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  All documents will be available on the Pilgrimage website:  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;


June 7, 2011

Tribute band remembers those in internment camps

Posted in Japanese American Incarceration, Minidoka Swing Band tagged , , , , , at 8:25 pm by rkozu

by SAINT BRYAN / Evening Magazine

Posted on May 6, 2010 at 8:33 PM

At the time, more than 100,000 Japanese Americans lived behind fences with barbed wire in internment camps. It is one of America’s most shameful chapters. But a Northwest tribute band vows never to forget. Named for the notorious Idaho internment camp, the Minidoka Swing Band pays tribute to the music that made life bearable.

The Nikkei Exclusion Memorial on Bainbridge Island is located on the site of the former Eagledale ferry dock. On March 30, 1942, 227 men, women and children – two-thirds of them American citizens – were forcibly removed from their homes, rounded up by US Army soldiers armed with rifles fixed with bayonets and boarded a ferry to Seattle. Find out more at

The Minidoka Swing Band performs about half a dozen times a year. They are coming up to Seattle in September to perform at the dedication of the Japanese American Veterans Wall. More at

August 7, 2010

Reflection Poem by Rachel Seeman

Posted in 2010 Minidoka Pilgrimage, Minidoka Pilgrimage, Minidoka Swing Band tagged , , , at 8:41 pm by rkozu

Rachel Seeman, a member of the Minidoka Swing Band and a participant on the 2008 Minidoka Pilgrimage wrote the following poem based upon her experiences at that pilgrimage.  This poem was read at the 2010 Pilgrimage by Lynn Grannan.  We’re grateful that she’s been willing to share it with other Minidoka Pilgrimage.


But how can I tell their story
If I was not there?
How can I feel their pain and the injustice that they faced
If I was not there?
I do not know how it feels to be told that you must leave your home, friends, pets and community in five days
I don’t know how it feels to sell my business for $200
and to leave my crops and dog to strangers
I don’t know how it feels to have my family broken apart and to live without privacy in a desert
But I do know how it feels to be a proud Japanese American
To know that the Minidoka desert was turned to lush green fields by my ancestors
And to know that because of the hardships they faced
I now have more rights and opportunities
I know how it feels to be an American
I know how it feels to be Japanese American.

–Rachel Seeman

May 10, 2010

Evening Magazine: Tribute band remembers those in internment camps

Posted in Bainbridge Island, Japanese American Incarceration, Minidoka Pilgrimage, Minidoka Swing Band, Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 10:28 pm by minidokapilgrimage

For those who may have missed the viewing on Thursday evening, the Evening Magazine piece on the Minidoka Swing Band was also posted online.  Here’s a link to the source article and video:

May 6, 2010

Minidoka Swing Band on Evening Magazine

Posted in Bainbridge Island, Minidoka Swing Band tagged , at 11:19 am by rkozu

For those in the Seattle area and have the ability to watch Evening Magazine on King-5 TV.  Evening Magazine will be doing a feature on the Minidoka Swing Band at 7pm tonight, Thursday May 6, 2010 on Channel 5.  Check it out if you have time!

March 27, 2010

Minidoka Swing Band in the Wall Street Journal!

Posted in Minidoka Pilgrimage, Minidoka Swing Band tagged , , , at 8:28 am by minidokapilgrimage

Here’s a great article about the Minidoka Swing Band in the Wall Street Journal.  The Minidoka Swing Band were participants in the 2008 pilgrimage.  Check out both the article and video!

Here’s the link to the article:

Here’s a link to the video: