Brought to you by Humanities Washington, Harbor History Museum is lucky enough to host a second Humanities in the Harbor lecture in December as we are joined by writer and curator Mayumi Tsutakawa.
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.
Humanities in the Harbor is held at Harbor History Museum, 4121 Harborview Drive, Gig Harbor, WA 98332. Admission is FREE thanks to Humanities Washington! Humanities Washington sparks conversation and critical thinking using story as a catalyst, nurturing thoughtful and engaged communities across our state.
Admission is free, but seats are limited. RSVPs and questions may be directed to Zachary Sokolik, Marketing & Events Coordinator at Harbor History Museum at firstname.lastname@example.org.