2010 / Wartime Japanese internment to be remembered at 41st Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, Apr 24

Manzanar Pilgrimage

To learn wartime Japanese internment experiences, the 41st Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage will take place on Saturday, April 24 at the Manzanar National Historic Site, located on US Highway 395 in California’s Owens Valley, between the towns of Lone Pine and Independence, approximately 230 miles north of Los Angeles.

Each year, hundreds of students, teachers, community members, clergy and former internees attend the Pilgrimage and the Manzanar At Dusk program, which follows the afternoon program, starting at 5:00 pm at Lone Pine High School.

UCLA Kyodo Taiko will perform at the opening of the 41st The Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage at 12:00 pm.

UCLA Kyodo Taiko, the first collegiate taiko group in North America, was founded in 1990 and made its debut at the Opening Ceremony of the University of California, Los Angeles’ commemoration of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Japanese American Internment, which was held in 1992.

Led by 2009-10 directors Eryn Tokuhara and Justin Kim, UCLA Kyodo Taiko is comprised entirely of UCLA students. They have performed annually at local K-12 schools, Nisei Week, Tofu Festival and the Lotus Festival in Los Angeles, the Intercollegiate Taiko Invitational, during halftime at UCLA basketball games, as well as the First Annual USA Sumo Open, in addition to many other campus, community and private events.

Manzanar UCLA Kyodo Taiko
UCLA Kyodo Taiko will open the Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage. Photo by Gann Matsuda. (Source: Manzanar Committee)

The featured speaker at this year’s Pilgrimage will be former Heart Mountain internee and draft resister Takashi “Tak” Hoshizaki, who is active with the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation, the non-profit organization that is working to establish an Interpretive Learning Center at the site of the Heart Mountain concentration camp near Powell, Wyoming.

The afternoon program will conclude with the traditional interfaith service featuring ministers from Buddhist, Christian, Konko and Muslim faiths, as well as Ondo dancing.

The popular Manzanar At Dusk (MAD) program, co-sponsored by the Lone Pine Unified School District and Lone Pine High School, begins at 5:00 pm at Lone Pine High School, 538 South Main Street (US Highway 395), in Lone Pine, nine miles south of the Manzanar National Historic Site, across the street from McDonald’s.

A panel discussion, small group discussions and an open mic session will provide MAD participants the opportunity to interact with former internees in attendance to hear their personal stories and share their own experiences.

The Manzanar Committee has also announced that bus transportation to the Pilgrimage is still available from Los Angeles.

For further information or to make a reservation, call (323) 662-5102 or send e-mail to 41stpilgrimage@manzanarcommittee.org    The non-refundable fare is $40.00 per seat.

Pilgrimage participants are advised to bring their own lunch, drinks and snacks as there are no facilities to purchase food at the Manzanar National Historic Site (restaurants and fast food outlets are located in Lone Pine and Independence). Water will be provided at the Pilgrimage.

Both the daytime program and the Manzanar At Dusk event are free and open to the public.

The Manzanar Committee is dedicated to educating and raising public awareness about the incarceration and violation of civil rights of persons of Japanese ancestry during World War II and to the continuing struggle of all peoples when Constitutional rights are in danger.

A non-profit organization that has sponsored the annual Manzanar Pilgrimage since 1969, along with other educational programs, the Manzanar Committee has also played a key role in the establishment and continued development of the Manzanar National Historic Site.

For more information, call (323) 662-5102 or check their blog at http://blog.manzanarcommittee.org

Manzanar Committee website