Mayumi Tsutakawa

Mayumi Tsutakawa is an independent writer/editor. She is a presenter with the Humanities Washington Speakers Bureau and speaks about the 100-year history of Japanese Americans in Washington State. She also serves as a SIFF Asian Crossroads programmer. She was formerly the manager of grants for organizations at the Washington State Arts Commission. Mayumi co-edited several multicultural literary anthologies, including The Forbidden Stitch: Asian American Women's Literary Anthology (Calyx Books) which received the BeforeColumbus Foundation’s American Book Award. She is a native of Seattle.

Updated August 2018

war en

Honouliuli Gulch Camp site reveals the lives of Japanese Americans imprisoned in Hawai’i

As I travel around Washington state giving talks about Japanese American history, the question often arises: Did they have incarceration camps in Hawai‘i? Indeed, even activists involved in education and preservation of the ten primary World War II camps on the Mainland, often know little of the camps in Hawai‘i.

Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, as many as 17 sites were designated, across all the Hawaiian islands, from local jails and courthouses to a plantation gymnasium, with the purpose of detaining Japanese and Japanese Americans who were suspected of possible espionage or breaking the rules of martial law. A …

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migration en

Gannenmono Exhibition Reveals the Genesis of Japanese Settlement in Hawaii

The story of the Gannenmono (first-year people) is one of diplomacy and fortitude despite horrible labor conditions, but one which has borne vigorous fruit 150 years later.

The Bishop Museum (Honolulu, HI) exhibition of Gannenmono commemorates 150 years since the first group of laborers came from Japan, in 1868. Of the original 150 voyagers, 43 stayed in Hawai’i and became the basis of the largest minority group in Hawaii. One original family, that of Tokujiro Sato, has created a listing of 1,000 surviving offspring, over eight generations. As many as 200 of them came to the opening night of the …

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