Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial, Bainbridge Island

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The Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial is an outdoor exhibit commemorating the internment of Japanese Americans from Bainbridge Island in the state of Washington. It is located on the south shore of Eagle Harbor, opposite the town of Winslow. Administratively, it is a unit of the Minidoka National Historic Site in Idaho.BackgroundJapanese immigrants first came to Bainbridge Island in the 1880s, working in sawmills and strawberry harvesting, and by the 1940s had become an integral part of the island's community. Because of the island's proximity to naval bases, local Japanese Americans were the first in the whole country to be interned. 227 Japanese Americans were ordered to leave the island with six days' notice. They departed by ferry on March 30, 1942. The island had a total of 276 Japanese American residents at the time; those who were away from the island at the time due to study, military service, or other business were not permitted to return. Most internees were sent to Manzanar, California, though some were later transferred to Minidoka, Idaho. Local newspapers such as the The Bainbridge Review (made famous by the novel and film Snow Falling on Cedars) spoke out against the internment and continued to publish correspondence from internees. A Seattle Post-Intelligencer photograph of Bainbridge Island resident Fumiko Hayashida and her 13-month-old daughter preparing to board the ferry that day became famous as a symbol of the internment. 150 returned to the island after the end of World War II. By 2011, about 90 survivors remained, of whom 20 still lived on the island.
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Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial Reviews
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  • October 3, 2017
    takes some time to get to the memorial, but please go and discover more history. the memorial is still being developed, but what is there is important to see. the origami hanging throughout the site i...  more »
  • September 26, 2017
    The treatment of Japanese Americans during WWII was horrible and so I hate to give a poor review to anything that attempts to remind us of how badly they were treated but I was disappointed by the sit...  more »
  • September 13, 2017
    Simple, yet beautifully done memorial. You can read about local families and the impact the interment had on their lives. Many descendants and some actual detainees still live on the Island and it war...  more »
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  • February 25, 2017
    Really nice memorial for a tragic event. Recommend visiting the Bainbridge island museum for additional exhibits on the Japanese internment.
  • September 20, 2016
    This is an incredibly powerful memorial about the 200+ Japanese who were whisked away shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. They were relocated into "camps" until the war was over. Most were American citizens. All of them had their rights trampled despite our supposed adherence to a constitution. They were put into these camps out of fear and racism. Not because of any real threat. In all, 120,000 People of Japanese descent were incarcerated in camps around the country. Many lost their lands and most of their possessions. Only recently have presidents apologized for these tragic events. The big question is, have we learned our lesson? Would we ever again trample on the rights of our citizen simply because of a group's race, ethnic background or religion? What do our current presidential candidates say about this?
  • December 27, 2016
    My wife and I were impressed with how minimalistic but impactful this memorial is. We were also extremely saddened to see how mistreated Japanese Americans were during WWII. The pictures, the stories, the quotes and overall history lesson make this memorial a must see.
  • October 17, 2016
    This is where internment started for many Japanese Americans in WWII. It's a small memorial but an important one. It's very well done.
  • August 8, 2016
    Learnt a lot about this event. Park Ranger Andrew was very helpful.

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