As part of our Winter Read and focus on the Minidoka National Historic Site in south central Idaho and Japanese American incarceration during World War II, The Community Library welcomes local families who will share their stories of immigration, incarceration, military service, and community.
This program will be recorded and can be viewed on The Community Library’s LIVESTREAM page after the event.
Marsha Takahashi Edwards is a Seattle native and Wood River Valley resident whose parents were both incarcerated at Minidoka and met at the camp during their teenage years. Her mother’s family was removed from the fishing community of Petersburg, Alaska, and her father’s family from their home in Seattle. Her father ultimately joined the famous 442nd Combat Division, Company L, and earned a Purple Heart and the Congressional Medal of Honor for his service during World War II. Marsha’s family story can currently be seen in the Library Foyer exhibit, The Bitter and Sweet: World War II Stories of Japanese Americans in the West.
Rod Tatsuno has been a Ketchum resident since 1970. He was born in the Tanforan Assembly Center in California in 1942, following his family’s removal from San Francisco, where they ran a dry goods and housewares store called Nichi Bei Bussan. After Rod’s birth, the family was sent to Topaz War Relocation Center in Delta, Utah, where Rod spent his formative years. His father was able to smuggle into the camp an 8mm film camera, and he documented the family’s life in Topaz. This film is currently on display at the Regional History Museum, accompanying the poster exhibit Righting A Wrong: Japanese Americans and World War II. Rod’s family story and photos and artifacts on loan can also currently be seen in the Library Foyer exhibit, The Bitter and Sweet: World War II Stories of Japanese Americans in the West.
Joan Davies is an Idaho native and resident of Hailey. She grew up on and still manages a farm in Hazelton, near Camp Hunt (Minidoka), where her mother taught at the Greenwood School (the local two-room schoolhouse), and her father raised livestock, pigs, chickens, horses, carrots, alfalfa, hay, sugar beets, corn, barley and wheat. During World War II and the incarceration period, incarcerees from Minidoka traveled to Hazelton to work on the family farm. Joan will share memories of the relationships her family developed with the incarcerees, and about her time spent helping to rebuild a baseball field at the Camp Hunt site in honor of the ten baseball fields that existed between 1942 and 1945.
The panel will be moderated by Mia Russell, Executive Director of Friends of Minidoka, the Idaho-based nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the Minidoka Japanese American incarceration site. Russell is also the Manager of the Japanese American Confinement Sites Consortium, a nationwide coalition of preservation, education, and advocacy organizations working to elevate the history and social justice lessons of the WWII experience of Japanese Americans.
Presented in collaboration with Friends of Minidoka.
Photo 210-CMB-I2-1489 courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration.
The Community Library’s 2020 Winter Read explores the history and effects today of the incarceration of Japanese Americans in the U.S. during World War II. Throughout February and March we invite the community to read Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Jamie Ford’s novel that focuses on two families, of Chinese and Japanese ancestry, who experience discrimination, incarceration, loss, and friendship during the early war years in Seattle. The novel features the Minidoka War Relocation Center, Idaho’s own site of war-time incarceration where more than 9,000 Japanese Americans were imprisoned from 1942-45. The site is located just eighty miles south of Ketchum. Join us as we engage in conversation around this important regional and national civil liberties history.
The 2020 Winter Read has been generously sponsored by the Spur Community Foundation and Carlyn Ring.