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Manzanar Hosts 39th Annual Pilgrimage

Manzanar National Historic Site

National Park News

     An estimated 1,300 people, including numerous former internees, attended the Manzanar Committee’s 39th Annual Pilgrimage Ceremony on Saturday, April 26. The event featured guest speakers, music, an interfaith religious service, and a traditional Japanese Ondo community dance. That evening, the Manzanar At Dusk “MAD” program at nearby Lone Pine High School attracted approximately 350 college students, former internees and others for a film screening and intergenerational discussions.

     In conjunction with the Pilgrimage, the park hosted the 4th annual “Selected Artists from the Henry Fukuhara Annual Alabama Hills and Manzanar Workshop” art show in partnership with Manzanar History Association. The show featured the work of 95-year old former internee and watercolorist Henry Fukuhara and his students. On Friday, the local Eastern California Museum and the Independence Chamber of Commerce hosted a Pilgrimage reception where local resident Keith Bright was honored for his contributions to Manzanar.

     On Saturday and Sunday, Manzanar History Association sponsored a book signing with Diana Meyers Bahr, author of The Unquiet Nisei: An Oral History of the Life of Sue Kunitomi Embrey and Viola Martinez, California Paiute: Living in Two Worlds.  On Sunday and Monday, special guest docent and Eastern Sierra fishing guide Cory Shiozaki shared stories, images, and artifacts related to Japanese Americans who ventured out of camp to fish. Cory and his fellow docent Richard Imamura led tours to internees’ wartime fishing spots.

     Rangers, former internees, and volunteers presented talks and programs. Approximately 225 people participated in the Junior Ranger program Saturday, which coincided with National Junior Ranger Day.  More than 2,000 people visited park’s interpretive center over the weekend. Media interest was high with film, television, and print media crews from the U.S. and Japan onsite. There were no incidents. The park staff was assisted by twenty volunteers and two Death Valley Law Enforcement rangers.


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