Sunday, April 5, 2009

Japanese American Internment Remembered

The School of Architecture and Allied Arts at the University of Oregon is hosting the Joel Yamauchi Lecture Series on the subject of remembering the Japanese-American internment experience during World War Two. In particular, the series will examine the social and cultural implications of the Japanese American internment as it affected the Pacific Northwest.(1) The lectures are free and members of the general public are welcome.

The late Joel Yamauchi graduated from the UO Department of Architecture in 1973. Along with thousands of other Japanese Americans from Oregon, in 1942 Yamauchi’s parents, older brother and grandfather were sent to Minidoka internment camp in Idaho as 'enemy aliens.' His father, George Yamauchi, was one of the many young Japanese Americans who actually enlisted in the U.S. military while being held in internment, and fought in Europe in the all-Japanese 442nd Regimental Combat Team, still the most highly decorated unit in U.S. military history.

The schedule of events and speakers is as follows:


Wednesday, April 8, at 6 p.m., Room 177 Lawrence Hall
Tetsuden Kashima, Professor of American Ethnic Studies, University of Washington

Wednesday, April 15, at 6 p.m., Room 177 Lawrence Hall
Peggy Nagae, lead attorney on the Minoru Yasui vs. United States court case, former Assistant Dean, University of Oregon Law School, Principal, Peggy Nagae Consulting


Wednesday, May 6, at 6 p.m., Room 177 Lawrence Hall
Panel Discussion involving Henry Sakamoto, Alice Sumida, George Azumano and Kennie Namba, three former University of Oregon students and a veteran of the all-Japanese 442nd Infantry Regiment, all interned at Minidoka, Idaho.


Wednesday, June 3, at 7 p.m., Room 177 Lawrence Hall
Wendy Janssen, Superintendent, National Park Service, Minidoka National Historic Site

(1) Like the United States, Canada also evacuated persons of Japanese descent away from the Pacific coast. My father and his family spent the war years in an internment camp in the interior of British Columbia, far from their home in Vancouver. They were not allowed to return to Vancouver until 1949, four years after the end of the war.

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