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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Manzanar: One Weekend, One Incredible Experience

UCSD Nikkei Student Union member Erica Wei (center) is shown here at the location of residential Block 9.
Photo: Gann Matsuda/Manzanar Committee
(click above to view larger image)

by Erica Wei

Leading up to the weekend of the Keeping Japanese American Incarceration Stories Alive trip to the Manzanar National Historic Site, I was actually very reluctant about going. I thought about dropping from participating several times. This was two weeks before final exams and it was one of the last weekends I could use to study for my exams. I was faced with two decisions: Prioritize academics or follow through with my commitment to the Manzanar Committee. Luckily, I chose the latter.

Coming into this project with no expectations, no prior experience of what was going to happen, I was very curious as to what exactly was planned for myself and four other students. We didn’t even know the name of the project. All we were told was that we would be gone mid-Friday to late Sunday. I thought that we were just touring the Manzanar site and doing logistical planning for the upcoming Pilgrimage—while I was partially right, I missed a huge part of the reason we were there.

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Two Reflections on Visiting The Manzanar National Historic Site

During a session in which students read excerpts from oral histories of those who were unjustly
incarcerated at Manzanar during World War II, they began to connect Japanese American Incarceration
to their own experiences with racism, inequality and injustice. The result was a very powerful and emotional discussion. That’s Moet Kurakata and Lauren Matsumoto in front (left and right, respectively)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/Manzanar Committee
(click above to view larger image)

Editor’s Note: Moet Kurakata and Lauren Matsumoto were participants in the Manzanar Committee’s pilot project, Keeping Japanese American Incarceration Stories Alive, which took a group of college students to the Manzanar National Historic Site for a two-day, intensive, placed-based learning experience about the unjust incarceration of Japanese and Japanese Americans in concentration camps during World War II. For more on this project, we urge you to read about it here.

Kurakata, 23 is a senior at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she is the Community Activities and Cultural Awareness Committee Chair of the Nikkei Student Union at UCLA. Matsumoto, 21, is in her third year at the University of California, San Diego, where she is the past Cultural Awareness Chair of the UCSD Nikkei Student Union.

Both shared the following reflections on what they experienced at Manzanar during those two days.

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