42nd Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage: Everyone Has A Story To Tell, But Not Everyone Has A Chance To Tell Their Story

Editor’s Note: After the 41st Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, UCLA undergraduate Jaymie Takeshita reflected on her experiences at her first Manzanar Pilgrimage and Manzanar At Dusk program in a piece that has received rave reviews from readers, 41st Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage: A Letter To Obaa-chan. Takeshita’s involvement last year inspired her to become more deeply involved in this year’s events, and, once again, she shared her thoughts about her experiences with us.


by Jaymie Takeshita

Jaymie Takeshita
Photo: Gann Matsuda

I still cannot explain why I was so nervous as I waited for my great-aunt to pick up the phone about five days before the 42nd Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage on April 30, 2011. Maybe it was because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to ask. Maybe it was because I wasn’t sure if she’d be willing to talk. Or maybe it was because I wasn’t sure if she would like my surprise. Her cheerful voice answered the phone with a friendly, “hello?”

“Auntie Pat, this is Jaymie,” I said, trying to cover my nerves with an equally friendly voice.

“Jaymie!” she said, excitedly, “It’s so wonderful to hear your voice.” Read more of this post

42nd Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage/Manzanar At Dusk 2011 – A Personal Reflection

Photo: Gann Matsuda

LONE PINE, CA — After a long, exhausting day at the 42nd Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage on April 30, and the Manzanar At Dusk (MAD) program that evening, the Manzanar Committee is back at our headquarters hotel, the Dow Villa in Lone Pine, California, about eight miles south of the Manzanar National Historic Site, finally getting some rest after a whole lot of hard work on Saturday. Read more of this post

UCLA Kyodo Taiko To Perform At 42nd Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage

CULTURAL: UCLA Nikkei Student Union Odori group to lead traditional Ondo dancing

UCLA Kyodo Taiko at the 41st Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage
on April 24, 2010.
Photo: Gann Matsuda

LOS ANGELES — UCLA Kyodo Taiko will perform at the 42nd Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, sponsored by the Los Angeles-based Manzanar Committee, scheduled for 12:00 PM PDT on Saturday, April 30, 2011, at the Manzanar National Historic Site, located on US Highway 395 in California’s Owens Valley, between the towns of Lone Pine and Independence, approximately 230 miles north of Los Angeles (see map below).

Each year, hundreds of students, teachers, community members, clergy and former internees attend the Pilgrimage and the Manzanar At Dusk program, which follows the afternoon program, starting at 5:00 PM at Lone Pine High School.

UCLA Kyodo Taiko, the first collegiate taiko group in North America, was founded in 1990 and made its debut at the Opening Ceremony of the University of California, Los Angeles’ commemoration of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Japanese American Internment, which was held in 1992. Read more of this post

41st Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage: A Letter To Obaa-chan

by Jaymie Takeshita

Jaymie Takeshita
Photo: Gann Matsuda

Dear Grandma,

Every time I talk to you on the phone, I tell you about all the things I do with the UCLA Nikkei Student Union (NSU), right? I have yet another NSU story for you. Yesterday, a bunch of us from UCLA went on the 41st Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage. My friends who have been on the Pilgrimage before told me that it would be a great experience; I didn’t expect it to be as amazing as it actually was.

I don’t think I ever told you this before, but when I was in elementary school, every time you talked about “camp” with your friends, or the other grandmothers, or the strangers at Marukai, I always thought that you were talking about summer camp. You would always tell stories about classes and playing with friends. Read more of this post

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