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A Little-Known Side of Local History

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“I Am an American: Japanese Incarceration in a Time of Fear” is on view at Muzeo Museum and Cultural Center, 241 S. Anaheim Blvd. in Anaheim, through Nov. 3. The 5,000-square-foot exhibition features personal testimonials, artifacts and memorabilia from Japanese Americans living in Anaheim and Orange County before WWII who were sent to the Poston, Ariz. incarceration camp. Pictured: Baggage used when local Nikkei were sent to camp with only what they could carry. Hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tours available on Monday and Tuesday by making special arrangements. For more information, call (714) 765-6450, email [email protected] or visit www.muzeo.org.

Model of Poston created by Anaheim High School NOCROP (North Orange County Regional Occupational Program) engineering/manufacturing instructor Ron Ponce and his students.

Pictured from left at an unofficial opening on Aug. 24: Deb Vidana, board member, Anaheim High School Alumni Association; Patti Hirahara, Anaheim High School Class of 1973, emcee of “The Poston Experience”; Janet Brown, field representative for Rep. Lou Correa. They were among the participants in “The Poston Experience: Paving the Way for the Next Generation,” an event held at Anaheim High School that morning.

A replica of a barrack shows the cramped quarters that families lived in.

Paintings of camp life at Poston by Gene Sogioka (1914-1988), who was an artist and animator for Walt Disney Studios before the war.A display on sports, dances and other forms of recreation in camp.

A suitcase from 1942, when many Anaheim residents of Japanese ancestry, including students at Anaheim High School, were uprooted.

Advertisement placed in The Anaheim Gazette by George Yanase of George’s Quality Market on Dec. 11, 1941.

A display on the family of author and filmmaker Marlene Shigekawa, Anaheim High School Class of 1962, president of the Poston Community Alliance.

Marlene Shigekawa and Jane Newell, heritage services manager for Anaheim Public Library/Anaheim Heritage Center.

A roster of Orange County Japanese Americans who were incarcerated at Poston. A separate display lists Nisei soldiers from Poston who were killed in action.

Carved wooden bird lapel pins created in camp.

Exclusion orders imposed on Japanese Americans in 1942.

One of the Congressional Gold Medal replicas awarded to Nisei veterans of the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team and Military Intelligence Service.

Groups of 15 or more can get 15 percent off the entrance fee by booking as a group tour. To make arrangements, contact Baggio Ardon, guest services manager, at (714) 765-6455 or [email protected] or visit www.muzeo.org/groups-tours/.

Photos by J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo

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