A NATIONAL PARKS HISTORIC SITE

Welcome to the Bainbridge Island
Japanese American Exclusion Memorial

Latest News

March 15, 2017

Bainbridge Island commemorates the 75th Anniversary of the first forced removal of Japanese Americans in World War II, March 30, 2017

“Nidoto Nai Yoni - Let It Not Happen Again” is the timeless and timely message of the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial and the theme for the 75th Anniversary Commemoration on March 30, 2017.

The Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community (BIJAC) – in partnership with the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial Association, the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (BIMA) and the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum – invites all to experience a day-long series of free events to honor the first – and all – of 120,000 Japanese Americans to be forcibly exiled from the West Coast during World War II, and to reflect upon the unique legacy of a community that stood by their Japanese American friends and neighbors and welcomed them home.

“Nidoto Nai Yoni – Let It Not Happen Again” schedule of events and details:

9 a.m. – 4 p.m.: FREE ADMISSION TO THE AWARD-WINNING BAINBRIDGE ISLAND HISTORICAL MUSEUM, including the permanent exhibit “Kodomo No Tame Ni – For the sake of the children” covering the first 100 years of history and legacy of the Bainbridge Island Japanese American community. 215 Ericksen Ave. N.E.

11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.: 75TH ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATION CEREMONY at the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial, 4192 Eagle Harbor Drive. Ceremony will start promptly at 11 a.m.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee and the Japanese Ambassador to the United States Kenichiro Sasae are among the confirmed speakers at the ceremony.

Parking is extremely limited and carpooling is strongly encouraged. Reserved media parking is available on a space available first-come, first-served basis.

4 – 6 p.m.: BAINBRIDGE ISLAND JAPANESE AMERICAN COMMUNITY FILMS at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, 550 Winslow Way East, corner of Winslow Way and Highway 305.

Four award-winning documentary films produced by Bainbridge Island filmmakers will be screened as a series, and each film will be followed by a panel discussion with the filmmakers and participants of the films. See below for full film summaries.

Due to limited seating, reservations are strongly recommended. Free tickets for these films are available at Brown Paper Tickets.

4:00 p.m. THE RED PINES

4:30 p.m. WOMAN BEHIND THE SYMBOL

5:00 p.m. AFTER SILENCE

6:00 p.m. VISIBLE TARGET

7:00 p.m. Join us for a TALK BY BIJAC PRESIDENT CLARENCE MORIWAKI ENTITLED “HISTORY, HONOR, HEALING AND HOPE” on the impact of fear, war hysteria, prejudice and failure of political leadership during the Japanese American exclusion. A brief Q&A with Clarence will follow the talk.

Due to limited seating, reservations are strongly recommended. Free tickets for this talk are available at Brown Paper Tickets.

Questions may be directed to Kristin Tollefson, BIMA Education Director, at 206.451.4004.

Into early April, BIMA will feature art related to the Japanese American experience of WWII and the work of noted Japanese American artists.

Film Summaries:

BAINBRIDGE ISLAND JAPANESE AMERICAN COMMUNITY FILMS AT BIMA, 4:00-7:00pm

Join us for a screening of a curated series of short, Bainbridge Islander produced documentary films centered on the subject of the Japanese American exclusion and incarceration. These timeless and timely films promise to resonate with a wide range of audiences. A brief Q&A with filmmakers and participants will follow each film.

4:00pm THE RED PINES
The first-person story of the struggle of Japanese-American immigrants on Bainbridge Island and the legacy of their culture in the present-day community. From the story of Zenhichi Harui, a Japanese immigrant who came to Bainbridge Island in 1908, to the restoration of the family nursery business by his son, Junkoh, the film traces the obstacles overcome by the Japanese pioneers and their families. Bainbridge Island represented a unique opportunity for the Japanese immigrants, with a multicultural community that tolerated diversity. Even so, from the laws preventing Asians from purchasing land to the exclusion during World War II, the Japanese-Americans had to exert an extraordinary amount of spirit and hard work to prosper. Produced and directed by Lucy Ostrander and Don Sellers of Stourwater Pictures for IslandWood.

4:30pm WOMAN BEHIND THE SYMBOL
Exclusion Order No. 1, authorizing the first forced removal and exclusion during WWII, targeted the 276 Japanese Americans living on Bainbridge Island. One of them was 31-year-old Fumiko Hayashida, a pregnant mother of two. As they waited to be taken off the Island by armed military escorts, Fumiko, holding her 13 month-old daughter Natalie Kayo, was photographed by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper. This iconic image has become a world-wide symbol of the WWII exclusion and incarceration experience, and the film reveals how that chance photograph became the impetus for Fumiko to publicly lobby against the injustices of the past. Produced and directed by Lucy Ostrander and Don Sellers of Stourwater Pictures for IslandWood.

