Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020 at 1:30 p.m.

Over 250 attendees gathered to attend the ‘Japanese American Incarceration Remembrance Ceremony’ to show of support for Bellevue College Asian Pacific Islander (API) students, faculty and staff; the API community; and Erin Shigaki, the Japanese American artist whose incarceration art exhibit was defaced and vandalized.

During the ceremony, the names of the World War II incarceration sites of shame and survival were called out one by one:

  • Topaz Internment Camp, Central Utah
  • Colorado River (Poston) Internment Camp, Arizona
  • Gila River Internment Camp, Phoenix, Arizona
  • Granada (Amache) Internment Camp, Colorado
  • Heart Mountain Internment Camp, Wyoming
  • Jerome Internment Camp, Arkansas
  • Manzanar Internment Camp, California
  • Minidoka Internment Camp, Idaho
  • Rohwer Internment Camp, Arkansas
  • Tule Lake Internment Camp, California

A moment of silence was held, and after it, each person that was present was invited to call out the name of someone (of any origin) that they wanted remembered, who were unjustly imprisoned, experienced police brutality, crossed the border, experienced the Holocaust, or got deported.

In addition to the ceremony, Erin Shigaki restored the exhibit statement on the wall.

Community attendees included Bellevue College staff, faculty and students; Japanese American survivors and their families; leaders from the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), the largest Asian civil rights organization in the USA; Tsuru for Solidarity, a project of Japanese American social justice advocates working to end detention sites and support immigrant and refugee communities that are being targeted by racist immigration policies; and Densho, a Seattle-based organization whose mission is to preserve and share the history of the WWII Japanese American incarceration.

Adapted from a text written by Leslie Lum, Nan Ma and Belle Nishioka.