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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Mas Masuda: A Hero's Century in Orange County

“Acts of courage can be remembered for ages”, wrote columnist Stephen Greenhut fifteen years ago, in November 1992, as he recalled R.C. Hoiles, publisher of the Santa Ana Register (later, Orange County Register and Freedom Communications). Hoiles bought the newspaper in 1935 with a guiding philosophy to “believe in moral principle and have enough courage to express these principles and point out practices and beliefs that violate moral principles.”

Greenhut provided an example of moral courage in his 1992 column by citing a recent visit by an 84-year-old Japanese American gentleman, Mas Masuda. He said Mas “showed up at ...

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Two Decembers: 1934 and 1948

In December 1934, the communities of Wintersburg Village and Huntington Beach gathered to dedicate the newest house of worship for the Wintersburg Japanese Mission. Formally recognized as a Church with the Presbyterian Church USA in 1930, the Wintersburg Japanese Mission was marking its 30th anniversary in 1934.

The first Mission building also had opened in December, in 1909, followed shortly by the Manse (parsonage). Reverend Joseph K. Inazawa and his wife, Kate Alice Goodman, were there for the 1910 dedication and services, as was Charles Furuta, the Furuta farm; and Reverend Terasawa and Dr. Ernest Adolphus Sturge, who had helped ...

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Moving Day: May 17, 1942

“I remember the regulations being posted on Edison Company poles.”
“And this was the only notification you had--the public posters?"
“Yes.”
“When you got to Poston, what did you think of it?”
“I had a real deep sinking feeling when we saw the place.”

~ Hitoshi Nitta, February 7, 1966.
Born in Santa Ana, California, in 1917.

In Orange County, “moving day” was seventy-five years ago: Sunday, May 17, 1942. All persons with Japanese ancestry--including U.S.-born citizens--were instructed to report to various Civil Control Stations or designated departure sites around the County by that date. In Huntington Beach, the ...

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May 10, 1942: Civilian Exclusion Orders 60 and 61

The day everyone had been both waiting for and dreading was finally here. Civilian Exclusion Order No. 60 and No. 61 were published on May 10, 1942. Within 24 to 48 hours, every individual or family with full or partial Japanese ancestry—both those classified as “alien” and those who were U.S.-born citizens—was required to register at a Civil Control Station.

The words “exclusion” and “control” made one’s status in the situation clear: there was no choice, no free will, no civil liberty. The entirety of one’s life would now be under the control of ...

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May 5, 1942: Within days, Civilian Exclusion Orders and saying goodbye in Orange County

Seventy-five years ago, Japanese Americans in Orange County were preparing for Civilian Exclusion Order No. 60 and No. 61. These were the specific military orders from Lt. General J.L. DeWitt (following Executive Order 9066 authorized by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt) which directed they present themselves to the “Civil Control Station” in their region to register, prior to incarceration.

Failure to register at a Civil Control Station meant criminal penalties, “immediate apprehension and internment.” Either way, one would be incarcerated.

At the time of the final sermon of the Wintersburg Japanese Church on May 5, 1942,---then marking its 38th ...

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