Search
Menu
Print

Filled with Grace - Japanese Americans in the South Sound

Purchase TicketsBook a Field TripBecome a member

February 4 - May 21, 2017

The Japanese community first set down roots in Washington State during the 1890s. Early immigrants took low paying jobs FWG Symposiumin railroads, sawmills, salmon canneries, farms and as domestic laborers. Within a few decades, however, these Washingtonians had become a vital part of our state with contributions to both culture and commerce.

It was not a life without conflict, however. Changing laws and the stirring of war with Japan caused strain for many Japanese Americans. The bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941 only intensified fear and frustration as uncertainty about the future increased.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942, authorizing the creation of concentration camps for Japanese American citizens. This event would mark the lives of Japanese Americans, their families and their communities forever.

“The bitter ordeals I have suffered
One after another
As I remember
Now without sorrow
Filled with grace”

- Teiko “Yukari” Tomita (1896-1990)
Filled with Grace focuses on the lives of the Japanese American community prior to World War II. Visitors will experience history through period music, interactive activities, art, and more. Some of the artifacts on display include photos of pre-war Japanese American life in Washington, traditional clothing, suitcases, dolls, and a diorama showing the layout of "Camp Harmony" at the Puyallup Fairgrounds.

For many years, members, educators and the general public have indicated a desire for an exhibition on the Japanese American experience during World War II. By placing this topic in the greater context of what the Japanese American community was like prior to incarceration, we will better help visitors understand the enormous impact that these concentration camps had on Washington State.

Composite Photos

Composite photo of the Puyallup Fairgrounds and Camp Harmony
The above image of Camp Harmony in 1942 and the Puyallup Fairgrounds today blends the two images below.
 Camp Harmony grandstand areaCamp Harmony grandstands today
 
Composite image of Puyallup Fairgrounds and Camp Harmony
The above image of Camp Harmony in 1942 and the Puyallup Fairgrounds today blends the two images below.
Camp Harmony at Puyallup FairgroundsPuyallup Fairgrounds
 
Composite photo of Camp Harmony and the Puyallup Fairgrounds
The above image of Camp Harmony in 1942 and the Puyallup Fairgrounds today blends the two images below.
Camp Harmony at the Puyallup Fairgrounds in 1942

Puyallup Fairgrounds

Click to find this photo at the Museum of History and Industry...

Historic Images

This black and white image from 1938 is of a Japanese American man in Pierce County, WA, identified as Johnny Fujita. He is sitting at a desk looking at some kind of accounting ledger and there is an adding machine on the desk to his right.

More on this photo...

In this 1941 Seattle photo, a smiling Japanese American clerk hands a plate of pastries to a customer. A description on the back of the photo states that it is "the Sagamiya Confectionary Store, the oldest Japanese shop in the city. It has been in business since 1890, the year after the great Seattle fire."

More on this photo...
A young Japanese American man works in Seattle, Washington, around 1941. A description on the back of the photo states that it is a "scene in the Grand Union Laundry, oldest Japanese laundry on the Pacific Coast. It was started before the turn of the century by the fathers of the present owners."
More on this photo...