Tule Lake Pilgrimage Plans Announced

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Barbed wire is a reminder of a history of injustice at Tule Lake. (MARIO G. REYES/Rafu Shimpo)

The Tule Lake Committee announces that the pilgrimage will take place over the Fourth of July weekend, beginning Friday, July 2 through Monday, July 5.  The 18th pilgrimage will continue the focus on the young adults who were segregated at Tule Lake, especially the “no-nos” and those who renounced their U.S. citizenship while incarcerated at Tule Lake.

“Stories about legitimate and courageous acts of grassroots civil disobedience were shunned in favor of stories that enhanced an image of Japanese American loyalty and cooperation,” said Hiroshi Shimizu, who chairs the pilgrimage committee.  “Unfortunately, too many Japanese Americans have accepted and internalized the propaganda that labeled Japanese Americans as disloyal if they refused to give unqualified “yes” answers to the loyalty questions,” said Shimizu.  “Tragically, the Nisei who refused to cooperate with the government’s incarceration program were stigmatized as disloyal, and silenced – by their own people.”

The committee is again offering free registration to those incarcerated in Tule Lake who are 80 years and older, in hopes of encouraging the participation of Nisei who were young adults while segregated in Tule Lake.  The registration fee is all-inclusive and covers charter bus transportation, lodging, meals and all pilgrimage activities for the four-day pilgrimage. Attendance will be limited to the first 300 persons who register.

Pilgrimage participants travel together in chartered buses that depart from San Francisco, Berkeley, San Jose, Union City, Sacramento, Seattle and Portland. Accommodations are double-occupancy dorm rooms at the Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls.

The registration fee is $395 per person; for students and those on fixed incomes, the fee is $325. The registration fee is all-inclusive, covering chartered bus transportation, housing, all meals, group discussions, workshops, excursions, and the pilgrimage cultural program.  For those who were incarcerated in Tule Lake, age 80 and older, the registration fee is waived. The deadline to register is April 30. On May 1, the registration fee goes up to $450, on a space-available basis.

Pilgrimage activities include a tour of the Tule Lake campsite and a memorial service. Registration forms are available from the contact persons listed below, or may be downloaded from the Tule Lake Web site tulelake.org.

For information, contact Hiroshi Shimizu or Soji Kashiwagi.

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