Some Thoughts About NCRR’s Impact As They Publish a New Book About Their History

Community members marched through Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo
during a Day of Protest, held in August 1989.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda

As the movement for redress and reparations for the more than 120,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans who were unjustly incarcerated or otherwise forcibly removed from the West Coast during World War II began to gain steam in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, different views on how to win redress emerged. Some might say that those divergent views became wide chasms. But in the end, those different paths to achieve victory came together, for the most part, and necessarily so.

One of those divergent views was that the people had to be part of the movement, that organizing the community on a grass-roots level would be critical if redress was to be achieved and it was NCRR that led the way in that regard.

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49th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage – Official Photo Essay

Banners representing the ten World War II American concentration camps during the 49th
Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage on Saturday, April 28, 2018
at the Manzanar National Historic Site.
Photo: Geri Ferguson/Manzanar Committee

Shortly after the 49th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage on April 28, 2018, we published photographs from that event and the 2018 Manzanar At Dusk program that same evening. But here is our official photo essay from the Pilgrimage featuring photographs by professional photographers Geri Ferguson and Mark Kirchner. They have been shooting photos at Manzanar for many years now and not just during the annual Pilgrimage.

Mark and Geri’s photos are absolutely stunning. They both have incredible eyes and an artistic flare that show in each of their photos. We hope you enjoy them.

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Exploring Manzanar: Then and Now

One of the inscriptions in the wall of the Manzanar Reservoir written by a Japanese
American incarceree who worked on the reservoir crew.
Photo: Gann Matsuda/Manzanar Committee

During a recent solo trip to the Manzanar National Historic Site in which I spent about 14 hours over roughly two days exploring the site by car and foot, it dawned on me that it was the first time that I was exploring the site in such a detailed fashion or spending as much time doing so.

That realization was spurred by a comment made by Manzanar ranger Rose Masters.

“I can’t believe you’ve never wandered around like this before,” she exclaimed (yes, “exclaimed” is the appropriate verb here).

For those of you who know me fairly well, that must sound really, really strange, if not unbelievable. After all, I’ve been involved with Manzanar for more than 31 years. I’ve been a member of the Manzanar Committee since the mid-1990’s. I served on the Manzanar Advisory Commission from 1992-2002. I’ve been one of the coordinators for the Manzanar At Dusk program since 2008, and now I’m one of the coordinators of a project, tentatively named, Keeping Japanese American Incarceration Stories Alive, which I urge you to read about here.
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49th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage/2018 Manzanar At Dusk: VIDEO

UCLA Kyodo Taiko opened the 49th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage on Saturday, April 28,
2018 at the Manzanar National Historic Site.
Photo: Gann Matsuda/Manzanar Committee
(click above to view larger image)

If you couldn’t make it to this year’s Manzanar Pilgrimage or Manzanar At Dusk events, or just want to experience them all over again, here are videos from both events!

Included below is the full video of the 49th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, along with clips of our speakers and of the performance by UCLA Kyodo Taiko.

Also included is video of the opening panel discussion and the open mic session of the 2018 Manzanar At Dusk program, held that same evening.

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