Mary Adams Urashima

Mary Adams Urashima is an author, government affairs consultant and freelance writer living in Huntington Beach. She created HistoricWintersburg.blogspot.com to generate more awareness about the history of the Japanese in Orange County, including stories of an area in north Huntington Beach once known as the Wintersburg Village. Urashima is chairing a community effort to preserve the century-old Furuta farm and Wintersburg Japanese Presbyterian Mission complex, named to the “America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places” list in 2014 and designated a “National Treasure” in 2015 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Her book, Historic Wintersburg in Huntington Beach, was released by History Press in March 2014.


Updated April 2016

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Memorial Day 2015: Kazuo Masuda remembered

Kazuo Masuda and the Nisei who served in the U.S. military were remembered at a Memorial Day ceremony at Westminster Memorial Park. The Masuda family story is important nationally, as this is the family specifically mentioned by President Ronald Reagan when he signed the Civil Liberties Act of 1988.

Kazuo Masuda will be one of three Nisei soldiers whose story will be featured in the upcoming Congressional Gold Medal Digital Exhibition by the Smithsonian Institute National Museum of American History.

Congregants of the Wintersburg Mission and farmers in Talbert (Fountain Valley), the Masuda family story can be found at ...

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The View From Manzanar

If you don’t want to change your perspective, don’t go to Manzanar.

The road to Manzanar is breathtaking. The foot of the Sierras has the sort of terrain travelers stop to photograph, snow-dusted peaks and painter’s clouds. Highway 395 passes through 19th century California, pioneer mining towns with western false front buildings straight off a movie set. It’s a beautiful drive away from California’s urban coast and into the big empty.

And then, Manzanar. Nine miles past Lone Pine, a wooden watchtower pushes into the blue. My throat closes. The watchtower doesn’t belong here ...

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The McIntosh family of Wintersburg Village

She bought Japanese food from (Tashima market)…there was a meat market owned by a hakujin, MacIntosh Meats. So, she bought meat from them. Those were the only stores around here. There were no other stores.

—Yukiko Yajima Furuta, Issei Experience in Orange County, California,
California State University Fullerton Japanese American Project,
Arthur A. Hansen and Yasko Gama, 1982

Wintersburg Village wasn’t just a farming town. It was also a cow town.

Once part of the Rancho la Bolsa Chica, cattle had grazed the fields and “little pockets” of grass in the wetlands for generations. When French aviator Hubert ...

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A Century Ago: Dawning of A New Year in 1914 - Part 2 of 2

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The dawn of a new year, unrest and change

A tremendous social shift was occurring as the world marched toward globalization. In Europe, 1914 would bring the beginning of World War I with the outbreak of conflict and declarations of war. Some from Wintersburg Village and Huntington Beach would later leave the peatlands for military service. Japan would join the allies and later declare war on Germany, invading their settlement in China.

In South Africa in 1914, Mahatma Gandhi would be arrested campaigning for Indian rights. In Latin America, the Panama Canal opened, providing easier steamship travel ...

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A Century Ago: Dawning of A New Year in 1914 - Part 1 of 2

A century ago, the New Year in 1914 brought both promise and uncertainty for Japanese pioneers in California.

It was a time of global social and technological change—affecting state politics—while at the same time generating excitement about what opportunities lay ahead.

In Wintersburg, Charles Furuta and his new wife, Yukiko, had completed construction on their white-trimmed bungalow and settled in to their life as newlyweds. Photos from 1913 show a clothes line with wooden pins behind the house, a lush tree line surrounding the Furuta farm, a stack of wood nearby for future projects, and the Wintersburg Mission ...

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