Milwaukie to commemorate 80th anniversary of internment
Milwaukie Museum and the Japanese American Museum of Oregon will present the first Ledding Library Lecture Series this year, titled "80 Years from Incarceration: The Japanese-American story," at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 2.
Partners that include Milwaukie city officials and Willamette Falls Studios will help commemorate the 80th anniversary of Japanese internment. Participants will discuss what led to internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, what it was like for those interned and the aftermath of internment policies.
Amy Mishima Peterson, a Sansei (third-generation Japanese American), is a docent and speaker for JAMO. She will examine the overall history of Japanese Americans in our region, including the years of internment.
Japanese Americans' Milwaukie story began in rural Oregon and led many to the streets of downtown Portland's Japantown, where Japanese immigrants embraced American ideals. JAMO's exhibits also display the bleak landscape of American concentration camps before continuing their story with the rebuilding of communities and the ongoing fight for justice.
Jacob Sherman, an avid historian and local researcher on Nikkei (those who emigrated from Japan and their descendants), will explore the historic influence of Milwaukie's Japanese-American families. Milwaukie City Councilor Desi Nicodemus will give a special address as well.
Due to COVID-19 conditions, there will not be a live audience, but can be viewed on Comcast Channel 30 or on the City of Milwaukie YouTube Channel. Find it online the day of the event by visiting the city calendar at milwaukieoregon.gov.
Along with the program, Ledding Library will have a traveling trunk display from JAMO on site so community members can learn more about Japanese American History. On Feb. 15, during the City Council meeting, the city will issue a proclamation honoring Japanese-American families.
To learn more, check out Milwaukie Museum's Facebook page or visit the Ledding Library. JAMO's museum (oregonnikkei.org) is currently closed to the public, but hopes to reopen next month in downtown Portland. Its current exhibit, "Japanese American Women through the Generations" shares the story of the grace, grit and gaman (perseverance) displayed by Japanese-American women.
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