2013 / 44th annual Manzanar pilgrimage to commemorate Japanese Americans’ war time internment, April 27


20130424 Manzanar Pilgrimage

The traditional Roll Call of the Camps during the 43rd Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, April 28, 2012, at the Manzanar National Historic Site, in California’s Owens Valley.(Photo by Mark Kirchner/Manzanar Committee)

Manzanar National Historic Site invites the public to participate in the April 26-28 weekend of special activities surrounding the 44th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage on April 27.

The Manzanar Pilgrimage, a public program sponsored by the Manzanar Committee, commemorates the internment of over 120,000 Japanese Americans and persons of Japanese ancestry during World War II.  

Visitors are invited to experience art, music, dance, talks, and more. All events are free.

On Friday, April 26, the Friends of Eastern California Museum will host a public reception from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Eastern California Museum.

Located at 155 Grant Street in Independence, the museum’s exhibits include Shiro and Mary Nomura’s Manzanar collection, a centennial retrospective on the Los Angeles Aqueduct, the Norman Clyde exhibit, and the Anna and O.K. Kelly Gallery of Native American Life.

Eastern California Museum is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 

Friday and Saturday, the hours of operation for the Manzanar Visitor Center will extended to 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The center offers extensive exhibits and an award-winning film, as well as special Junior Ranger activities for kids.

Manzanar History Association will host book signings by Manzanar to Mount Whitney: The Life and Times of a Lost Hiker author Hank Umemoto Saturday and Sunday, as well as the annual Selected Artists from the Henry Fukuhara Annual Alabama Hills and Manzanar Workshop art show and sale which runs through May 18.

The Manzanar Committee’s 44th Annual Pilgrimage begins at noon Saturday at the Manzanar Cemetery with the procession of camp banners and a performance by UCLA Kyodo Taiko.

This year’s Pilgrimage coincides with the 25th anniversary of the Civil Liberties Act, signed by President Ronald Reagan in 1988.

Speakers include Karen Korematsu, daughter of Fred Korematsu and co-founder of the Fred T. Korematsu Institute for Civil Rights and Education.

Manzanar Committee will honor Warren Furutani with the 2013 Sue Kunitomi Embrey Legacy Award in recognition of his decades of work spanning from the 1969 Manzanar Pilgrimage to the California State Assembly where he championed the Nisei Diploma Project as well as California’s annual Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution.  

The Pilgrimage program concludes with the traditional interfaith service and Ondo dancing, after which park rangers will offer walking tours to those wishing to explore Manzanar.

More information about the Pilgrimage program is posted on the Manzanar Committee’s website at http://blog.manzanarcommittee.org.

The Manzanar At Dusk (MAD) program begins at 5:00 p.m. Saturday at Lone Pine High School located at 538 South Main Street (Hwy. 395) in Lone Pine.

The program offers participants opportunities for intergenerational discussions and sharing. The MAD program is co-sponsored by the Nikkei Student Unions of Cal State Long Beach, Cal Poly Pomona, UCLA, and UCSD. 

Sunday’s events begin at 9:30 a.m., with the dedication of a plaque at the Manzanar Visitor Center honoring the eleven people who served on the Manzanar Advisory Commission.

From 1992 to 2002, Congress authorized the Commission, comprised of “former internees, local residents, tribal representatives, and the public,” to guide Manzanar’s development, management, and interpretation.

At 10:30 a.m., Sunday, Karen Korematsu will present a program entitled Fred Korematsu:  The Man Who said “No” to the Internment of Japanese Americans in the visitor center’s west theater.

With the exception of Friday evening’s reception and Saturday evening’s MAD program, all events will take place at Manzanar National Historic Site located at 5001 Hwy. 395, six miles south of Independence, nine miles north of Lone Pine, and approximately 230 miles northeast of Los Angeles.

The Manzanar Visitor Center is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with extended hours (to 5:30 p.m.) on Friday, April 26 and Saturday, April 27.

There is no food service at Manzanar. Bring a lunch or snacks, water, and a chair. Wear a hat and comfortable shoes and dress for the weather.

For more information, call (760) 878-2194 ext. 3310, visit www.nps.gov/manz or check out www.facebook.com/ManzanarNationalHistoricSite


The Gardena Valley Japanese Culture Institute charters a bus which will leave at 6:30 a.m. and return by 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 27.