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Exhibit on Vashon Japanese American History

“Joy and Heartache” Traces History of Japanese Americans on Vashon from 1900 to Present Day.
The Vashon Heritage Museum will feature an exhibit that traces the evolution of the Japanese American presence on Vashon Island. The exhibit addresses the early immigration of Japanese to Vashon in the early 20th Century, its subsequent growth into a vibrant island subculture, through the trauma of WWII incarceration, recovery and the evolving identity of Japanese Americans.

A community-based collaboration, the exhibition draws from oral histories, historic photos, arts and artifacts that will bring this history alive, including a special reproduction of an internment barrack and personal histories of Japanese Americans living on Vashon today.  The exhibit was developed with the participation of many persons of Japanese descent who live on Vashon. Partner organizations are Friends of Mukai, Vashon-Maury Island Land Trust, Vashon Japanese American Research Project.

“The story of Japanese Americans on Vashon Island is a complex legacy founded on the hope of a unique people and culture, nurtured with strength and struggle,” said Bruce Haulman, the exhibits lead curator. “The historical lessons of the Japanese experience, especially their imprisonment during WWII, are particularly relevant in light of the threats that immigrants in America face today.”

The exhibit will open on First Friday, April 6, at 6p.m. at the Vashon Heritage Museum at 10105 Bank Road on Vashon Island. Museum hours are from 1-4p.m. Wednesday – Sunday or by appointment.  All members of the public are welcome, and donations to the Heritage Museum are greatly appreciated.  The exhibit is a joint presentation of the Vashon Heritage Museum, Friends of Mukai, the Vashon-Maury Island Land Trust and the Vashon Japanese-American Research Project. Sponsors include presenting sponsors Sound View Home Services and Vashon Center for the Arts as well as supporting sponsors Langland Dental Associates, Vashon Ace Hardware, Hardware Store Restaurant, Islander Apartments, Puget Sound Energy, and 4Culture.