Internment memorial’s “story wall” breaks ground on Monday


Set to take shape later this month, a wall on Eagle Harbor’s south shore will tell the story of the first Japanese-Americans who were shipped off to internment camps during World War II.

The 272-foot-long “story wall” is the latest installment in the Japanese-American memorial project at the west edge of Pritchard Park.

The nonprofit Bainbridge Island Japanese-American Memorial Committee plans to break ground with a ceremony on March 30, a day that marks the 67th anniversary Japanese-Americans were exiled for the duration of the war.

“Their only crime was being Nikkei – persons of Japanese ancestry,” BIJAMC member Clarence Moriwaki said.

The federal government last year designated the memorial as a satellite unit of the National Parks Service’s Minidoka National Historic Site.

Set for completion this summer, the cedar and stone wall cost an estimated $300,000.

The memorial’s first phase of construction was completed in 2006. It consisted boardwalks, cedar gates, bridges and paths meandering through trees, and a pavilion hand-crafted by the local Timber Framers Guild.

The BIJAMC has raised $2.7 million for the $9 million memorial. Future phases include a $5.7 million interpretive center and a $900,000 ferry pier that resembles the Eagledale dock Bainbridge Island’s 227 Japanese-American residents departed from while en route to internment camps in Idaho and California. They were the first of 120,000 U.S. residents of Japanese decent to be incarcerated in the camps.

The groundbreaking ceremony will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. The memorial site is located at the intersection of Eagle Harbor Drive and Taylor Avenue.

Free bus service to the site will begin at 9:25 a.m. from the Winslow ferry terminal. A bus will also pickup attendees from the Bethany Lutheran Church park-and-ride, 7968 Finch Rd., at 9:35 a.m.

29 thoughts on “Internment memorial’s “story wall” breaks ground on Monday

  1. Baurick’s quote: “The committee has raised $2.7 million for the $9 million memorial. Future phases include a $5.7 million interpretive center and a $900,000 ferry pier . . . ” Given the city, state and national economy, it would be timely to see what portion of the $2.7 million raised was public monies. Tristan Baurick is great for quoting the press release numbers issued by BIJAC, but really what has the public government officials contributed?

    Along those lines, what is the value of the 40 or 80 acres of prime waterfront public park donated? What has been the value of the COBI City Planner working near full-time on this project over the last 6 years? What is the value received from the National Parks Department as a satellite office of Minidoka?

    It is special-interest projects like this our local governments were so enthusiastic about giving public tax money to. During the times when government is flush with the People’s cash, no one cares about a few million here and there. When the well runs dry, the taxpayers should take note of who has the pile of gold.

  2. Another quote of note is Clarence Moriwaki’s statement about Executive Order 9066: “”Their only crime was being Nikkei persons of Japanese ancestry,” committee member Clarence Moriwaki said.” Usually this historical inaccuracy is accompanied by the words “concentration camp” and “barbed wire.” Even in the Cliff Notes recitation, Moriwaki reduces the issues with President Franklin Roosevelt’s action with relocation and EO-9066 to a fortune cookie tidbit of false history.

    See or for repeated corrections of Moriwaki’s grievous historical mistakes on EO-9066. Also, watch any of the locally produced War and MAGIC documentaries on the facts behind E0-9066. The documentaries can be seen from

  3. “Their only crime was being Nikkei persons of Japanese ancestry,” committee member Clarence Moriwaki said.

    The evacuation had nothing to do with criminality. It was based on national security after plenty of evidence revealed fifth-column acitivity amongst ethnic Japanese on the west coast, which was declared a military combat zone. The government was aware the majority of ethnic Japanese were not a threat but also understood that didn’t reduce the threat to the nation in a time of war.

    Here is an interesting quote from the Tolan Commission on National Defense Migration made by Representative Carl Curtis of Nebraska March 7, 1942.

    Mr. Curtis: May I say something right here. I don’t believe anything will be gained by assuming that everyone who has to be evacuated is disloyal. These military decisions must be made upon the basis of the best judgement of those military authorities who are in charge. The rest of us will have to comply. It will be tuff, it will be cruel and there will be hardships.

    Sherman had an old idea of what was war, but that was a long time ago and it is old-fashioned. But that is going to fall upon every American.

    I live in a little town of 1,700 people. One of the car dealers there sells automobiles. He did sell automobiles, radios, washing machines and tires. His Government at Washington says, “You can’t sell any of those things. You can’t even buy them.”

    It so happens that that family has two sons in the armed forces and a third one about to go. Well, now, they are not sitting down at their supper table and talking about their liberties and their precious rights to do business and their precious things being taken away. It is one of those things that all of us are just going to have to take on the chin and like it.

    (Rep. Curtis made this comment to Japanese American members of the United Citizens Federation. It is amazing from reading the National Defense Migration testimony that the arguments made by the Japanese American Reperations Movement today is nothing more than the same old positions used by similar groups in 1942.)

    By Moriwaki’s reasoning I suppose the millions of Americans who suffered losses during the war were also “criminals”. It’s obvious this “story wall” is going to be a series of half-truths or bald faced lies to support Moriwaki’s agenda and cover up the darker chapters of Japanese-American history he would prefer the American people forget.

  4. I’d be interested in knowing if the IP address for “Bob” matches the IP address for Mr. Olsen.

  5. Elliott — for once you attempt to flatter but in your own inimitable way. Bob is his own man/woman/entity and a fine researcher at that. I simply raised some basic funding issues and a call for people to see Docent Moriwaki for what he is — a special-interest voice. As you know, I post under my own name, using both a first and last name.

    Elliott, people may wonder what your IP address is and who Elliott is.

    BTW, a reading assignment for you:

    Executive Order 9066 information sites that contradict Moriwaki’s agenda.



  6. Jimmy goes by many names,but ‘Bob’ is a new one,at least to me.Now,now, Jimmy.I have lots to say, but I’m pretty sure you do not want to get me started.In my old age,I tend to be a bit like you.Rather jaundiced and nasty.I can just go on and on and on and on and on and on and on and I don’t want Everyone to dismiss me.Know what I mean?

  7. Here’s a quote from a book worth reading. Of course, the author might just be a “hysterical racist”, but I doubt it….

    “Back in Tokyo, Hori concentrated on American strategy in the
    Pacific. Hori considered the decision by President Franklin Roosevelt to intern Japanese-Americans was a blow to the network that Japanese
    military attaches in Washington had cultivated.

    Contrary to the contention that Japanese Americans were all loyal to the United States, Hori says there were some who gathered information for Japan prior to the Pearl Harbor attack. The internment of Japanese Americans thus cut Japanese access to information on American industrial capacity and troop movements, according to Hori.”

    Eizo Hori, “Dai-honei Sanbo no Joho Senki,” (Records of
    Intelligence War by a Staff Officer at the Imperial General
    Headquarters), Bunshun Bunko, 1996, 348 pages,

  8. Lois — don’t be discreet — you know what I mean. If you are from BI, just want to be, weigh in on our local politically-correct myth. Hey, it’s your tax money.

    Check with your doctor before you engage in blog comments. Also, check blood pressure and the vitals. We would not want anything to happen to you in your prime old age. You can always start out with doing your homework and then . . .

    Lois — are you and Elliot a couple? If so, what is Elliot’s last name or his first name?

  9. Elliot — do you realize the the exotic crime of spying and Fifth Column support happened here on OUR ISLAND ! Ask Clarence M. or Kitamoto for the details.

  10. I hate being indiscreet,but I will tell you that I am currently involved in a menage a’trois with Clark Kent and Superman.I guess you could say that the three of us are a couple.If I knew who Elliot was, you would be the last person I would tell.And I wouldn’t.Elliot knows who you are and so do I,and I have no interest whatsoever in ‘weighing in’ on any of your tired howlings.From time to time I may point out something outlandish that you have said or done here or back at the Planet, but that is about all of the sport you will get out of me.So sorry to disappoint.

  11. Hey Lois Lane — you speak out of both sides of your mouth. You say: :” I have no interest whatsoever in ‘weighing in’ on any of your tired howlings.From time to time I may point out . . . ” yet you do enter into the fray with your brilliant insight. Sounds to me like Obama.

    Hope your menage a’trois works out better than your blogging. Don’t ask: don’t tell they say. BTW: does this involve BITV crime ham? See

    Remember Lois: make sure you check with your medical provider to ensure you can handle the rigors of adult consensual blogging.

  12. Jimmy,

    I *do* know where the crime of perjury took place. It was at the county seat. You were there. I still remember all those grand and glorious promises of future information you promised to release. But sadly, you once again (and again and again) failed to deliver on all those promises. You sound like the Bush administration with all their phony promises of WMD locale information. And we all know how those turned out.

