Four-day Japanese-American Pilgrimage – The Internment Camps of World War II

Under a cloud-filled sky, the Japanese-American pilgrims sat on folding chairs facing a vast, flat and dusty landscape whose monotony was broken only by two oddly shaped mountains that rose to the east and west. For the souls of the hundreds buried in a long-vanished cemetery here, a Buddhist minister offered prayers and rang a bell, though its invocation was almost lost as a propeller plane took off from a nearby airfield.

Nearly 400 Japanese-Americans journeyed from June 30 to July 3 to this remote corner of California, where 18,789 people of Japanese ancestry were incarcerated during World War II. The turnout was one of the highest ever for the four-day pilgrimage, which occurs every other year around the Fourth of July, organizers said. They surmise that as the number of the camp’s survivors dwindles, there is a growing urgency to understand — and reinterpret — what has been a hidden subchapter in America’s history.

Read the rest of the story: Japanese-American Pilgrimage to Internment Camp — Tulelake Journal.

Japanese American heroes honored

Hearing about a shortage of farm laborers in California, the couple who would become Susumu Ito’s parents moved from Hiroshima to become sharecroppers near Stockton. Thus began a saga that recently brought Ito, 91, to the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, where he and 119 former comrades in arms were honored, during the annual Days of Remembrance, as liberators of Nazi concentration camps.

Read the rest of the story: Japanese American heroes, bereft of bitterness

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