Tammy Ayer

Tammy Ayer lives in Yakima, Wash. and is features/reader engagement editor at the Yakima Herald-Republic. She has held various positions in her journalism career, including features editor, assistant city editor and night city editor, but has continued to write while working as an editor because her true love is telling people's stories.

Updated May 2017

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Little remains of Yakima's once-vibrant Japan Town

Growing up at the Empire Hotel in downtown Yakima, Fukiko Takano enjoyed hunting for coins in the lobby’s deep leather couches and watching people come and go from three movie theaters across the street. And when parades passed the hotel at 121/2 E. Yakima Ave., she could head out onto the sidewalk for a closer look at the floats, the bands and the animals, or she could watch from her family’s second-story rooms of the building on the south side of the street. Her parents, Bunji and Seki Takano, owned the Empire in the what was then known as city’s Japan Town district. T…

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Yakima Buddhist Church Endures

Even now we are separated here and there. In front of the Amida Buddha we are always close and live together. - Jack M. Iwata, Tule Lake Relocation Camp, Oct. 27, 1943 (“The Buddhist Church Experience in the Camps, 1942-1945”) WAPATO — They carefully dismantled the altar, handmade in Japan, and stored it under the stage of the church gym. They sealed the church windows, locked the doors and gave the keys to friends who would keep watch for them. As the Japanese-American members of the Yakima Buddhist Church prepared to leave their homes for the Portland Assembly Cente…

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