Commemorative Event To Be Held At Site of Tuna Canyon Detention Station on December 16

Overhead view of the Tuna Canyon Detention Station
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: M.H. Scott, Officer In Charge, Tuna Canyon Detention Station.
Courtesy David Scott and the Little Landers Historical Society

The following is a press release from the Tuna Canyon Detention Station Coalition.


LOS ANGELES — On December 16, 2013, a Shinto purification rite will be held at 9:00 AM at the site of the former Tuna Canyon Detention Station to mark the date that the United States Government began arresting and incarcerating over 2,000 people—men and several women—of Japanese Americans, Germans, Italians, and others at the Tuna Canyon Detention Station, just days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941.

Reverend Doctor Yoshi Alfred Tsuyuki of the Konko Church of Los Angeles will begin the service with the purification rite.

Despite a discouraging start in 2006, community leader, Paul Tsuneishi, and Lloyd Hitt, local historian, persevered. They inspired the newly-formed Tuna Canyon Detention Station Coalition that has since worked together to remember the fate of teachers, priests, martial arts instructors, and fisherman whose lives were suddenly interrupted.

Reverend Tsuyuki’s father was among those who arrested by the FBI in the days following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, one of many who disappeared, causing their families to suffer as bank accounts were frozen and chaos ensued. Japanese American families were especially vulnerable when Executive Order 9066 deported them to one of ten concentration Camps located away from the West Coast to remote areas inland.

Last Spring, bus loads of people went to City Hall from the San Fernando Valley and the local Japanese community to testify in favor of preserving history, flooding the City Council chamber with a sea of red shirts. Rose Ochi, Friends of Manzanar Board Member, recalled her personal experience during the war years.

H. Ernie Nishii, grandson of an arrested Buddhist priest, and David Scott, grandson of the office in charge, will participate in the service. Representatives of the German, Italian, and Japanese Peruvians community will also take part in the blessing. Invited guests are Congressman Adam Schiff, Los Angeles County Supervisor, Michael Antonovich, and Los Angeles City Councilman of the 7th District, Felipe Fuentes.

The ceremony will be held near the clubhouse at the Verdugo Hills Golf Course, located at 6433 La Tuna Canyon Road, Tujunga, California 91082 (see map below).

For more information, please send e-mail to tcds1941@gmail.com, or visit the Tuna Canyon Detention Station Coalition page on Facebook. Please RSVP by December 7, to allow us to plan for refreshments and parking, and indicate if you are a family member of a Tuna Canyon Detention Station incarceree.

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Verdugo Hills Golf Course via Google Maps


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