Inquiring Mind Lecture Series 2017

Apr 19 IQM Tsutakawa
The Pine and the Cherry: Japanese Americans in Washington with Mayumi Tsutakawa

Wednesday, April 19th - 6:30 pm

2017 represents the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, a US presidential executive order signed and issued during World War II by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt on that forced those born in Japan, as well as their American-citizen offspring, to be sent, without due process, to concentration camps in windswept deserts.
Learn more about Washington state during this historic time in this Inquiring Mind Lecture titled The Pine and the Cherry: Japanese Americans in Washington, delivered by Mayumi Tsutakawa, an independent writer and curator who will reveal her family’s 100-year history against the backdrop of this dramatic American story.

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, and 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.

Tsutakawa, whose father was renowned sculptor George Tsutakawa, 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.

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Co-sponsored by Humanities Washington, the state's flagship non-profit for promoting and providing programs based in the humanities.  Feeding inquiring minds through engaging discussions. Funding to support this series was also provided by the Friends of the Jefferson County Library.