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Community Kicks off DOR

Tamiko Nimura and Greg Tanbara, in back, with Elsie Taniguchi, Mary Woodward, Mizu Sugimura, Ken Mochizuki and Lori Tsugawa Whaley, in front, join a symposium at Washington State History Museum last Saturday. Photo courtesy of Tamiko Nimura

By The North American Post Staff

A unique jazz concert featuring the history of the local Japanese American community was held at the Wing Luke Museum last Thursday.

Five musicians, Steve Griggs on tenor saxophone, Susan Pascal on vibraphone, Milo Petersen on guitar, Jay Thomas on trumpet and Phil Sparks on bass, performed 17 pieces, all of which take inspiration from Nikkei history, especially around the historic Panama Hotel in the International District.

Griggs introduced each musical background, which advanced with the story of one Japanese character, “Shinobu.” The audience of about 30 enjoyed listening and imagining the situation from each tune including “Nihonmachi,” “Panama Hotel” and “Loyalty.” Griggs also recognized Densho’s activities and its 20th anniversary milestone before playing the song, “Densho.”

The event kicked off the local Day of Remembrance events occuring this month. The group will perform “Panama Hotel Jazz” again on Feb. 19 at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Washington.

A symposium was held at the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma last Saturday, joined by several Japanese American panelists featuring the Pre-World War II South Puget Sound Nikkei community in its new exhibit, “Filled with Grace.”

In observing the 75th anniversary of President Franklin Roosevelt signing Executive Order 9066, the local community will hold various programs during the week of Feb. 19.

The Washington State Legislature will hold its annual Day of Remembrance session on Feb. 15.

The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience will present its new exhibit, “Year of Remembrance: Glimpses of a Forever Foreigner” from Feb. 17, 2017, until Feb. 18, 2018. Exploring historic and contemporary issues of racism, discrimination and human rights, the exhibit is based on “Glimpses of a Forever Foreigner,” a book of poems by Lawrence Matsuda with artwork by Roger Shimomura, both of whom will join the event on Feb. 18 at 4 p.m.

On Feb. 18, a special lecture entitled, “How Could Concentration Camps Happen?” will feature a panel discussion about the history of mass incarcerations and comparisons between them, joined by Dee Simon, the Baral Family executive director of the Holocaust Center for Humanity, Tetsuden Kashima, professor emeritus of American Ethnic Studies at the University of Washington and Lorraine Bannai, professor of lawyering skills at Seattle University.

It is the first of the three-part series of events hosted by the University of Washington American Ethnic Studies, the Consulate-General of Japan in Seattle, the Nisei Veterans Committee, and the Japanese American Citizens League Seattle Chapter. Two other events will be held in April including “Conspiracy of Kindness: You’ve Given Me Life” on April 9, featuring a story about Japanese Consul Chiune Sugihara, who enabled Jews to escape from Nazi persecution, and “552nd Field Artillery and the Liberation of Dachau” on April 30, featuring the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion, which helped to liberate Dachau in April 1945.

On Feb. 19, the Minidoka Pilgrimage Planning Committee and Seattle University will hold its annual Day of Remembrance Taiko Concert at Seattle University’s Pigott Auditorium. The annual event features performances by local taiko groups and special exhibits to help raise funds for youth and senior scholarships for the 15th annual Minidoka Pilgrimage held July 6 – 9. The Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community will present “Kodomo no Tame ni – For the Sake of the Children,” a free event at the Paccar Atrium.

The Seattle Public Library will present the discussion event “Never Again: Japanese American WWII History and American Muslim Rights Today” at Seattle Center’s Fisher Pavilion. The program will be partnered with Densho, CAIR-WA and ACLU of Washington and will start at 2 p.m.

George Takei’s Broadway musical work “Allegiance” will also be screened at theaters around the nation including those in the Seattle area.

More information can be found on the calendar page.