  13. I told you that I hate being indiscreet,but with Clark on one side and Superman on the other….Now please,let’s be adults and leave my private relationship with two of the finest Americans I have ever known,out of the mix.
    I agree with you about Obama’s brilliance.He is the best thing to happen to this country in at least the last eight years.It’s my hope that the misguided right will stop all the angry complaining and actually step up to the plate,with offers of help and cooperation instead of blame and whine.
    I have AARP insurance and my doctor said that I am good to go..Are you on medicare?What do your specialists say about your condition?

  14. Elliot (no last name or no first name) — there you go with your tricks again — changing the subject. You were about to defend the $9M extravaganza and instead you slip away. I realize Obama’s war and Obama’s financial fiasco weigh heavily on a sport like you.

    Try to focus Elliot on EO-9066 and FDR and the Fifth Column here on BI. Hey, come to think of it, where were you in 1941 on BI. Did you have guns and dynamite and radio transmitters.

    Focus, focus and focus. And hope you are getting on well with your pal L. Lane.

  15. Great Ceasar’s Ghost Miss Lane-Kent-Superman,Didn’t I tell you years ago not to get into that kind of a contest with that kind of a person?
    It is a lost cause.I never let the cub do anything at the Planet besides write obituaries and head up the complaint department.He really enjoyed writing about other people’s demise,and complain?There was no one better.Even though no one ever wrote in with complaints,he never let that stop him.At one point,WRH and I considered renaming the paper The Daily B—-,but Jimmy was so prolific we realized we would have to call it The Daily B—–s,but we didn’t want to attract the wrong kind of readers,so I fired him.I suggest you do the same and ask this site for forgiveness for taking up so many column inches trying to point out what is already so painfully obvious.
    That being said,why don’t you and the husbands drop by the club sometime for Brandy and cigars?You do still smoke cigars don’t you?

  16. Lois and Elliot (no last/first name) ~~ Will the memory wall under discussion talk of arrests on Bainbridge for spying, possession of explosives/weapons/transmitters? Will the wall remember the Japanese Consulate office located on the water overlooking the passage into Rich Passage and Bremerton Naval Yard?

    I believe private memorials and private lands and claim the moon is made of green cheese but memorials on public lands built in part with public monies needs to tell the “rest of the story” and not just the convenient myths.

  17. #17, Watched your Stalinist video. Excellent footage of you being a real activist. Great camera work and editing. Is ‘Bob’ the camera man/woman/entity as well as the narrator? Your ‘free speech’ rights are really trampled on. How far will these people go to quash your Truths? Is that your ‘press badge’ on your hat? You know, the one you are pointing to when you say, “Working press.Credentialed.” ?

  18. James M. Olsen,
    It is a well known scientific fact that the moon is NOT made of green cheese.

  19. Jimmy,

    You said

    You were about to defend the $9M extravaganza

    Interesting claim, Jimmy. Now you think you know what other people are “about to do”? You didn’t even know that Lois was having an affair(or would it be “having affairs”?) or that Mr. White was about to fire you for incompetence. If you didn’t even know what was happening at the Daily Planet at the time it was happening, how on earth could you claim to know what anyone was “about to do”?

    A fine reporter you are. I suggest you go back to the obits and customer complaints. You’re more suited for them.

    I believe private memorials and private lands and claim the moon is made of green cheese

    Oh, by the way, thanks for the admission that you think the moon is made of green cheese. That explains a lot.

  20. Google is amazing. “Bob” is Bainbridge Island resident John Alpaugh:

    August 18, 2005
    “Bob” Is John Alpaugh — Bainbridge Islanders Take Note.

    “It took quite some effort–including a little undercover work–but I’ve finally determined for certain that “Bob,” the internment revisionist who buzzes around the web (including, at one time, this site, but also at Dave Neiwert’s site and elsewhere) harassing people with a device that perpetually masks his IP address is one John Alpaugh, a resident of Bainbridge Island, Washington.

    Mr. Alpaugh is the sort of cowardly man who will publicly attack and denigrate others only from behind what he imagines to be an impenetrable cloak of anonymity. (It turns out that he was wrong about the “impenetrable” part.)

