Connections And Common Bonds Are Key At Manzanar At Dusk Program

Matt Ichinose (left) and Eryn Tokuhara (center) listen intently to a former
Japanese American concentration camp prisoner tell his story during a
small group discussion at the 2010 Manzanar At Dusk program, held at
Lone Pine High School on April 24, 2010.
Photo: Gann Matsuda

LONE PINE, CA AND LOS ANGELES — Thirteen years ago, a group of about forty people, primarily college students, gathered for an evening program at a campground just west of Independence, California, about six miles north of the Manzanar National Historic Site.

That evening, they talked about Manzanar and the Japanese American Internment experience, along with its surrounding issues, during an intergenerational group discussion, connecting the past with present-day concerns. They also shared their own experiences through creative means such as poetry and other cultural performances.

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41st Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage: Reflecting and Revisiting Living History

LiAnn Ishizuka (left) with Jaymie Takeshita (right) at the Manzanar cemetery during the 41st Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage on April 24, 2010.
Photo: LiAnn Ishizuka

by LiAnn Ishizuka

When I looked out the car window as we approached the barren landscape of dust and tumbleweeds, I couldn’t help but notice the majesty of the Sierra Nevada backdrop. Snow was sprinkled atop the rocky foundation as if perfectly layering the mountains in a picturesque way—something that could have been taken straight from a promotional Mammoth tourism leaflet.

Mother Nature’s beauty was overwhelming.

We continued to drive until I saw it. In the distance, a hanging placard was at the entrance of the Manzanar site. At a closer glance, the words, “Manzanar War Relocation Center” were carved into the wood. It was the entrance to a place that was once Native American land but became an internment camp, and now a place of living history. Read more of this post

UCLA: Bruins Return 70 Years Later To Receive Honorary Degrees

The following is a story from UCLA Today, UCLA’s faculty and staff newsletter. It is reprinted here with permission. Original story: Bruins Return 70 Years Later To Receive Honorary Degrees.

48 of the 200 former Japanese American students (or their representatives) who were
forced to leave UCLA due to their forced relocation and imprisonment in
American concentration camps during World War II received honorary
degrees in a May 15, 2010 ceremony at UCLA’s Schoenberg Hall.
Photo: Todd Cheney/UCLA Photo

by Wendy Soderburg

The auditorium in Schoenberg Hall was dark, save for a spotlight that shone on a single musician on stage. He raised a shakuhachi—a Japanese flute—to his lips and began to play a beautiful, mournful melody.

The curtain rose, revealing a group of degree candidates seated on the stage, clad in cap and gown. Joyful cheers burst forth from the packed house, followed by a long and enthusiastic standing ovation. The degree candidates smiled, and a few wiped away tears, as the familiar strains of “Pomp and Circumstance” filled the hall. Read more of this post

Honorary Degrees Awarded At UCLA To Former Japanese American Students

Photo: Darrell Kunitomi

LOS ANGELES — On May 15, 2010, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) awarded honorary degrees to former Japanese American students who were forced to leave the University due to their forced relocation and unjust imprisonment in American concentration camps during World War II.

Approximately 200 students were forced to leave the campus not long after the signing of Executive Order 9066 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 19, 1942. Read more of this post