Remembering the Japanese American Incarceration - Day of Remembrance


May celebrates AANHPI Heritage and Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park honors these diverse experiences on the home front, especially those of the Japanese immigrants and Japanese American citizens who were forcibly removed from their homes and sent to incarceration camps during the war.

On February 24, 2024, the park hosted a Day of Remembrance for the passing of Executive Order 9066, requiring the incarceration of all Americans of Japanese ancestry in 1942. This remembrance program, "Topaz Stories: Through the Eyes of Children," featured four speakers who recounted their stories as children living at Topaz during the war. The speakers Kaz Iwahashi, Joseph Nishimura, Michi Mukai, and Norman Hayashi were between the ages of 3 and 12 when they arrived to camp in 1942.


Photo courtesy of Ruth Sasaki.


Please read all of the participant's stories in full and see more photographs by following the links below:

Kaz's story: "Questions I Never Asked Mom"

Joseph's story: "Leaving Topaz"

Michi's story: "A Topaz Childhood"

Norman's story: "Every Little Moment"

Visit the Topaz Stories website to read other stories and learn about the Friends of Topaz:


Visit the Rosie National Park Visitor Center to attend live programs with representatives of the Contra Costa JACL and longtime volunteers of the national park, Flora Ninomiya, Ben Takeshita, and Jim Oshima who tell their personal and family stories. This program "Blossoms and Thorns" takes place every Friday at 2pm at the national park.

Learn more about the programs available at the park: Rosie National Park Website


You can also watch a previous Rosie Presents! program presented by Rosie the Riveter Trust to learn more about Executive Order 9066:

Video Link: Rosie Presents! The Impact of Executive Order 9066


Rosie the Riveter Trust is so grateful for the continued partnership between the Trust, the National Park Service, Contra Costa Japanese American Citizens League, and Friends of Topaz. We especially would like to thank Ruth Sasaki, Jim Oshima, and Eric Stearns for coordinating this moving program.


Norman and his brother Pat in Topaz, circa 1944. Photo courtesy of Ruth Sasaki.

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