise, Idaho.

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.

August 10, 2011

2011 Minidoka Pilgrimage Pictures

Posted in 2011 Minidoka Pilgrimage, Japanese American Incarceration, Minidoka Pilgrimage, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , at 9:53 am by minidokapilgrimage

Here’s links to various sites where pictures from the 2011 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: https://picasaweb.google.com/103180039956765998297/MinidokaPilgrimage2011?authuser=0&feat=directlink

Eugene Tagawa:
Pilgrimage Group Photos: https://picasaweb.google.com/iiemuchi/2011MinidokaPilgrimageGroupPhotos?authkey=Gv1sRgCMiygPKPj7CudA#
Thursday: https://picasaweb.google.com/iiemuchi/PILGRIMAGEThursdayJune30?authkey=Gv1sRgCK–wvSopsLWkQE
Friday: https://picasaweb.google.com/iiemuchi/PILGRIMAGEFridayJuly1?authkey=Gv1sRgCM2A3_ul9efBAQ
Saturday Morning/Afternoon: https://picasaweb.google.com/iiemuchi/PILGRIMAGESaturdayA_2?authkey=Gv1sRgCMfH2czr8Pb8iwE
Saturday Evening: https://picasaweb.google.com/iiemuchi/PILGRIMAGESaturdayEveningJuly2?authkey=Gv1sRgCJ3w6ui20c_P_AE
Sunday: https://picasaweb.google.com/100930662448489700454/PILGRIMAGESundayJuly3?authkey=Gv1sRgCP_buMHU_ILYDw#

July 12, 2011

Lost but not forgotten: Reliving the past of the Minidoka Relocation Center

Posted in 2011 Minidoka Pilgrimage, Honor Roll, Japanese American Incarceration, Minidoka Pilgrimage tagged , , , , , , , , at 11:02 am by minidokapilgrimage

http://www.magicvalley.com/news/local/northside/article_677072df-26eb-538e-a261-f267b9fb72e5.html

Lost but not forgotten: Reliving the past of the Minidoka Relocation Center 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

By Kimberly Williams-Brackett

EDEN — Veterans of the segregated 442nd Regimental Combat Team were honored Sunday with a ribbon cutting of the Honor Roll at the Minidoka National Historic Site.

The event was in conjunction with an annual pilgrimage that began June 30 in Seattle and Portland, Ore., and ended Sunday at the former internment camp. Guided tours were held at the site on Saturday.

The segregated U.S. Army regiment was the most highly decorated unit of its size and for its duration of service in American military history, said Wendy Janssen, superintendent of the historic site.

During World War II, 73 soldiers from Minidoka died in Italy, France and Germany while fighting for their country, and two received the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Out of 10 relocation centers across the United States, Minidoka had the highest percentage of volunteers, about 1,000 internees — nearly 10 percent of the camp’s total peak population.

The original Honor Roll was built and erected on Oct. 14, 1943, to honor the young men and women who served in the military from the Minidoka Relocation Center, also known as Hunt Camp.

The center panel originally had 418 names. As the war progressed, names were added to two side panels.

The fate of the original Honor Roll is unknown.

Reestablishment of the Honor Roll received wide community support in 2006. In 2010, the Friends of Minidoka received a grant from the Japanese-American Confinement Sites Grant Program to assist with construction costs. It was a collaborative effort made possible by the Friends of Minidoka, National Park Service, and the Nisei Veterans.

Janssen said the original mess hall, currently located at the Jerome County Fairgrounds, will be returned to the historic site in about two weeks.

“It will house exhibits in the near future for educational programs,” she said.

After Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor and the signing of an executive order, more than 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry were given six days to dispose of their homes and businesses and report to designated military holding areas.

Internees could only bring what they could carry and they weren’t told where they were going, Janssen said.

She said during the incarceration of Japanese-Americans between 1942-45, Minidoka became the 7th largest city in Idaho.

The camp was built in less than seven months covering 33,000 acres with more than 600 buildings. A five-mile long barbed wire fence with eight guard towers circled the camp.

Although farming remains the primary use of the former relocation center lands, there are plans to complete the trail, rehabilitate the root cellar, induct a visitor center in the warehouse and expand the museum collection.

Keith Yamaguchi, of Seattle, was emotional about the erecting of the Honor Roll because it pays tribute to everyone who came out of the camp.

Yamaguchi, who’s participated in the pilgrimage for the past six years, said his mother, grandparents, aunts, and uncles were all internees. But, he said, his grandparents nor his parents ever talked about their time in camp.

“All the stories I’ve heard, I’ve heard from other people,” he said.

 

 

 

June 7, 2011

Registration is still open!

