In July, JANM hosted a national conference themed, Speaking Up! Democracy, Justice, Dignity in Seattle. And now, we are pleased to announce that conference audio and video files are now available online!
You can see the breadth of audio and video offerings here, as well as here.
We hope that these offerings will help those who were at the conference—as well as those who weren’t able to make it—continue to learn, grow, and be inspired to speak up for democracy, justice, and dignity!
Thank you to everybody who attended, supported, and remotely cheered us on at the 2013 National Conference that JANM hosted in Seattle this past July!
Since the conclusion of the conference, we have been receiving a steady stream of really nice comments from people who attended, letting us know more about the experiences they had. We have also been posting conference articles, conference photos and videos, and conference reflections. You can access it all via our brand new Conference Highlights page!
And thank you to all who have supported us at the past conferences, including museum friends in Los Angeles, Little Rock, and Denver. It’s through projects like this that we have a real chance to work closely with JANM members and supporters from around the nation.
A big thank you to everyone who came to Seattle for the 2013 National Conference over the 4th of July weekend! We had a great time and learned a ton, and we hoped you did too.
One big hit from the Conference was the tour of Bainbridge Island. The first generation of Japanese Americans came to the island in 1883 and settled down, opening businesses (including the Suyematsu farm, the oldest continually working farm on the island) and starting families. They remained on Bainbridge until the Japanese American forced removal and incarceration during World War II. In 1942, Bainbridge residents were among the first to be taken to the concentration camps. Today, the island is the home of the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial, which opened in 2011.
Read more about one Japanese American family’s history on Bainbridge Island in Wayne Nakata’s Discover Nikkei article, Honoring my Issei and Nisei Ancestors. Nakata shared his story at the tour’s Sonoji Sakai Intermediate School luncheon.
Here are some photos from the bus tour of five key Island landmarks—the Exclusion Memorial, Bainbridge Gardens, Suyematsu Farm, Woodward Middle School, and Sonoji Sakai Intermediate School. Find more photos on our Facebook page.
See if you can spot yourself or a friend!
Photos by: Tracy Kumono, Bob Moriguchi, June Aoki, Midori Uyeda & Richard Murakami
It’s not everyday that you meet an icon but, recently at the Museum we did. The photograph of Fumiko Hayashida and her daughter Natalie is one that has become an iconic image so often associated with the telling of the history of the Japanese American incarceration. At 100 years old, Mrs. Hayashida is the oldest surviving person from Bainbridge Island, Washington who was incarcerated at Manzanar Concentration Camp.
Last Wednesday, Mrs. Hayashida and Natalie were part of a group that visited the Museum through the Only What We Can Carry Project, which I was very excited to learn more about. Through this project, Bainbridge Island educators are partnered with current and former residents of Bainbridge Island who experienced the World War II removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans. Together, they retrace the 1942 journey of Japanese Americans from Bainbridge Island to Manzanar. JANM was lucky enough to host this wonderful group for a couple of hours when they stopped by on their way to Manzanar.
As the group was lead through our Common Ground exhibition by the dynamic docent duo of Babe and Mary Karasawa, one of my most memorable moments was when they approached the large photograph of the Bainbridge Island community on the ferry dock as they were leaving the island in 1942. The Hayashidas, Frank Kitamoto, and Lily Kodama who were all in the group started to point themselves out in the photograph. “That’s me, right there.” This is a photograph I’ve seen hundereds of times since it is so prominently displayed in our gallery, but to see it with this group took it beyond being a historical image among many on our wall. It became a very personal photograph of an exact memory of very real people.
As someone who has the great privilege of working with educators and has witnessed what an essential part they can play in the teaching of the Japanese American experience, I was especially interested in meeting this group. We often think about how we won’t always have the first-person experience of camp but, watching our new friends leave the Museum to began their long car ride to Manzanar, I was reminded that in a way, first-person experiences of camp continue to be created today. The school teachers in this group will take what they’ve experienced on this journey back to their school and back to their students and they will share their own personal experiences of camp. What a wonderful way to keep the legacy alive through new personal histories.
In 1942, the first Civilian Exclusion Order issued was for Bainbridge Island and as a result, it was the first community of Japanese Americans to be forcibly removed from homes with just a few days to prepare. For more on Bainbridge Island, be sure to come by the Museum on Saturday, April 30 at 2:00 pm to learn more about this unique community. There’ll be a Bainbridge Film Festival featuring films by Lucy Ostrander, including Fumiko Hayashida: The Woman Behind the Symbol, a film about one of JANM’s most memorable visitors.