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The Minidoka Japanese Internment Pilgrimage

Steve Scher
06/22/2009 at 10:00 a.m.

Every year, a group of Japanese–Americans converge on the small town of Twin Falls, Idaho. They gather to honor the experience of the prisoners at the Minidoka Internment Camp, which lies just a few miles away. Many of the people who make this journey come from Seattle. What do they gain from the journey? Why do they feel it's important to keep the memory of the internment camps alive? What is their own family's involvement? The Minidoka pilgrimage, today on "Weekday."


Emily Hanako Momohara is president of the Friends of Minidoka. She is a professor at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and has made a number of photographs of Minidoka camp. Her grandmother was interned at Minidoka.

Anna Tamura works for the National Park Service and has been involved with the planning of the Minidoka site. Her mother, uncle, aunts and grandparents were all incarcerated at Minidoka.

Bill Vaughn is a retired architect in Pocatello, Idaho, and a board member of the Friends of Minidoka. Bill's father hired Japanese American internees from Minidoka to work on his farm during the war.

May Namba was in her 20s when she was interned at Minidoka. She worked for Seattle Public Schools at the time, and was asked to resign.

Dale H. Watanabe is a board member of the Friends of Minidoka and a Pilgrimage Committee Member. His family was incarcerated at Minidoka.

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