5:00pm AFTER SILENCE
This film focuses on the forced removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans from Bainbridge Island as recounted through the perspective of Dr. Frank Kitamoto, who was a child during World War II. The story is told through interaction between Kitamoto and a small group of high school students from Bainbridge High School as they develop archival photographs from the incarceration and discuss its relevance to post 9/11 America. The film ends with the 2002 dedication of a memorial and plaque marking the site of the Bainbridge Islanders' departure. AFTER SILENCE was produced by the Bainbridge Island Historical Society as part of an exhibition on the community's World War II experience. Created by filmmaker Lois Shelton.

6:00pm VISIBLE TARGET
The story of the forced removal of Japanese Americans from Bainbridge Island, and the Bainbridge Review publisher/editors Walt and Willy Woodwards' lonely fight against it. Cris Anderson and Bainbridge Islander John de Graaf produced VISIBLE TARGET in 1985 for Seattle public television station KCTS, later broadcast around the nation, making it one of the earliest documentaries to tackle the exclusion and incarceration of Japanese Americans. The film also profiles Walt and Milly Woodward of the Bainbridge Review, among the only West Coast journalists who opposed the treatment of Japanese Americans and features rare interviews with them.

February 21, 2017

Trump travel ban echoes World War II Japanese-Americans’ internment order

On March 30, 1942, about four months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, then-22-year-old Kay Sakai was removed from her home on Bainbridge Island and taken by ferry to Seattle under armed guard.

“Will I ever see my home again? How long are we going to be gone? Where are we going?” Sakai asked herself as she saw the island get smaller and smaller behind her, she said. “It goes through your mind. No answers.”

It was the first leg of a three-day journey to the Manzanar War Relocation Center in Owens Valley, California, one of the camps built to incarcerate Japanese Americans during World War II after President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 on Feb. 19, 1942 — Sunday was its 75th anniversary...

Bainbridge Island Review

February 19, 2017

Volunteers spruce up exclusion memorial for 75th anniversary event

Lilly Kodama trimmed old fern fronds from a site where 75 years earlier she had boarded a ferry for a trip to a Japanese internment camp. It was an exciting time for a 7-year-old girl.

Kitsap Sun

February 1, 2017

“Service and Community” – Bainbridge Island commemorates the 75th Anniversary of the signing of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066

Inspired by the unique legacy of a community that welcomed their Japanese American friends and neighbors home after World War II, on February 19 from 11 AM – 3 PM, volunteers will gather for “Service and Community” at the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial, offering landscaping maintenance and improvements to the National Historic Site, located at Pritchard Park, 4192 Eagle Harbor Drive, Bainbridge Island.

Work on the memorial site will be done in preparation for the upcoming March 30th commemoration of the first Japanese Americans to be forcibly removed and excluded from the west coast during World War II.

Everyone is welcome to pitch in and help, please wear appropriate work clothing, gloves and bring your own gardening tools.

Contact: Clarence Moriwaki (206) 491-2336 clarencemoriwaki@gmail.com

January 25, 2017

Reflections on Japanese internment, 75 years later

Bill Radke talks with writer and Humanities Washington speaker Mayumi Tsutakawa about the 75th anniversary of the World War II order that led to Japanese internment in America. Tsutukawa explains her own personal connection to internment, and how it can help educate about modern prejudices.

KUOW

December 19, 2016

Internment camps of WW II should remain a sad memory

Japanese-American residents of Bainbridge Island were among the first to be deported to internment camps under President Franklin Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066. How many internment camps would be needed today?

The Seattle Times

November 19, 2016

His Japanese-American parents were held in camps; now historian sees ‘same patterns’ emerging

A Seattle man who has spent 15 years studying and preserving the history of Japanese-American internment in World War II said he sees the same climate of fear and hate now following Donald Trump’s campaign...

The Seattle Times

August 21, 2016

As National Park Service turns 100, Seattle ranger personifies change

A change agent, Beall is superintendent of Seattle’s National Park units, which include Klondike Gold Rush in Pioneer Square, the national-park-affiliated Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience up the street in the Chinatown-International District, and the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial, which reflects as a cautionary tale the imprisonment of people of Japanese descent during World War II...

The Seattle Times

March 7, 2016

How not to forget the West’s past atrocities

When the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial was little more than a clearing in a forest on Puget Sound, among its first visitors was a cacophonous murder of crows...

High Country News

December 19, 2015

'Let it not happen again': Political talk of discrimination ignites islanders

Mary Woodward looked out across the crowd that packed the Japanese American Exclusion Memorial, their many faces illuminated in the flickering candles of the frigid night air, and was impressed...

Bainbridge Review

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Bainbridge Island
Japanese American
Exclusion Memorial
Association

A NATIONAL PARKS HISTORIC SITE

A unit of Minidoka National Historic Site (U.S. National Park Service)