Posted in 2011 Minidoka Pilgrimage, Japanese American Incarceration, Minidoka Pilgrimage tagged , , , , , , , at 8:29 pm by rkozu

Even if you missed the early registration deadline on June 3, it’s still not too late to register for the 2011 Minidoka Pilgrimage!  We are still accepting registration forms for this year’s pilgrimage.  If you still want to come, please fill out a registration for now!

www.minidokapilgrimage.org/register.html

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

February 15, 2011

Day of Remembrance 2011 Taiko Festival

Posted in 2011 Minidoka Pilgrimage, Japanese American Incarceration, Minidoka Pilgrimage, Taiko Festival Pictures tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 11:21 pm by minidokapilgrimage

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 16, 2011

Day of Remembrance 2011 Taiko Festival

Seattle, WA – On February 19th, 1942 President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 which forcibly expelled over 120,000 Japanese American citizens and legal residents from the west coast and into incarceration camps during the Second World War. In order to raise awareness of this historic event the Minidoka Pilgrimage Committee, in partnership with the Friends of Minidoka and Seattle University, is proud to present the second annual Day of Remembrance Taiko Festival on Sunday February 20th, 2011. The concert will take place at Seattle University’s Pigott Auditorium located at 1016 E. Marion St. from 2pm – 5pm and will feature a variety of performances from local Pacific Northwest Taiko Groups including Inochi Taiko, Kaze Daiko, One World Taiko, Ringtaro and Asako Tateishi/The School of Taiko, Seattle Kokon Taiko and Seattle Matsuri Taiko.

The concert is being held in conjunction with Seattle University’s observation of the national Day of Remembrance which commemorates the signing of Executive Order 9066 and provides an ongoing reminder about the dangers of sacrificing civil and constitutional rights in the name of national security. In recalling the events of February 1942, the Japanese American community aims to remind the public about the need to protect civil rights and is especially relevant in a post 9/11 world.

Tickets for the concert are only $20 and can be purchased at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Washington (JCCCW) main office at 511 – 16th Ave. South or via Pay Pal on the Day of Remembrance Taiko Festival website (http://tinyurl.com/2011taiko). Tickets purchased through Pay Pal will be available at will-call on the day of the concert. Raffle tickets will also be sold for a chance to win a 42” LCD television. Cost is $10 per ticket, and will be available from Minidoka Pilgrimage Committee members at the concert, and through the JCCCW (participants need not be present at the concert to be eligible to win the grand prize).

For more information about this fantastic fundraising concert please visit the Day of Remembrance Taiko Festival website at http://tinyurl.com/2011taiko or contact the Minidoka Pilgrimage at mailto:minidokapilgrimage@gmail.com.

January 19, 2011

2011 Day of Remembrance Taiko Concert, Feb 20, 2011

Posted in 2011 Minidoka Pilgrimage, Bainbridge Island, Minidoka Pilgrimage, Taiko Festival Pictures tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:15 pm by minidokapilgrimage

For Immediate Release

Day of Remembrance 2011 Taiko Festival

Seattle, WA – January 14, 2011- The “Day of Remembrance” is an annual observance of the signing of Executive Order 9066, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt that ordered 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry to be imprisoned in concentration camps during World War II.

Decades later, the order was deemed unconstitutional and was belatedly but dramatically reversed by the passage of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988. Despite the reparations that were issued because of this act, Japanese Americans still feel a need for an official time for remembrance.

In honor of this historical event, the 2nd annual Day of Remembrance Taiko Festival will be held Sunday, February 20, 2011 at 2:00 p.m., Pigott Auditorium, Seattle University, 1016 E. Madison St.

Tickets are $20 each.  They are available at JCCCW (Japanese Community Cultural Center of Washington) or at www.MinidokaPilgrimage.org .  JCCCW main office is located at 511 16th Ave. South, Seattle, WA 98144, 206-568-7114.

The groups performing will be: Inochi Taiko, Kaze Daiko, One World Taiko, Ringtaro and Asako Tateishi/The School of Taiko, Seattle Kokon Taiko, Seattle Matsuri Taiko.  The program will also include a reading by Larry Matsuda from his book “A Cold Wind From Idaho.”

Matsuda was born in the Minidoka, Idaho War Relocation Center during World War II. His poems appear in Poets Against the War website, The Raven Chronicles, New Orleans Review, Floating Bridge Press, Cerise Press and the International Examiner Newspaper. He was a junior high language arts teacher and Seattle School District administrator and principal for twenty-seven years.

Raffle tickets will also be sold for a chance to win a 42-inch LCD television. Cost is $10 per ticket, and will be available from Minidoka Pilgrimage Committee members at the concert, and through the JCCCW (participants need not be present at the concert to be eligible to win the grand prize).  Funds from this raffle will go to help support the Minidoka Pilgrimage and Friends of Minidoka Honor Roll Project.

Contact:
Ann Fujii Lindwall
fujiilindwall@comcast.net
Ph:  (206) 251-6713

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