Day of Remembrance in Salinas

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SALINAS — “Rodeo Roundup,” a presentation by the Japanese American Museum of San Jose (JAMsj), will be featured at the Day of Remembrance on Sunday, Feb. 26, at 1:30 p.m. at the Steinbeck Institute of Art and Culture (different venue from the Steinbeck National Museum), 940 N. Main St., Salinas.

The host organization, the Gilroy Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League, promises a meaningful learning experience about a grim chapter in U.S. history.

Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Executive Order 9066 mandated the removal of Japanese Americans from the West Coast. The Salinas Rodeo Grounds was established by the government as a “holding ground” before local Nikkei were sent to Poston, Ariz., one of 10 War Relocation Authority detention camps.

Bilingual storyteller Megumi will open by spinning tales to provide background information.

The main event, a panel discussion, will feature Sus Ikeda, Jack Matsuoka, Bob Oka, and Aki (Awaya) Okuno, who will recount first-hand experiences at the assembly center. Facilitator Aggie Idemoto will encourage interaction among the panelists and between them and the audience.

Finally, a mini-exhibit describing the life and times during incarceration at the assembly center will round out the presentation.

The program will begin at the California Historical Monument and Memorial Garden, located next to the Salinas Rodeo Grounds in the area formally known as the Salinas Community Center or Sherwood Gardens, and will then proceed to the Santa Lucia Room of the Steinbeck Institute of Arts and Culture adjacent to the monument.

This annual observance is sponsored by the five JACL chapters of the Greater Monterey Bay area: Gilroy, Monterey Peninsula, San Benito County, Salinas Valley and Watsonville-Santa Cruz.

For more information, call Lily Kawafuchi of Gilroy JACL at (408) 710-5079.

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