SAN FRANCISCO — Over nine months ago, 35 individuals set out to discover the history of their family through the Nikkei Family Legacy Project organized by the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California.
On Saturday, June 23, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the JCCCNC, the public is invited to celebrate with project participants at the NFLP closeout exhibition. The event will feature excerpts from the participants’ hardbound family history books, which they will receive at the event, and unique stories shared by the participants about their journey as they delved into their family’s past.
“It will be a very exciting and rewarding event that will probably end with a huge sigh of relief,” says Ryan Kimura of JCCCNC. “They have spent so many hours researching and compiling stories and photos. It’s been a very emotional journey for them and I think they are happy that it is finally coming to a close.”
However, the journey is still not over. It may never be over, and that’s the hope for at least one of the participants, Mabel Miyasaki. “The purpose of my book? The next generations of relatives who may not know each other and who likely may not even know of each other’s existence or linkages,” she said. “My book will be very incomplete … a teaser and a first connector.”
The Nikkei Family Legacy Project began on Aug. 6, 2011, and over the past nine months participants spent well over 100 hours attending numerous workshops and seminars, visiting the National Archives, conducting research online through Ancestry.com and on the phone trying to locate family members and gather stories, and scanning and uploading photos and documents to create their book on blurb.com.
Throughout the lengthy and sometimes very emotional process, participants received support and guidance from the following individuals and organizations: Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation; International Management Solution Legal Professional Corporation; National Archives; Donna Kotake, NFLP advisor and workshop leader; Ryan Kimura and Courtney Okuhara, NFLP project coordinators; and guest speakers Chester Hashizume and Corey Oiesen.
The Nikkei Family Legacy Project is made possible by a grant from the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program, a program of the California State Library, as well as donations from the Henri and Tomoye Takahashi Charitable Foundation and the 100th Anniversary of Japantown Fund.
The event is free and open to the public. To register, contact the JCCCNC at (415) 567-5505 or [email protected]