art > The Moon! The Moon!

Full Moon at Manzanar September 3 2020
Timelapse Video
September 03, 2020

This year I am making a (socially distant) road trip to visit sites that are related to Japanese American history.

There are dozens of sites (variously euphemistically dubbed "assembly centers," "internment" camps, "relocation" camps, etc.) associated with the illegal imprisonment of 120,000 people of Japanese descent during World War II. Some of these sites, such as the Crystal City, TX "Family Internment Camp" were managed by the Department of Justice, others, such as Camp Lordsburg, NM by the United States Army, while the ten largest camps were managed by the War Relocation Authority.

Manzanar is a National Historic Site maintained by the National Parks Services. Well attended annual pilgrimages are held there on the last Saturday in April.

The 51st annual Manzanar pilgrimage (in addition to all camp pilgrimages such as those to Minidoka, and Tule Lake) was cancelled due to COVID-19, however the Japanese American community organized a virtual pilgrimage called Tadaima! Programming is free and available online.

Manzanar was open from June 1 1942 to November 21 1945. By the time it closed, ten-thousand people had been incarcerated there, under forty-two full moons.

For their willingness to share resources, assist in research, and provide guidance and encouragement, and for their stewardship of Japanese American history, I owe a debt of gratitude to Park Ranger Sarah Bone, to Cultural Resources Program Manager Jeffrey Burton, and to Roger Myoraku. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu.

Manzanar is located on Owens Valley Paiute land.