Manzanar Committee Condemns Statement By Roanoke, Virginia Mayor David Bowers Regarding Syrian Refugees

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LOS ANGELES — On November 18, the Manzanar Committee repudiated statements by David Bowers, Mayor, Roanoke, Virginia, in which he used the unjust incarceration of over 110,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry as justification for his demand that Syrian refugees be denied asylum in the Roanoke area.

In an official statement, Bowers said, “I’m reminded that President Franklin D. Roosevelt felt compelled to sequester Japanese foreign nationals after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and it appears that the threat of harm to America from ISIS now is just as real and serious as that from our enemies then.”

Manzanar Committee Co-Chair Bruce Embrey rejected Bowers’ remarks out of hand.

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Manzanar NHS Seeks Volunteers Who Can Provide Use Of Flat-Bed Truck

Historic photograph of the fire station at Manzanar, fire trucks, and incarceree fire fighters.
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The following is a press release from Historic Wintersburg Preservation Task Force and the Manzanar National Historic Site.

HISTORIC WINTERSBURG/HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA – Lumber donated by Huntington Beach businessman Michael Grant of Michael Grant Construction Service, Inc., has been made in response to the need for additional lumber to complete the construction of the historic fire station at the Manzanar National Historic Site, currently being performed by the National Park Service and volunteers.

The new building will be used to exhibit and protect Manzanar’s historic fire truck, which has suffered being parked outside the Visitor Center in the sun, wind, and rain for nearly twenty years.

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An American Family’s Story Through The Manzanar Years

Photo courtesy Muto Family Collection
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by Susan Muto Knight

Among the many remarkable stories that have arisen from those who were incarcerated at Manzanar, the experiences of Takio “Tak” and Masako Muto (we called her, “Ma”) are among them.

The photo at right is from their wedding in Los Angeles, taken just before World War II, a time that would change their lives in profound ways and find the young couple incarcerated at Manzanar.

Tak was among many in the camps who tried to make the best of their situation and created gardens within the barren, windy and dusty environment of Manzanar. The garden at Merritt Park was designed by Tak with fellow incarceree friend, Kuichiro Nishi, and has since been recreated at the Manzanar National Historic Site.

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Manzanar Guayule Rubber Project Has Enduring Impact – Photos

Dr. Glenn H. Kageyama speaking at the program on the Manzanar Guayule Rubber Project, August 30, 2015, Gardena, California. Kageyama is holding samples of rubber made from the Guayule plant.
Photo: Gann Matsuda/Manzanar Committee

GARDENA, CA — During World War II, while incarcerated behind barbed wire at Manzanar, a handful of Japanese Americans— Dr. Morganlander Shimpe Nishimura, a nuclear physicist from the University of California, Berkeley, Dr. Kenji Nozaki, a chemist at the University of California, Los Angeles, Dr. Masuo Kodani, cytologist from UC Berkeley, Frank Hirasawa, organic chemist, Homer Kimura, a mechanical engineer, along with Frank Kageyama and Tomoichi Hata, worked to develop high-quality rubber from the Guayule plant in support of the United States’ war effort.

As Manzanar Committee member Joyce Okazaki wrote in this space in March 2009, “On five acres of land with 40 incarcerees, and at a cost of about $100.00, the Manzanar Guayule Project produced a higher yield of plant and a higher quality of rubber than the [larger Emergency Rubber Project in Salinas, California] or tree rubber. The tensile strength of the rubber was 5,150 pounds per square inch (PSI), compared to 3,700 PSI for Salinas, and 4,400 PSI for tree rubber.”

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