Dr. Satsuki Ina to Keynote 46th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage

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Satsuki Ina, Ph.D will be the keynote speaker at the 46th annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, sponsored by the Manzanar Committee, scheduled for noon PDT on Saturday, April 25, at the Manzanar National Historic Site, located on U.S. Highway 395 in the Owens Valley, between the towns of Lone Pine and Independence, approximately 230 miles north of Los Angeles.

Each year, over 1,000 people from diverse backgrounds, including students, teachers, community members, clergy and former incarcerees, attend the pilgrimage, which commemorates the unjust incarceration of over 110,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry in ten American concentration camps, and other confinement sites, located in the most desolate, isolated regions of the U.S., during World War II. Manzanar was the first of the concentration camps to be established.

Manzanar Committee Co-chair Bruce Embrey and Dr. Satsuki Ina. (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)

Manzanar Committee Co-chair Bruce Embrey and Dr. Satsuki Ina. (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)

The theme for this year’s Pilgrimage is “Watashi wa Manzanar (I Am Manzanar): Continuing Our Civil Rights Legacy.”

Born behind barbed wire at the Tule Lake Segregation Center during World War II, Dr. Ina is professor emeritus in the School of Education at CSU Sacramento and founder of the Family Study Center. As a licensed psychotherapist specializing in community trauma, she has conducted groups for Japanese Americans who were children in the prison camps.

Ina, 70, has been researching the long-term impact of the unjust incarceration of Japanese Americans for the past 15 years. She has also produced two documentary films on the subject that were broadcast nationally on the Public Broadcasting System (PBS), “Children of the Camps” and “From a Silk Cocoon: A Japanese American Renunciant’s Story.

“We’re honored to have Dr. Satsuki Ina speaking at this year’s pilgrimage,” said Manzanar Committee Co-Chair Bruce Embrey. “On the 70th anniversary of the closing of the camps and the end of World War II, it’s an excellent time to have someone with Dr. Ina’s experience discuss the impact of the forced removal on the Japanese American community.

“Dr. Ina’s insights and perspective will help illuminate how our community evolved and grappled with the incarceration and being deprived of civil rights, not to mention the difficulties of life after camp.”

In addition to the afternoon program, the Manzanar At Dusk program follows that same evening, from 5 to 8 p.m., at the Lone Pine High School auditorium, located at 538 S. Main St. (U.S. Highway 395), in Lone Pine, nine miles south of the Manzanar National Historic Site, across the street from McDonald’s.

Manzanar At Dusk is co-sponsored by the Nikkei Student Unions at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, CSU Fullerton, CSU Long Beach, UCLA and UC San Diego.

Through a creative presentation, small group discussions and an open-mic session, Manzanar At Dusk participants will have the opportunity to learn about the experiences of those incarcerated in the camps. Participants will also be able to interact with former incarcerees in attendance to hear their personal stories, to share their own experiences, and discuss the relevance of the concentration camp experience to present-day events and issues.

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

The bus will depart at 7 a.m., arriving at the pilgrimage at approximately 11:30 a.m., and will also take participants to the Interpretive Center at the Manzanar National Historic Site following the afternoon program. The bus should arrive back in Los Angeles at approximately 8:30 p.m.

Reservations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. The non-refundable fare is $40 per seat, $20 for students and seniors. Complimentary fares are available for those who were incarcerated at any of the former American concentration camps or other confinement sites.

Anyone wishing to attend the Manzanar At Dusk program that evening should make other transportation arrangements.

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 site.

Further details about the Manzanar Pilgrimage and the Manzanar At Dusk program will be announced at a later date.

Both programs are free and are open to the public. For more information, or to reserve a seat on the bus, call (323) 662-5102 or email [email protected]

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 the above phone number, email [email protected] or go online to http://blog.manzanarcommittee.org.

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