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Media Sources: Internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II

Feb 18, 2016

The Day of Remembrance, marked each year on or around Feb. 19, commemorates the 1942 signing of Executive Order 9066, which triggered the forced relocation and incarceration of some 120,000 people of Japanese descent who lived in Pacific Coast states.

University of the Pacific is home to one of the most significant collections of letters, photos and oral histories from Japanese-Americans interned during World War II. The following people can comment on the collections and this episode in American history.

Japanese-American Internment Collections

Michael Wurtz, university archivist, can talk about the letters, photos, oral histories and other materials in University of the Pacific's Japanese-American Internment Collections. These collections document the relocation experience with an emphasis on San Joaquin County evacuees. One collection, the Harold S.Jacoby Nisei Collection, contains reports, field notes, internment camp newspapers and other materials from the papers of Harold Jacoby, late professor of sociology and dean of the College of the Pacific, who served as head of security at the Tule Lake Internment Camp during its first year. Many of the materials in the collections have been digitized and housed in the Online Archive of California, including this photo of a Sunday school class at the Rohwer Relocation Center in Arkansas. Contact: Mike Wurtz, mwurtz@pacific.edu or 209.946.3105.

Personal stories

Jim Tabuchi, a Stockton native whose parents and grandparents were interned during World War II, contributed a number of family artifacts to the Japanese-American Internment Collections at University of the Pacific, including a luggage tag used during the family's forced relocation. The Tabuchi family's roots in Stockton go back more than a century. Tabuchi's grandparents owned Tabuchi's Department Store before the war, and were able to hold on to it through the auspices of the Bank of Stockton. Tabuchi's father became one of the first Japanese-Americans to graduate from then-College of the Pacific after the war.  Tabuchi can talk about the impact of internment on his close relatives, the importance of remembering our history, and the echoes of the Japanese-American experience in current world events, including the Syrian refugee crisis. Now living in the Sacramento area, Tabuchi is a retired high-tech executive serving as executive director of the Sacramento Mandarins, a nonprofit education and entertainment organization; program director of Catalyst Leadership Development, a program of the Sacramento Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce; and director of organizational development at Kaiser Permanente, South Sacramento. Contact: Jim Tabuchi, jimtabuchi@yahoo.com or 916.719.7368.

Japanese-American experience through literature

Xiaojing Zhou, professor of English and director of the Ethnic Studies program at Pacific, can talk about the scholarly, literary and historic significance of the Japanese-American Internment Collections, and how she uses the materials in the collections in her teaching. She is the author of "The Ethics and Poetics of Alterity in Asian American Poetry" and "Cities of Others: Reimagining Urban Spaces in Asian American Literature," among other books. She is also the author of Introduction to Toshio Mori's collection of short stories, "Yokohama, California." Contact: Xiaojing Zhou, xzhou@pacific.edu or 209.952.8169.

About University of the Pacific

Established in 1851 as the first chartered institution of higher education in California, University of the Pacific prepares students for professional and personal success through rigorous academics, small classes, and a supportive and engaging culture. Widely recognized as one of the most beautiful private university campuses in the West, the Stockton campus offers more than 80 majors in seven schools. The university's distinctive Northern California footprint also includes a campus in San Francisco, home to the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry and new graduate programs in health, food and technology fields, and in Sacramento, home to the Pacific McGeorge School of Law and new graduate programs in health, education, business and public policy. For more information, visit www.pacific.edu.

Media contact Claudia Morain | cmorain@pacific.edu | 209.946.2313

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