The Pine and the Cherry: Japanese Americans in Washington

Community Conversations and Humanities Washington invite the community to an engaging conversation with Mayumi Tsutakawa, a member of the 2012-14 Humanities Washington Speakers Bureau. This free event takes place on January, 28 at 6:30 pm at Grace Church Hall. 

This talk is free and open to the public, and childcare will be provided.

mayumi-tsutakawaDescription: In the lead-up to World War II, Japantown in Seattle featured grocery stores, cafes, and native-language services, as well as labor and music clubs. Trading companies imported Japanese goods, and restaurants served the familiar sukiyaki, tofu, and miso soup. In Eastern Washington, Japanese farmers prospered.

Then came Executive Order 9066. Those born in Japan, as well as their American-citizen offspring, were sent, without due process, to concentration camps in windswept deserts. Throughout the West Coast, 120,000 Japanese Americans were forced from their homes. Most Seattle Japanese spent the war years at Camp Minidoka in Idaho, and when they returned, most had lost everything and could not find jobs.

How did they face this injustice and rebuild their lives? How does a lively immigrant community face racist or religious hatred? The 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066 is in 2017, and Mayumi Tsutakawa, whose father was renowned sculptor George Tsutakawa, will reveal her family’s 100-year history against the backdrop of this dramatic American story.

Mayumi Tsutakawa is an independent writer and curator who has focused on Asian/Pacific American history. She co-edited The Forbidden Stitch: Asian American Women’s Literary Anthology which received the Before Columbus Foundation’s American Book Award. She also edited two books on pioneer Asian American artists: They Painted from their Hearts and Turning Shadows into Light. Tsutakawa received her master’s degree in communications and her bachelor’s degree in East Asian studies at the University of Washington. Her graduate thesis is one of the few documents to research pre-war Japanese American newspapers. Tsutakawa also was manager of grants for the Washington State Arts Commission and previously directed King County’s arts and historic preservation programs.

Tsutakawa lives in Seattle.


LIFRC’s After-school Elementary Soccer Program wraps up

In case you didn’t see the article in the Island’s Weekly:

The Lopez Island Family Resource Center’s After-School Elementary Soccer Program finished up last week with an end of the season pizza celebration at Lopez School. Over 150 participants and their families attended. The program had a record number of kids involved this year, with 64 elementary age students participating in the six-week program, which included bi-weekly practices and two days of interisland games with San Juan and Orcas Island teams. Many thanks to our fantastic coaches and parent volunteers, including Karly and Brian Leyde, Becca Hamilton, Anne Auckland, Christopher O’Bryant, Hailey Riddell, Steven Miller and Kathy Cade. They’ve already begun to work on plans for the following year to accommodate all of our young soccer players! With the growth of the program, we are in need of additional parent volunteers to help the soccer season run smoothly. If you have any interest in helping out next fall, please contact the LIFRC at 468-4117 or any of the above-listed coaches and volunteers.