Taken from Their Home

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Executive Order 9066
Eighty years ago this week, on March 30, 1942 – one month after President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 directing the relocation of all people of Japanese descent on the West Coast – Japanese Americans on Bainbridge Island became the first in the country to be removed, most likely because of the nearness of the Bremerton Navy Yard and other military installations.

Their ties to the Island community were strong. Neighbors offered to care for their farms and protect their homes while they were gone. Some onlookers wept as evacuees sailed away from Eagle Harbor aboard a ferry. 

At the time, Bainbridge Review copublishers Walt Woodward and Milly Woodward editorialized against internment and, when the war ended, helped pave the way for the many of the island's displaced residents to return from the Manzanar War Relocation Center in California.

Japanese internment affected many communities throughout the state, from King County, to the San Juan Islands, to the Yakima Valley, to Spokane, yet the reactions of residents in those areas stand in sharp contrast to the compassion and concern shown by Bainbridge Islanders for their Japanese-American friends. 

Since 1996, many of their oral histories have been chronicled by the Densho Project, which has been documenting and archiving the history of all Japanese Americans incarcerated during World War II.

--Republished from HistoryLink.org


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