Sierra Dawn McClain

Sierra Dawn McClain is a field reporter for the Capital Press, covering agriculture and rural issues across the western U.S. She is a nationally award-winning writer and speaker. Previously, Sierra worked as an independent investigative journalist and interned on the media team at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Sierra holds a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Oregon.

Updated September 2020

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Beauty out of dust: 75 years later, Japanese-Americans remember World War II incarceration

WOODLAND, Wash. — Morning sunlight spilled into the garage, illuminating a bent figure, about 5-foot-2. George Tsugawa was plucking weeds from potted plants. At 99, he still helps with the family-run nursery.

Tsugawa Nursery, minutes from his home, is a marvel of floral carpets, Japanese maples and fairy-like bonsai forests, drawing garden enthusiasts from across the Northwest.

But in addition to its inviting, multicolored beauty, the nursery holds a story of hardship and hope during wartime. Its founders, George and his late wife Mable, were both Japanese-American prison camp survivors.

Seventy-five years ago this week — Sept. 2, 1945 — …

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