Maui Arts & Entertainment

Nisei Veterans Memorial Center Presents New Exhibit and Programming About Internment

February 8, 2021, 9:25 AM HST
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Violet Harada and Claire Sato, editors of the book “A Resilient Spirit: The Voices of Hawai’i’s Internees” will be featured in a Zoom webinar Feb. 13 by the Nisei Veterans Memorial Center. Photo Courtesy: NVMS

During February, the Nisei Veterans Memorial Center in Kahului will focus its exhibit and programming on various voices of Internment, beginning Feb. 13 at 1:30 pm with a Zoom webinar with Violet Harada and Claire Sato, editors of the book “A Resilient Spirit: The Voices of Hawaiʻi’s Internees.” 

Another Zoom presentation will be held Feb. 18 at 3 pm with Takeshi Nakayama, who was interned with his family in the Rowher Arkansas Internment camp. He later went on to become a journalist covering the Civil Liberties Act of 1988.

Both events are free via Zoom. Go to www.NVMC.org and click “What’s New” to register.

On February 19,1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 authorizing the internment of Japanese Americans, German Americans and Italian Americans to camps in the United States. Approximately 110,000 people of Japanese ancestry were interned.

Japanese-Americans in Hawaiʻi were already being arrested prior to Executive Order 9066. Immediately after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, US military personnel began rounding up Japanese residents in Hawaiʻi who were perceived to be influential in the community.

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The Nisei Veterans Memorial Center’s current exhibit, “WWII: A Glimpse of Maui’s Story from Internment to Homecoming” opens with pre-war Maui and follows with panels detailing Maui’s internment camps and the subsequent formation of the 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the Military Intelligence Service.

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The final panel discusses the motto of “Continuing Service” and what the soldiers did upon returning home. The exhibit showcases artifacts from the center’s archives, including “plantation days” kau kau tins, scrapbooks, senninbari (“1,000 stitch band”), medals and uniforms.

The center’s mission is to ignite the potential in people by inspiring them to find the hero in themselves through the legacy of the Nisei Veterans.

The Nisei Veterans Memorial Center is a non-profit organization that aspires to a world where people act selflessly for the greater good. NVMC owns and manages an intergenerational campus on Go For Broke Place in Kahului that serves as a home for Kansha Preschool, Maui Adult Day Care Center’s Oceanview facility, the Stanley Izumigawa Pavilion and the NVMC Education Center. To learn more, visit www.nvmc.org.

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