For Immediate Release
May 28, 2021
SAVE THE DATE
Tule Lake Virtual Pilgrimage — July 31, 2021
The Tule Lake pilgrimage committee welcomes your participation in this year’s virtual Tule Lake pilgrimage, Saturday, July 31. Please mark your calendars and plan to join us for this free program.
“In keeping with our theme, Incarceration - Injustice - Protest - Resistance: Then and Now, we’ll explore Tule Lake’s unique status as the only one of the 10-WRA concentration camps that was converted into a maximum-security Segregation Center,” says pilgrimage committee chair, Hiroshi Shimizu. Over 12,000 Japanese American activists were punished with segregation, with thousands stripped of U.S. citizenship to enable their deportation, all because they spoke out against the injustice of their incarceration.
“Perversely, for most of the postwar years, our traumatized community accepted the government’s racist propaganda that demonized protesters as ‘pro-Japan fanatics’ and as ‘disloyal troublemakers’ because they resisted the government’s abuse of power,” said Shimizu. “Today, we are gratified to see so many activist Yonsei and Gosei emulating the Nikkei protesters of WWII — organizing and speaking out — to oppose child and family detentions and to support justice and reparations for Black Americans.”
The pilgrimage will include a memorial tribute to Tule Lake’s beloved poet laureate, Hiroshi Kashiwagi, Nisei actor, poet, writer and playwright, a tribute planned for the 2020 pilgrimage, cancelled due to Covid-19. We also plan to offer “Healing Circle” group discussions to explore the internalized racism and lingering trauma created by the government’s decision to divide Japanese Americans into categories of either “loyal” or “disloyal” based on willingness to show submissive obedience.
Stay tuned for more details on registering and joining discussions on the quest for social justice, then and now.