Pilgrimages to WWII confinement sites began in the late 1960s. It took nearly a quarter century for former prisoners and their descendants to question why they had been imprisoned and begin searching for answers. From 1975 to 2019, the annual Amache Pilgrimage was held in person on the Saturday before Memorial Day weekend.
In 2020, the Pilgrimage was canceled due to health and safety concerns related to COVID-19. Amache took part in Tadaima! A Community Virtual Pilgrimage, which was developed as a way to bring together survivors and descendants of the camps and the general public. In 2021, it was still unsafe to gather in person, and the first ever Virtual Amache Pilgrimage was held. Amache also participated in Tadaima 2021.
We hope that Virtual Pilgrimages will continue to have a role, both as stand-alone events and to complement in-person gatherings. Additional information will be posted here as available.
Due to uncertainties with internet coverage at the site, there will not be livestreaming at this year’s Pilgrimage, but we plan to create a video for those who are unable to attend.
Much of the programming for past events was recorded and is still available online. We have collected that information below. Enjoy!
From August 29 – September 25, 2021 Tadaima 2021 was held, expanding upon Tadaima 2020 to address identity, indigeneity, and intersectionality as they relate to the WWII incarceration of Japanese Americans. The session “Resistance at Amache and the Road to Recognition” featured an overview of resistance at Amache and panel discussion, with special guest Susumu Yenokida, the last surviving Nisei draft resister from Amache.
Virtual Amache Pilgrimage 2021
The first Virtual Amache Pilgrimage was held June 11-13th and included a mix of live chatting with Amacheans and other community members, films, videos, and panel discussions. The majority of programming was recorded and is still available online at https://www.jampilgrimages.com/2021-amache-virtual-pilgrimage.
TADAIMA! A Community Virtual Pilgrimage: 2020
The annual pilgrimage to Amache and other sites of wartime Japanese American incarceration were canceled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Recognizing the significance of these pilgrimages, a virtual community pilgrimage was organized by the Japanese American Memorial Pilgrimages. They hosted TADAIMA! A Community Virtual Pilgrimage from June 13-August 16, 2020. Except for the Films of the Week, most of the content is still available via the TADAIMA! page.
If you missed any of the past Amache programming, all the panels and presentations were recorded and are still available. Here are some offerings about Amache or that feature Amache incarcerees (for automatic closed captioning, look for the cc button on the bottom right hand side of the videos–it is available for most of the videos):
- Week 1: Tues Jun 16 An Archaeology of Gardens and Gardeners at Amache
- Week 2: Sat Jun 27 Ask an Archaeologist Panel Discussion
- Week 5: Tues Jul 14 The Heritage of Sport: An Overview of the University of Denver Amache Project
- Week 6: Film of the Week Seed: The Life of the Rice King and his Kin
- Sun July 19 Blossoms and Thorns: A Community Uprooted Film Screening and Q&A with panelist Flora Ninomiya
- Tues July 21 Bonsai at Camp Amache
- Sat July 25 Nikkei Block Party Discussion of Terminal Island includes panelist Min Tonai, starting around 1:09:00
- Week 7: Sat Aug 1 Amache Site Tour
- Week 8: Sun Aug 2 Amache Elder Panel featuring Ken Kitajima, Sherman Kishi, and Margarette Murakami. Sherman was having some sound challenges, so be sure to use the closed captioning function.
- Week 9: Sun Aug 9 Amache Field School: Amache Kids Search for their Past featuring Carlene Tinker, Gary Ono, and Dennis Fujita.