Report from Topaz

On November 30 and December 1, 2021, an expert National Park Service team was in Delta, Utah at the invitation of the Topaz Museum to conduct a condition evaluation of the Wakasa monument and site. This is a report of that evaluation and concurrent ceremonies conducted by the Wakasa Memorial Committee (WMC), as seen through the […]

Love and compassion

 As I read about the circumstances about the unearthing of the Wakasa monument, I am saddened by some of the inflammatory language of the past four months surrounding the event and the innuendo demeaning the character of Jane Beckwith and the Topaz Museum Board. For nearly four decades, these are individuals who have been the […]

Wakasa monument unearthing a ‘slap in the face’

To All Concerned, Despite the personal request of a decades long financial supporter of the Topaz Museum to fund a ceremonious, archivally professional excavation of the long buried stone monument, Jane Beckwith (Museum Director), the very next business day, hired her trash haulers to dig up and move it to her private museum. That personal request […]

Wakasa Memorial Committee ‘stunned’ by Topaz Museum Board’s ‘crude and unprofessional’ unearthing of monument

Sept. 7, 2021 Dear Topaz Museum Board President Jane Beckwith and Board Members Lance Atkinson, Scott Bassett, Lorelei Draper, Rick Okabe, Hisashi Bill Sugaya, and Teresa Thompson: The U.S. Department of the Interior has designated the Topaz Relocation Center (“Topaz”) as a National Historic Landmark (NHL), the nation’s highest and most coveted historic status. Topaz […]

LETTERS: JA ‘offended’ by ‘desecration’ of James Wakasa’s ‘final resting place’

Editor’s Note: The following letter was sent in response to the column entitled “The ‘desecration of sacred ground’ at Topaz” that appeared in the Aug. 19, 2021 issue of the Nichi Bei Weekly. Dear Editor: I have just learned they discovered the secretly buried James H. Wakasa memorial monument. Mr. Wakasa was a neighbor of […]

LETTERS: Wakasa monument statement from the Friends of Topaz

August 30, 2021 To the Japanese American Community, We are the Friends of Topaz, a group of predominately Japanese American descendants of World War II Topaz concentration camp incarcerees, living in the San Francisco Bay Area. We exist to support the Topaz Museum because we believe in their mission to preserve Topaz stories and to […]

Let’s Talk About … Honoring the dead

Obon season is upon us. It is when our Japanese American communities gather to share an ancient Buddhist tradition to honor the spirits of our ancestors. In Japan, it is a time when families return to their ancestral family homes to visit and clean their ancestors’ graves. It is thought to be the time when […]

LETTERS: More on the Topaz (Central Utah) incarceration experience

Editor’s Note: The following was sent in response to the article entitled “Prewar Nikkei life depicted.” Dear Editor, In Greg Robinson’s July 21, 2016 book review of Toshio Mori’s  “Yokohama, California,” Robinson writes that, “Indeed, the text nowhere referred to the wartime fate of the author, confined at Topaz (Central Utah) …” Writer Toshio Mori, […]

Topaz Museum presents proposed exhibits to S.F. Nikkei for comment

Following more than two decades of planning and work, the Topaz Museum in Delta, Utah is hoping to open its permanent exhibit sometime in 2016. Despite initial issues regarding the exhibit’s content first proposed more than a year ago, the newly revised proposed exhibits met mostly positive reactions at a Dec. 13 open house presentation […]

RABBIT RAMBLINGS: Who gets to tell the Japanese American incarceration story?

What are the meanings to be found in our camp experience? And why am I puzzling over such a deep question, and why now? It’s because I am involved in an inquiry about the contents that are to be placed in the Topaz Museum. As many of you know, there has been a multi-year effort […]

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