UCLA Kyodo Taiko To Perform at the 51st Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage

The 51st Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage and the 2020 Manzanar At Dusk program have been POSTPONED. Further information: https://manzanarcommittee.org/2020/03/12/51st-postponed.

PILGRIMAGE: Bus transportation available from Downtown Los Angeles and Gardena.

LOS ANGELES — UCLA Kyodo Taiko will perform at the 51st Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, sponsored by the Manzanar Committee, Saturday, April 25, 2020, starting at 11:30 AM PDT, at the Manzanar National Historic Site, located on U.S. Highway 395 in California’s Owens Valley, between the towns of Lone Pine and Independence, approximately 230 miles north of Los Angeles (see map below).

Each year, over 1,000 people from diverse backgrounds, including students, teachers, community members, clergy and former incarcerees attend the Pilgrimage, which commemorates the unjust incarceration of over 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry in ten American concentration camps, and other confinement sites, located in the most desolate, isolated regions of the United States, during World War II. Manzanar was the first of the American concentration camps to be established.

The theme of this year’s Pilgrimage is Standing Together for Civil Rights. The Pilgrimage will also be dedicated to former Manzanar incarceree, former Manzanar Committee member, volunteer docent at the Manzanar National Historic Site, and author of the book, Manzanar to Mount Whitney: The Life and Times of a Lost Hiker, Hank Umemoto, who passed away on December 22, 2019, at the age of 91.

Former Manzanar incarceree and former Southern California Co-Chair of the National Coalition for Redress/Reparations (NCRR; now known as Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress) Alan Nishio will be the keynote speaker.

Led by 2019-20 Co-Directors Brandon Fujii and Isaac Caldas, UCLA Kyodo Taiko will make their 14th consecutive appearance at the Manzanar Pilgrimage this year. They are the first collegiate taiko (Japanese drum) group in North America, making their debut at the Opening Ceremony of the University of California, Los Angeles’ commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Japanese American Internment, which was held in February 1992 at UCLA’s famed Royce Hall.

Comprised entirely of UCLA students, UCLA Kyodo Taiko has performed at local K-12 schools, Nisei Week, the Tofu Festival and the Lotus Festival in Los Angeles, the Intercollegiate Taiko Invitational, during halftime at UCLA men’s basketball games, the First Annual USA Sumo Open, and the 2018 Community Art Days in Bishop, California, sponsored by the Inyo Council for the Arts, in addition to many other campus, community and private events.

The Manzanar At Dusk program, which is co-sponsored by the Nikkei Student Unions at California State University, Fullerton, California State University, Long Beach, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of California, Riverside, and the University of California, San Diego, will follow a couple of hours after the Manzanar Pilgrimage at 5:00 PM at Lone Pine High School, 538 South Main Street (U.S. Highway 395), approximately eight miles south of the Manzanar National Historic Site, across the street from McDonald’s (see map below).

Through a creative presentation, small group discussions and an open mic session, Manzanar At Dusk participants will have the opportunity to learn about the experiences of those incarcerated in the camps. Participants will also be able to interact with former incarcerees in attendance to hear their personal stories, to share their own experiences, and discuss the relevance of the concentration camp experience to present-day events and issues.

Pilgrimage participants are advised to bring their own lunch, drinks, and snacks, as there are no facilities to purchase food at the Manzanar National Historic Site (restaurants and fast food outlets are located in Lone Pine and Independence, which are nearby).

Water will be provided at the site, but participants are asked to bring a refillable water bottle that may be filled at stations located on-site.

Those who wish to participate in the traditional flower offering during the interfaith service are advised to bring their own flowers.

Pilgrimage participants should also be aware that weather in the Owens Valley can be unpredictable and can change rapidly. The Manzanar Committee advises participants that they should always wear a hat, use sunscreen and lip balm (ultraviolet light is not affected by clouds and is more intense at higher elevations) and to be prepared for any kind of weather, including high winds, heat, cold, and rain.

Further details about the Pilgrimage and the Manzanar At Dusk program will be announced at a later date.

The Manzanar Committee has also announced that bus transportation to the Pilgrimage is available from Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo and Gardena, California.

Reservations for the buses will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis at $50.00 per seat (the Manzanar Committee subsidizes the cost of the bus). Complimentary seats are available for those who were incarcerated at any of the former American concentration camps or other confinement sites during World War II.

The buses will also take participants to the Visitor Center at the Manzanar National Historic Site following the afternoon program.

Bento (Japanese-style) lunches are also available for those travelling on the buses for $15.00 each.

To reserve a seat on the Little Tokyo bus, go to https://manzanarcommittee.org/51st-bus or call (323) 662-5102. Seats on the Gardena bus may be reserved by clicking on https://www.jci-gardena.org/manzanar-pilgrimage-2020.html.

Anyone wishing to attend the Manzanar At Dusk program that evening should make other transportation arrangements.

Those wishing to sponsor a bus seat, or otherwise help defray the rising costs of sponsoring the Pilgrimage and Manzanar At Dusk each year, are encouraged to make a donation by sending a check, payable to the Manzanar Committee, 1566 Curran St., Los Angeles, 90025-2036, or by donating online at https://manzanarcommittee.org/donate.

Both the Manzanar Pilgrimage and the Manzanar At Dusk programs are free and open to the public. For more information, call (323) 662-5102 or send e-mail to 51stpilgrimage@manzanarcommittee.org.

The Manzanar Committee is dedicated to educating and raising public awareness about the incarceration and violation of civil rights of persons of Japanese ancestry during World War II and to the continuing struggle of all peoples when Constitutional rights are in danger. A non-profit organization that has sponsored the annual Manzanar Pilgrimage since 1969, along with other educational programs, the Manzanar Committee has also played a key role in the establishment and continued development of the Manzanar National Historic Site. For more information, check out our web site at https://manzanarcommittee.org, call us at (323) 662-5102, and e-mail us at info@manzanarcommittee.org. You can also follow the Manzanar Committee on Facebook, on Twitter at @manzanarcomm, on Instagram at @manzanarcommittee, on Pinterest and on YouTube.


LEAD PHOTO: UCLA Kyodo Taiko performs at the 50th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, April 27, 2019. Gann Matsuda/Manzanar Committee.

Manzanar National Historic Site via Google Maps

Lone Pine High School via Google Maps

Creative Commons License The Manzanar Committee’s Official web site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. You may copy, distribute and/or transmit any story or audio content published on this site under the terms of this license, but only if proper attribution is indicated. The full name of the author and a link back to the original article on this site are required. Photographs, graphic images, and other content not specified are subject to additional restrictions. Additional information is available at: Manzanar Committee Official web site – Licensing and Copyright Information.

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