NIE and Densho: The WWII Odyssey of King County's Japanese Americans

As the United States entered World War II, a widespread fear grew: that people of Japanese descent could pose a security threat to the country. This led to the forced removal and incarceration of 110,000 Japanese Americans that lived on the West Coast, including about 9,000 from King County. How could this have happened? How do we safeguard national security while ensuring the civil liberties of all people living within our borders? The story of this involuntary migration is told through the personal journeys of two Seattle residents. We’ll hear the story of Akiko Kato, a 17-year-old student at Seattle’s Garfield High School, who was in many ways a typical American teenager. We’ll also learn about the experience of Shosuke Sasaki, a 30-year-old Japanese immigrant who was raised and educated in the Seattle area. After being removed from their homes, most Japanese Americans in Seattle were sent first to a temporary camp in Puyallup, and then to the longer term Minidoka concentration camp in Idaho. Most who lived outside the city limits were sent first to the Pinedale camp in Fresno, California, then to the Tule Lake concentration camp just south of the Oregon border. Those on Bainbridge Island were sent first to the Manzanar concentration camp and then to Minidoka. See the centerfold map for more information and the location of these camps. KING COUNTY and GREATER SEATTLE Exclusion Zones - 1942 Seattle Everett Bremerton Kitsap County Tacoma Vashon Island Bainbridge Island N S E W THEWORLDWAR II ODYSSEY OF KING COUNTY’S JAPANESE AMERICANS Newspapers In Education and Densho Present: Policemen posting exclusion orders, 1942, Seattle WA. Courtesy of the Museum of History and Industry. To learn more about our Newspapers In Education program, email or call 206.652.6290 Everett Camp Population Puyallup 6,247 Pinedale 2,631 Manzanar 258 9,136 total Destination of King and Kitsap County Japanese Americans