Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Last Day to Contact the National Park Service and request "Option A"

Friends of Historical Accuracy regarding the ethnic Japanese Evacuation of 1942

If you have not already done so, today is the last day to provide input to the National Park Service regarding the "Internment" Memorial on Bainbridge Island.

Please contact the following NPS officials and ask for a 100% accurate history at the site. Option A will ensure the least burden on Bainbridge taxpayers and local neighbors.

Contacts are: carol_shull@nps.gov ; Anna_Tamura@nps.gov ; jon_jarvis@nps.gov ; neil_king@nps.gov ; Fran_Mainella@nps.gov

Here's what I wrote. Yes, it sounds strident, but being civil with these people equals getting ignored. I didn't even get a "thank you for your comments" response...

To whom it may concern:

Please put me in the public record for option A.

The following is a piece I wrote regarding this history back in November, 2002. This was around the time I attended a Minidoka meeting here on Bainbridge Island at the Senior Center and spoke directly with Anna Tamura about my concerns regarding the 100% accuracy of this history as portrayed by the NPS. At the time I provided a pile of primary documents five inches thick with information that needs to be incorporated into any memorial's "interpretive center". Tamura's response to me was, "People are entitled to believe what they want." My jaw dropped at her arrogance and it became quite clear she was indeed educated in Landscape Architecture and not History. I'll agree people are entitled to their own opinion. They are not entitled to their own historical facts. A good historian must seek out and document the 100% truth to the point of callousness. That means Japanese Americans need to acknowledge some of the darker chapters of their own history, too, rather than cherry picking certain events that provide an inaccurate and one-side conclusion. Is not white-washing an entire ethnic group equally as racist as tarring an entire ethnic group?

Why not include that 15 ethnic Japanese on Bainbridge including Frank Kitamoto's dad were arrested in early 1942 for violating the Enemy Alien Contraband Law? Why not include that by Frank's own admission his dad was visiting the Japanese Consulate Annex down on Rich Passage daily, the manager of the greenhouses there who up and disappeared immediately prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor? Why not mention that kids were coming out of the Japanese "Language School" telling the Caucasian kids, "...you'll be working for us someday..." Don't hear much talk about the "language school", except that everyone in the Japanese-American community has disassociated themselves from it, in my lifetime at least.

This history as it is currently being portrayed on Bainbridge Island is a white-wash. Go down to Moriwaki and Kitamoto's gate at the post office here on Bainbridge and read for yourself. Moriwaki and Kitamoto have done more to damage decades old friendships and acquaintances between ethnic Japanese and Caucasians on Bainbridge Island than Pearl Harbor ever did. Shame on them and shame on you for providing nothing more than lip service to our concerns.

My piece is below, Please include it in the public record.

6 Comments:

At June 15, 2005 9:17 AM, Blogger tmcd said...

Quote: "Don't hear much talk about the "language school", accept that everyone in the Japanese-American community has disassociated themselves from it, in my lifetime at least."

Hmmm -- you mean "except," not "accept." Maybe you should spend a little time in language school yourself :)

 
At June 15, 2005 9:26 AM, Blogger Friends of Historical Accuracy said...

Thanks for the grammar correction.

Now how about addressing the history... :)

 
At June 15, 2005 10:18 AM, Blogger Eric Muller said...

Hi, Bob! Nice blog.

 
At June 15, 2005 10:29 AM, Blogger Friends of Historical Accuracy said...

Thanks, Eric!

Check out the entire site!

http://www.bainbridgehistorians.org/

Now that you know who I am perhaps you'll let me back on your site!

 
At June 15, 2005 11:46 AM, Blogger chris bray said...

"Now that you know who I am..."

Ahh, MSC "Bob" still has a sense of humor.

 
At July 07, 2005 10:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Overheard at noon on the island:

Friend Bainbridge Historians #1: The bombing today in
London? If it were up to me, I would declare war and
immediately begin internment of alien nationals.

Friend of Bainbridge Historians #2: Internment? Why
waste time? Why not go straight to the apology and
the $20,000, calculated in today's dollars. Give the
terrorists the public education system, too.

 

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