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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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 departure …

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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 the Army and the War Relocation …

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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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Cherry blossoms and poppies: A 1935 banquet with the Japanese Consul in Huntington Beach

The spring of 1935 was a time of slow financial recovery and international unrest. Adolph Hitler had seized power in Germany in 1933. Japan and Germany left the League of Nations. Dachau, the first of a thousand concentration camps was established. What eventually would be 1,400 German laws aimed at non-Aryans and Jews were in motion. In April 1934, thousands of Americans attended a pro Nazi rally in Queens, New York. By July 1934, 30,000 were imprisoned in Germany.

The unease that spreads in times of financial uncertainty (the Great Depression), environmental devastation (the Dust Bowl), and world conflict (departures from the League of …

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The Marriage that Made Headlines

Imagine having your marriage examined on the front page of metropolitan newspapers across the country and around the world. This was the case for the Wintersburg Japanese Presbyterian Mission’s first minister and his bride in the winter of 1910, the Reverend Joseph Kenichi Inazawa and Miss Kate Alice Goodman.

What caused all the commotion? Neither of them was a wealthy land baron, railroad tycoon, or royalty. Nor were they notorious for questionable politics or crimes. Both were in their forties and had known each other for some time. Theirs was a marriage between a respected Presbyterian clergyman and a long-time …

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