A dozen local community organizations and businesses are helping Bainbridge Island remember one of the hardest parts of its history: the forced relocation of its Japanese and Japanese American citizens to internment camps in other states. March 30, the 70th anniversary of the Japanese American Internment, is being called “A Day of History, Honor, and Healing.”
The Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial Association, the host of the commemoration, is describing the goal of the day as not only to commemorate those who were exiled but also to celebrate “the unique legacy of a community that stood by their Japanese American friends and neighbors and welcomed them home.” Nine events around the Island and tours will highlight the history of the event and the legacy of Japanese Americans:
1. Film festival
9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
The Historic Lynwood Theatre, 4569 Lynwood Center Road
The new documentary Manzanar Fishing Club will be screened and Los Angeles director/producer Richard Imamura will host. Six locally produced documentaries—The Red Pines, Visible Target, Fumiko Hayashida: The Woman Behind the Symbol, My Friends Behind Barbed Wire, Japanese and Filipino Americans on Bainbridge Island, and Honor and Sacrifice—Nisei Patriots and the MIS—will also be shown.
2. Tours of the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial
9 a.m.-5 p.m.
4192 Eagle Harbor Drive
Read about the memorial here.
3. Self-Guided Tours of Harui Memorial Gardens
9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Bainbridge Gardens, 9415 Miller Road NE
4. Free admission to the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum
10 a.m.-4 p.m.
215 Ericksen Ave NE
The museum will be featuring the award-winning “Ansel Adams: A Portrait of Manzanar” and “Kodomo No Tame Ni—for the Sake of the Children” exhibits and the “Yama and Nayaga” Japanese mill worker communities exhibit.
5. Self-Guided Tours of the Haiku Garden
Bainbridge Public Library, 1270 Madison Avenue N
6. Tour of the Historic Suyematsu Strawberry Farm
8989 Day Road E
This event is hosted by the Only What We Can Carry Project and the Suyematsu and Bentryn Family Farms.
Donna Harui, the daughter of the founders of Bainbridge Gardens, will talk about the history of this Island landmark.
8. Open House and Tours of Sonoji Sakai Intermediate School
9343 Sportsman Club Road
Visitors will view historical displays, artifacts, and models of the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial as well as the award-winning “Kodomo No Tame Ni—for the Sake of the Children” historical exhibit.
9. Screening of the Award-Winning Documentary Conscience and the Constitution
9343 Sportsman Club Road
The film screening will be followed up by discussion with producer/writer Frank Abe, UW Japanese American historian Dr. Tetsuden Kashima, and Bainbridge Island Japanese American incarceration survivors.
Programs listing full event details and “passport tags” will be available at each of the nine event/tour sites as well as at the Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce and the Bainbridge Island Arts and Humanities Council. Visitors will have their passports stamped at each site. At the final event of the evening, passport holders with at least six stamps will be eligible for a drawing of Mary Woodward’s Defending our Neighbors: The Walt and Milly Woodward Story or a signed DVD copy of the documentary Conscience and the Constitution.
A website providing virtual accessibility to the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial and designed for use with smartphones and other mobile devices will debut on the 30th. The site will feature brief interviews with Bainbridge Island Japanese Americans sharing their personal stories.
Evacuation photo by Seattle Post-Intelligencer “Bainbridge Island, Wash. March 30, 1942: Evacuation Day” [photo from Executive Order 9066: The Internment of 110,000 Japanese Americans]. Other photos by Sarah Lane.