Past Events

Denver University’s Archaeology Field School was held June 12-July 12, 2018

2012 DU Field School Excavating Block 11H. Photo courtesy Kirsten Leong. DU’s Amache Project offered its biennial Field School from June 12-July 12. The field school is a four-credit undergraduate level course for students interested in archaeology, museum studies, or history. High school interns and volunteers with family ties to the site also participated. A community open house was held on Friday, July 6, 2018. For details, visit the project website, or the Amache Historical Society II Fall 2017 Newsletter.

Annual Amache Pilgimage was held on May 19, 2018

Amache Pilgrimage 2016. Council General and Wife paying homage to those who were incarcerated and died at Amache. Photo by Amache Preservation Society. The Amache Pilgrimage is held each year on the Saturday before Memorial Day Weekend. It is a day to remember those of Japanese descent who spent more than three years imprisoned on the plains of southern Colorado during World War II. This year also marked the 25th Anniversary of the Amache Preservation Society. There was also a dinner/discussion on Saturday night. For information, see the Pilgrimage page and flyer.

Amache Speaker at Arvada Center’s Stories from Wartime April 11, 2018

Stories from Wartime Regis University’s Center for the Study of War Experience public history series, “Stories from Wartime,” features veterans and civilians sharing their wartime experiences. On April 11 from 6-8 pm, the topic was “The ‘Othering’ of Perceived Enemies.” Focusing on the WWII internment of Japanese-American, the topic grapples with what it means to conceptualize the enemy and the experience of those who may appear to be like them. Mitch Homma, an Amache descendant, was a panelist.

UNC Hosted Smithsonian Traveling Exhibit Feb 2 – April 7, 2018

Wide American Earth University of Northern Colorado hosted the Smithsonian Traveling Exhibit “I Want the Wide American Earth, An Asian Pacific American Story” from Feb 2 – April 7, 2018. The exhibit was on display on the main floor of the James A. Michener Library during library hours. Tuesday, March 20, featured Stories of Internment Camp Survivors from 3:00-4:30 in the Lindou Auditorium on the lower level of Michener Library. For more information, visit the library website.

Exhibit “Connecting the Pieces: Dialogues on the Amache Archaeology Collection” Displayed Nov 9, 2017 – March 17, 2018 at DU

Connecting The Pieces Exhibit Photo Seventy-five years ago, the U.S. government forcefully removed thousands of Japanese Americans from their homes on the West Coast and confined them in remote camps. The exhibit featured community members and students exploring how everyday objects from Amache reveal stories of the past and stimulate dialogues today. The exhibit ran from November 9, 2017 – March 17, 2018 at the University of Denver Museum of Anthropology, 2000 E Asbury Ave, Sturm Hall Rm 102, Denver CO 80208 and was free and open to the public. The gallery is typically open Monday thru Friday, 9am – 4pm or by appointment. More info: du.edu/DUMA.

Colorado Preservation, Inc. Hosted the Saving Places Conference Jan 31-Feb 3, 2018

CPI_SavingPlaces2018_Banner Colorado Preservation, Inc. hosted the annual Saving Places Conference Jan 31 – Feb 3 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. This year’s theme was “The Power of Place.” The Friends of Amache hosted a session on Thurs Feb 1, 10:30-11:45 a.m. Speakers included Marge Taniwaki, Dr. Bonnie Clark, John Tonai, and Mitch Homma. For details, visit the conference website.

2017: A Year of Events Related to the 75th Anniversary of the Signing of EO9066

2017 calendar iconOn February 19, 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, enabling the wartime incarceration of 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry in 10 “internment camps” across the country. For the 75th Anniversary, the Japanese-American community hosted events throughout the year and across the nation related to the WWII Japanese American incarceration experience. Use the google calendar or visit the #NeverAgain facebook page to learn more about the events and groups involved.

Annual Amache Pilgimage was held on May 20, 2017

Amache Pilgrimage 2016. Council General and Wife paying homage to those who were incarcerated and died at Amache. Photo by Amache Preservation Society. The Amache Pilgrimage is held on the Saturday before Memorial Day Weekend, which fell on May 20 in 2017. It was a day to remember those of Japanese descent who spent more than three years imprisoned on the plains of southern Colorado during World War II.



9066 Exhibit at Fresno State University through April 30, 2017

Fresno State University 9066 Exhibit logo. The DU Amache Project and Amache survivors contributed to the exhibit “9066 Japanese American Voices from the Inside” at Fresno State University, which opened on the Day of Remembrance. The exhibit ran through April 30 with a number of community events. More information can be found at the exhibit website, library.fresnostate.edu/content/9066-exhibition.


Santa Anita Assembly Center Reunion held in Los Angeles, CA on April 15, 2017

Santa Anita Assembly Center, Arcadia, California. A panoramic view of the Santa Anita assembly center where evacuees from this section await transfer to War Relocation Authority centers to spend the duration. Photo by Clem Albers (NARA record: 8452194). On April 15, 2017, the Japanese American National Museum hosted a reunion and public remembrance of the opening of the Santa Anita Assembly Center 75 years ago. For details, see the event flyer or online press release.


