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 Manzanar National Historic Site in which I spent about 14 hours over about 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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49th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage/2018 Manzanar At Dusk – In Photos

The opening processional of the 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: Gann Matsuda/Manzanar Committee

By all accounts, the 49th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage and the 2018 Manzanar At Dusk program were a great success. Much of the credit for that goes to those of you who attended and participated. Thank you!

We’re expecting to have a professional photo essay coming later this month, but for now, here are photo essays from the events—168 photographs for your viewing pleasure.

We hope you enjoy the photos below and that you will comment on them!

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Manzanar To Host Pilgrimage Weekend Events, April 27-29, 2018

The following is a press release from the National Park Service.


To download a printable flyer,
click on the image above.
(Adobe Reader software required to view/print)

INDEPENDENCE, CA — Manzanar National Historic Site invites visitors to participate in a weekend of special events in conjunction with the Manzanar Committee’s 49th Annual Pilgrimage. All are welcome and the events are free. This year’s Pilgrimage coincides with the 30th anniversary of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, which provided redress to Japanese Americans though a presidential apology and individual payment to all surviving former incarcerees.

Pilgrimage Weekend 2018 events begin Friday, April 27, with a public reception hosted by the Friends of Eastern California Museum from 4:00 to 6:00 PM The Eastern California Museum is located at 155 Grant Street in Independence (see map below). It features exhibits including Shiro and Mary Nomura’s Manzanar collection, the Anna and O.K. Kelly Gallery of Native American Life and exhibits on other facets of local and regional history. Eastern California Museum is open daily from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

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