Nisei Soldiers Break Their Silence: Coming Home to Hood River
A Presentation by Linda Tamura, Professor of Education, Willamette University
Oregon Encyclopedia History Night
- Edgefield - Power Station Theater |
- Tuesday, January 29, 2013
- 6:30 p.m. |
- Free |
- All ages welcome
About Nisei Soldiers Break Their Silence: Coming Home to Hood River
A Presentation by Linda Tamura, Professor of Education, Willamette University; author of The Hood River Issei: An Oral History of Japanese Settlers in Oregon's Hood River Valley
Based on Tamura's 2012 book of the same title, this presentation shares the experiences of Japanese Americans (Nisei) who served in the U.S. Army during World War II, fighting on the front lines in Italy and France, serving as linguists in the South Pacific, and working as cooks and medics. The soldiers were from Hood River, Oregon, where their families were landowners and fruit growers. Town leaders, including veterans' groups, attempted to prevent their return after the war and stripped their names from the local war memorial. All of the soldiers were American citizens, but their parents were Japanese immigrants and had been imprisoned in camps as a consequence of Executive Order 9066. The racist homecoming that the Hood River Japanese American soldiers received was decried across the nation.
Linda Tamura, who grew up in Hood River and whose father was a veteran of the war, conducted extensive oral histories with the veterans, their families, and members of the community. She had access to hundreds of recently uncovered letters and documents from private files of a local veterans' group that led the campaign against the Japanese American soldiers. Her book, Nisei Soldiers Break Their Silence: Coming Home to Hood River also includes the little known story of local Nisei veterans who spent 40 years appealing their convictions for insubordination.
She is the author of The Hood River Issei: An Oral History of Japanese Settlers in Oregon's Hood River Valley.
About Oregon Encyclopedia History Night
The Oregon Encyclopedia hosts a series of History Nights in collaboration with McMenamins pubs. Come join us for an enlightening evening of history, served up with food and a pint or two of good beer, and find out more about the history and culture of our state from OE authors. Bring your encyclopedia-worthy Oregon stories to share with the OE Editors-in-Chief.
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