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75 Years after Executive Order 9066: Experiences of Local Japanese Americans

by Nancy Shimamato and Linda Canada
Presented by Partnership for Racial Justice

Poston Barracks and water towerThe attack on Pearl Harbor by Japan was certainly a day that will live in infamy. Over 2000 US soldiers were killed, and 1000 injured. The US fleet was critically damaged, losing 20 navy ships and some 300 airplanes.

Even before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the US government viewed its immigrants from Japan as being potential Japanese spies. Immediately after Pearl Harbor, the US government declared Japanese nationals “enemy aliens” and hundreds were arrested beginning the night of December 7, 1941.

Then, a mere 10 weeks after Pearl Harbor, FDR issued Executive Order 9066. Many of you don’t know what EO 9066 is, much less how it affected 120,000 Japanese Americans and their families during WWII. EO9066, issued on February 19, 1942 by FDR, announced the immediate round up and imprisonment of all people of Japanese descent living on the West Coast of the US. Two-thirds of this group were American citizens, the sons and daughters
of the immigrants from Japan.

Most people of Japanese descent living in San Diego at that time were sent first to Santa Anita Racetrack, then on to Poston, Arizona for internment/incarceration. Some of these individuals, who were children or teenagers at the time, still live in San Diego today, and their stories are rich with remembrances, sacrifices, even fun times the kids had while in “camp.”

It is an honor to present a discussion with former Poston internees Yuki Kawamoto and his  wife Mits Kawamoto. It will be moderated by Linda Canada, Archivist at the Japanese American Historical Society of San Diego. Yuki and Mits will talk about how life changed when their families were taken first to the Santa Anita Assembly Center, and later to the internment camp at Poston, Arizona. Stories about day to day life in the camps, as well as the attitudes of their families and friends, will help you understand what it was like to be taken away from the life they had known, and to live among more Japanese people than they’d ever seen before! Finally, they will talk about “moving on” after this disruption, and offer their thoughts about whether the US government might ever do this type of mass incarceration again.

Please join us on Sunday, July 23, at 12:30, for this eye-opening and important discussion.  Learn how understanding what happened 75 years ago can help prevent it from occurring again. As the brave internees have said over and over, “never again…”

-Nancy Shimamoto and Linda Canada

Pioneer Ocean View UCC
2550 Fairfield Street, San Diego CA 92110

July 23, 2017, 12:30-2:00

Sponsored by:
San Diego UCC Partnership Churches –
Partnership for Racial Justice

Organized by:
Japanese American Historical Society of
San Diego

For more information, contact:
Nancy Shimamoto
or (619) 431-5031
Japanese Amereican Flyer - revised


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