Journey Back to Topaz: Former inmates take pilgrimage to former Central Utah concentration camp

Although May Saito Takashima was only 9 years old when Pearl Harbor was attacked, that Sunday is seared into her memory. “That’s when I became a ‘Jap’ overnight,” said Takashima, who participated in the recent pilgrimage to the former Topaz (Central Utah) concentration camp. “When I went to school Monday, I became a ‘Jap.’ I […]

Going back to ‘Ground Zero’ called Topaz

This past August, Ken Yoshida went back to Topaz, Utah, where, in 1944, an Federal Bureau of Investigation agent picked him up. “The FBI agent came inside our barrack because it was windy and dusty outside. But it was windy and dusty inside, too,” recalled Yoshida, who was, at that time, going to be taken […]

Nisei hibakusha reflects upon wartime experience during Topaz pilgrimage

To recognize the 65th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Jack Dairiki, a Nisei hibakusha on the Topaz pilgrimage bus, shared his experiences. When Dairiki was in the 5th grade, the Sacramento-born Nisei accompanied his father to Hiroshima in 1941 to visit his ailing grandfather. They boarded the Tatsuta Maru in July […]

Journey Back to Topaz – Former inmates take pilgrimage to former Central Utah concentration camp

The 2010 Topaz/Central Utah Pilgrimage attracted participants as far away as Tom Kurihara from Virginia, to local Utahns, but the majority came from California via Toru Saito’s Topaz Bus. Former Topaz inmate Saito has been organizing pilgrimage busses for years. “The reason I do this Topaz bus thing,” said Saito, “is because I kind of […]

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