This image, from the Library of Congress shows a sign placed on an Oakland, Calif., store Dec. 8, 1941, the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The store was closed after the internment order was issued. The owner, a University of California graduate, was housed with hundreds of evacuees in War Relocation Authority centers for the duration of the war.

This image, from the Library of Congress shows a sign placed on an Oakland, Calif., store Dec. 8, 1941, the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The store was closed after the internment order was issued. The owner, a University of California graduate, was housed with hundreds of evacuees in War Relocation Authority centers for the duration of the war.

Japanese-American internment explored in images, lecture

PORT ANGELES — A traveling exhibit, “The Tragedy of War: Japanese-American Internment,” will be on display at the Port Angeles Library beginning Thursday, followed by a presentation on one family’s history through internment Saturday.

The exhibit will be on display at the library at 2210 S. Peabody St. through April 27. It marks the 75th anniversary of Japanese-American internment in concentration camps during World War II.

Humanities Washington speaker Mayumi Tsutakawa, a writer and curator, will speak at 4 p.m. Saturday at the library.

During her talk, “The Pine and the Cherry,” she will focus on her family’s 100-year history against the backdrop of this dramatic American story.

The exhibit and lecture are free.

Tsutakawa also will speak at the Jefferson County Library, 620 Cedar Ave. in Port Hadlock, at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 19. Her presentation will be the library’s final 2017 Inquiring Mind Lecture. Admission is free. Seating is limited.

U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 on Feb. 19, 1942, following the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, that propelled the U.S. into the war.

The order, supported by Congress and the Supreme Court, forced those born in Japan, as well as their American-citizen offspring, to be sent, without due process, to concentration camps. On the West Coast, 120,000 Japanese, two-thirds of them American citizens, were forced into camps to live under armed guard.

Many from the local area spent the war years at Camp Minidoka in Idaho. When they returned, most had lost everything and could not find jobs.

The order was issued because of a fear that those of Japanese heritage were disloyal and might aid in an invasion of the United States. Japanese-Americans contested these charges throughout the war and later sought formal redress.

In 1983, a bipartisan congressional committee concluded that the confinement resulted from war hysteria, failure of government and military leadership, and racism toward those of Japanese ancestry.

“The Tragedy of War” exhibit revisits the injustice of Japanese-American confinement by asking the question: At what point should the rights of citizens be limited or denied to ensure the nation is secure?

The exhibit is provided by Kennesaw State University’s Museum of History and Holocaust Education.

Additional information about the exhibit, including study guides, can be found at http://tinyurl.com/PDN-tragedyofwar.

Tsutakawa, whose father was renowned sculptor George Tsutakawa, co-edited “The Forbidden Stitch: Asian American Women’s Literary Anthology,” which received the Before Columbus Foundation’s American Book Award.

She also edited two books on pioneer Asian-American artists: “They Painted from Their Hearts” and “Turning Shadows into Light.”

Tsutakawa received her master’s degree in communications and her bachelor’s degree in East Asian studies at the University of Washington. Her graduate thesis is one of the few documents to research pre-war Japanese-American newspapers. Tsutakawa also was manager of grants for the Washington State Arts Commission and previously directed King County’s arts and historic preservation programs.

For more information about the Port Angeles Library program, see www.nols.org and select “Events,” phone 360-417-8500 or send an email to discover@nols.org.

For more about the Jefferson County Library program, see www.jclibrary.info or call 360-385-6544.

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