A meeting will be held at the Land Trust Building, 7 p.m., Wednesday, January 23rd to update the community on the Friends of Mukai’s efforts to revitalize the mission of the Mukai house and garden. The meeting will initiate a series of interpretive programs planned by Friends of Mukai focusing on the histories of the Japanese American immigrant families including the Mukai family who came to Vashon Island and the Northwest, overcoming adversity and succeeding through remarkable determination. The event, open to the public, will feature a presentation by Clarence Moriwaki, President of the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial Association (BIJAEMA) and past CEO of the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Washington.
Moriwaki will talk about the 272 Americans of Japanese ancestry living on Bainbridge Island who, in 1942, became the first Japanese Americans to be relocated to internment camps during World War II and were the last to return home. In 2002, sixty years later, the BIJAEMA dedicated a plaque on the site of that departure. He will describe how the BIJAEMA built local, regional and national support to make the former Eagledale Ferry dock, location of that first exclusion, a remarkable National Park Memorial site to honor these Americans and tell their stories. The Park was dedicated August 6, 2011. The National Parks Conservation Association awarded Clarence Moriwaki its annual Marjory Stoneman Douglas award for his personal efforts to protect and conserve the site. Moriwaki continues to work to ensure the legacy of the 120,000 Japanese Americans forced from the west coast or interned for the duration of WWII.
The public is invited to hear how they did it, and explore ideas for telling the stories of the Mukai family and Vashon’s other Japanese Americans.
Following Moriwaki’s talk the Friends of Mukai board will give a brief update of the past several months since they were elected by a new and energetic membership to revitalize the mission of restoring, preserving and interpreting the Mukai house and garden.