A thousand ways to remember

thousand 1000 cranes at manzanar california memorial

(1000 origami cranes at Manzanar National Historic Site)

It’s one of the things that makes us human beings.  Our ability to mend.  To attach a little bit of beauty to the unpleasant. In 1942, an abandoned little mining town in Manzanar, California became home to over 100,000 Japanese Americans that were uprooted from their homes and businesses and placed there for the remainder of World War II.  You can read about it, it was cruel. Manzanar is a barren place on the road to Mammoth Mountain before the town of Bishop. In the 3 years they were there, it was transformed into a community with Japanese gardens, rows of veggies and a dance hall. The people celebrated, sang, educated themselves, painted and lived.  What impressed me most was that they never stopped living and at the same time, they never forgot. They all wanted to get back to the lives they had created for themselves before things were torn apart. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about tragedy and sorrow and how we deal with it. There are examples all over the place. It’s fascinating, really. It’s the human spirit at it’s best. We were born to be alive!

pleasure park manzanar california    thousand 1000 cranes rainbow memorial at manzanar

(Pleasure park 1943)

Ansel Adams - Manzanar Relocation Center from tower, 1943

japanese girl walking    Ansel Adams - Dressmaking class, Manzanar Relocation Center, California, 1943

(Black and white photos of Manzanar imprisonment camp taken in 1943 by Ansel Adams)

manzanar california

un earthed japanese garden from the 1940s at manzanar relocation camp california

The unearthed Japanese garden at Pleasure Park in Manzanar encampment.

DSC_0623    origamil memorial at manzanar imprisonment camp california

DSC_0649    makeshift memorial

ansel adams memorial manazar

3 thoughts on “A thousand ways to remember

  1. Very moving place, thank you for keeping it alive Kimi. We definitely have come a long way. For a young country America is so full of history.

  2. What a beautiful example of what keeping hope alive does in the middle very difficult times. My high school art teacher’s parents and grandparents were relocated…heartbreaking. Thanks for sharing these amazing pictures- very inspiring.

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