Film about Amache survivor shown in Denver, CO on April 19, 2017

Seed Film image. Photo courtesy seedfilm.life. On April 19, 2017, the Japanese American Association of Colorado and the City of Denver invited friends and members to a private screening of the documentary film “Seed: The Life of the Rice King and his Kin”. The film follows the history of an Amache internee, Keisaburo Koda, who founded Koda Farms–California’s oldest family-owned and operated rice farm and mill. The film was shown at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science Phipps Theater. For more details, see the event flyer. For background on the film, visit seedfilm.life.

History Colorado hosted Day of Remembrance Event on February 19, 2017

2017 Day of Remembrance posterOn Sunday, February 19, 2017 the Mile High Chapter of the JACL hosted the annual Day of Remembrance event, commemorating the signimg of EO 9066. The program featured key speakers and presentations explaining the significance and impact of the event. Lane Hirabayashi, UCLA Professor Emeritus and author of Japanese American Resettlement through the Lens led the discussion, along with Adele Arakawa, KUSA-TV news anchor. The event was held at the History Colorado Center in Denver, CO, from 1-4 PM. For more information, visit History Colorado’s webpage or view the poster on the Mile High JACL events page.


JACL Livingston-Merced hosted Day of Remembrance Banquet on February 18, 2017

Merced Assembly Center Memorial. Photo by Kirsten Leong.On Saturday, February 18, 2017 the Livingston-Merced Chapter of the JACL hosted the annual Day of Remembrance banquet at the Merced County Fairgrounds in California. Keynote speaker was David “Mas” Masumoto, a third generation peach and grape farmer of Del Rey in Fresno County. Internees at Amache came primarily from the Merced and Santa Anita Assembly Centers.

40th Anniversary Pilgrimage featured 1943 Valedictorian’s Commencement Address

1943 Amache High School valedictorian Marion Konishi reading her commencement speech at the 40th Anniversary Pilgrimage in 2016. Marion Konishi Takehara, former Amache internee and valedictorian of Amache High School Class of 1943 attended theAmache Pilgrimage on May 21, 2016, and read her commencement speech to a standing ovation. She asked then, “What does America mean to you?” And answered in 2016 what she answered in 1943 behind Amache’s barbed wire, “I would answer without any hesitation and with all sincerity, America means freedom, equality, security and justice…Do my classmates believe this? Yes, with all our heards, because in that faith, in that hope, is my future, our future, and the world’s future.” The pilgrimage and Konishi’s speech were featured on local news in Colorado Springs and Denver. It was the first time she had returned to Amache since she left 70 years earlier.

April 23, 2016 was Amache Digitization Day in Sebastopol, CA

Amache Digitization Project flyer People with Amache related items such as photos, diaries, drawings, handmade jewelry or furniture, yearbooks, or items created by the silk screen shop were invited to bring them to the Amache Digitization Day at the Enmanji Buddhist Temple in Sebastopol, CA, where they were digitally preserved so they can be shared for generations to come. Participants took home their objects and the digital copies. An exhibit will be created at the Sonoma State Library Art Gallery in the fall, highlighting the beauty, creativity, and resilience that burgeoned out of a harsh, unforgiving landscape and unjust situation. See flyer for details.

History Colorado hosted Day of Remembrance February 21, 2016

2016 Day of Remembrance poster On Sunday, February 21, the Mile High Chapter of the JACL hosted the annual Day of Remembrance event, commemorating February 19, 1942, the day that President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066. The event was held at the History Colorado Center in Denver, CO, with the theme “Building Bridges of Inclusivity,” focusing on the history of racism against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community and similarities with racism currently faced by the Muslim American community. It concluded with a panel discussion with members of the Japanese American, Muslim American, and Sikh American communities and open house. For more information, visit History Colorado’s webpage or view the poster.

Denver University’s 2016 Archaeology Field School featured on Denver’s 9News

Open House participants help to clean artifacts. Photo courtesy Kirsten Leong. Denver University’s Amache Project offered its biennial Field School in historical archaeology and museum studies from June 9-July 15. The field school is a four-credit undergraduate level course for students interested in archaeology, museum studies, or history. High school interns and volunteer with family ties to the site also participated. Open Houses were held on July 8 and 9, and the project was featured on Denver’s 9News. For more information and to read the field school summary, visit the project website.

Heart Mountain hosted All Camps Celebration August 21-22, 2015

Heart Mountain Relocation Center, Heart Mountain, Wyoming. Looking west on F street, main thoroughfare of this relocation center, with its namesake Heart Mountain looming in the background. By Parker, Tom, Photographer (NARA record: 4682167) (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

This year, Heart Mountain’s annual Pilgrimage in Cody, WY featured an All Camps Celebration, and invited former incarcerees and families from all Japanese-American confinement sites to join in fellowship, commemoration, healing and celebration. For more information, visit the Heart Mountain Pilgrimage page.


Denver University Museum Hosted Exhibit on Amache through September 18, 2015

Teapot lid fragment at Amache. Photo courtesy DU Amache Project.

A student and community curated exhibit, Connecting the Pieces: Dialogues on the Amache Archaeology Collection was on display at Denver University’s Museum of Anthropology. Connecting the Pieces featured objects from the DU Amache Research Project that help tell the story of Japanese American internment during World War II.