    But it’s actually even uglier than that. Mr. Alpaugh is the sort of man who will publicly smear one of the pallbearers at his own father’s funeral in order to “prove” that the Japanese American internment camps of World War II were big happy playgrounds. Read this lovely little comment of Mr. Alpaugh’s from Dave Neiwert’s site, where Mr. Alpaugh–posing, as usual, as “Bob”–maintains that an elderly internee who was one of his father’s best friends spent his time at the Manzanar Relocation Center in 1943 “playing golf.” (“Bob,” incidentally, was Mr. Alpaugh’s late father’s first name, which makes Alpaugh’s rantings sadder, and more vile.)”

    If you link you’ll see that it goes on, but the last blog entry from his family made me sad:

    “John Alpaugh absolutely does NOT speak for the rest of the Alpaugh family. My father, the real ‘Bob’, would be heartbroken if he were alive to read what John is writing.

    Please do not throw garbage on his lawn. He still lives with my mother and this would upset her terribly.

    Posted by: patricia at November 4, 2005 6:44 AM”

  21. As if those who care about this history didn’t already know, truthseeker. Ha! Ha! Yes, getting slimed over the internet by a constitutional law professor from UNC Chapel Hill was a highlight of my quest for historical accuracy.

    Take some of what Professor Muller says with a grain of salt however. “Bob” is my middle name. Muller got the rest of the information from our local island activists who decided to bring up my father. Pretty sleazy.

  22. Just to let you know what Professor Muller and his allies on Bainbridge are capable of, here’s an example of the emails he sent me under the alias “Dick Kotoshirodo”.

    “John, Wouldn’t your brother and ***** ****** just love to know that our Big Brave Bainbridge Blog Man is none other than John Alpaugh?”

    Here’s another nice email from Professor Muller.

    “Hey, at least I don’t publicly trashtalk the pallbearers at my own father’s funeral. You’re the lowest of the low, John, and you
    haven’t got the balls even to identify yourself publicly.
    You’re too chickensh*t to even put this exchange up on your Big Fancy Blog, because then people–including your wife and family–would know that it’s John Alpaugh who is spewing all this racist crap.”

    Isn’t that nice? All I wanted to do was debate the history.

    Just to clarify, I voluntarily revealed my identity to Muller after I backtraced his IP address and learned he was “Dick Kotoshirodo” sending me all the nice comments.

  23. “Bob”,

    And that justifies your behavior because … ?

    I quit letting my son get away with the “all the other kids are doing it” and “but they started it” excuses when he was eight years old. Are you eight years old? No? Then grow up.

  24. Here is a nice email I got from Clarence Moriwaki. He enjoys attacking me personally but he can never get down to the specifics of the history.

    I’ve been yelled at on the street by BIJAC members, had them flip me off when they drive by my house and generally have been the target of an organized smear campaign – all for having the audacity to ask for a little historical parity.

    “John Alpaugh,

    I pity you. Have you no shame or decency? Perhaps you don’t know this, but your family is deeply embarrassed by your racist diatribes. They have apologized to members of our community for your divisive antics and personally donated thousands of dollars to the memorial project.

    I suppose that makes them part of the cabal as well.

    Apparently, something in your past is deeply troubling you with words and actions that foam at the mouth with anger, sarcasm and venom. For your own sake, I hope you seek professional help and work out your issues and problems.

    But then again, making broad assumptions and libelous accusations without doing the basic modicum of research is your stock and trade. (Why not call Congressman Jay Inslee himself, for example?)

    Have a nice life, if it’s possible.

    Clarence Moriwaki”

    Right, thanks Clarence. Even if what he says about my family is true, suffice to say their knowledge of this history is as strong as the vast majority of Americans – not very. Quite a few old time islanders have approached me with gratitude, however. They also want to make sure the history is told correctly but fear to say so publically because of the smear tactics that I have experienced. Moriwaki had no idea what many old timers are saying behind closed doors. He’s caused more damage amongst old timers on this island than Pearl Harbor ever did.

  25. “Mommy,Mommy!I just had a nightmare.There were some liberal Japanese American Women In Black from the Arts Community with ties to the BISD,the American Legion and COBI under my bed breaking all my toys and watching what I do under my blankets.” “There, there my little one.That wasn’t a dream. Here,have a nice piece of Uber-Conservative Pie and try to go back to sleep while I tell you the story of the ‘Old Timers’ and how they spread the word neath the light of the Green Cheese Moon.”

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