Japanese-Americans Journey to Internment Camp, Seek Answers

The pilgrimage, done every other year, has even deeper meaning this year because its the 70th anniversary of the World War II camps.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of a World War II mandate that has impacted generations of Japanese-American families.

Approximately 120,000 Japanese Americans were forced to leave their homes and stay in one of 10 internment camps for the duration of the war.

Last week, about 400 Japanese Americans made a pilgrimage to the Tule Lake camp in northeastern California, according to this New York Times story. It's a journey completed every other year to remember what has been a hidden piece of American history. People also make the trip to seek answers about what their families endured and why.

“I came here because I want to know why my parents told me never to talk about Tule Lake,” said James Katsumi Nehira, 68, told the New York Times reporter.

Read the full story about the Tule Lake pilgrimage here.

In Watsonville, where there is a strong Japanese-American community, the 70th anniversary of the camps has been marked with education. The Watsonville Public Library organized discussions around the book Farewell to Manzanar written by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James Houston. The book explores her experiences and challenges as an internee.

Also, state Rep. who drew cartoons about the internment camp he lived in as a teenager and later published the art as books to educate other about the camps.


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