The First Organized Manzanar Pilgrimage In 1969 – Photographs

Pioneering attendees at the first organized Manzanar Pilgrimage, held on December 27, 1969, gathered around the Manzanar cemetery monument.
Photo: National Park Service/Evan Johnson Collection

The following photographs are from the very first organized Manzanar Pilgrimage on December 27, 1969, by photographer Evan Johnson, who attended the Pilgrimage, along with others from the Asian American Studies Department at the University of California, Davis.

Johnson donated his collection taken that day to the Manzanar National Historic Site.

“Regretfully, I have no other details of the participants or how this came about, but [that] our contingent was from U.C. Davis Asian American Studies Department, under the leadership of brilliant, inspiring and knowledgeable professor, Isao Fujimoto, still there after all these years,” Johnson wrote, in a letter that accompanied the film negatives.

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Manzanar Committee Statement On The Passing Of Victor H. Shibata, One Of The Founders of the Manzanar Pilgrimage

Victor H. Shibata (foreground left), one of the founders of the Manzanar Pilgrimage,
shown here ondo dancing during a 1970’s Pilgrimage, died on April 17, 2012
(click to view a larger image).
Photo: Karen Ishizuka

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles-based Manzanar Committee extends its deepest sympathies to the family of Victor H. Shibata of Los Angeles, who died on April 17 from an apparent heart attack.

Shibata, 67, was one of the founders of the Manzanar Pilgrimage, and of Yellow Brotherhood in the late Sixties, a self-help group based in Los Angeles’ Crenshaw District that helped Asian American youth get off of drugs, and stay out of gangs. Read more of this post

Panel Looks At Past, Present And Future Of Manzanar And Tule Lake Pilgrimages During JANM Event – VIDEO

PILGRIMAGES: The origins, the history, and the future of the Manzanar and Tule Lake Pilgrimages was the focus of an October 8, 2011 event at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo. The following is the first of two stories covering the event.


California Assemblymember Warren Furutani broke down
the origins and history of the Manzanar Pilgrimage during
an event at the Japanese American National Museum
on October 8, 2011.
Photo: Gann Matsuda

LOS ANGELES — The history and future of the Manzanar and Tule Lake Pilgrimages, along with the different generations who participate in them, both young and not-so-young, were in the spotlight at the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) on October 8.

During Community Builders: Japanese American Activism, 1960-1980 (Part 1), JANM brought together a diverse group of voices representing the past, the present and the future of both pilgrimages to discuss the origins, the history and what is on the horizon for both of the annual events.

Starting off the event was California Assemblymember Warren Furutani, who represents the 55th Assembly District, which includes the cities of Carson, Harbor City and Harbor Gateway, Lakewood, parts of Long Beach and Wilmington.

Furutani was one of the founders of the Manzanar Pilgrimage back in 1969.

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