Structural Erasure: Remembering Japanese Americans in Prewar Tacoma
ONLINE, February 17, 2022, 6:00-7:00 PM
Our community has a fascinating past!
Tacoma’s Nihonmachi (Japan Town) was a vibrant and close-knit community of first-generation Japanese immigrants and their second-generation American children with businesses, homes, hotels, churches, and the Tacoma Japanese Language School, centered in Tacoma’s current downtown core. Influenced both by the transnational connections to Japan and by the spatial components of the city itself, the world they built was destroyed by incarceration and erased in the years that followed.
University of Washington Tacoma’s Lisa Hoffman and Mary Hanneman present the highlights of their recently published book, Becoming Nisei: Japanese American Urban Lives in Prewar Tacoma, with a focus on what made Tacoma’s Japanese community unique. The book is based on interviews with 42 Nisei who grew up in Tacoma as well as archival work in the University of Washington Libraries Special Collections.
Image: Yamane Grocery Store interior, circa1934. Located at 1513 South Tacoma Avenue, Tacoma, Washington. Pictured from left to right are Moriichi Yamane, son Kazuo Yamane, and wife Yoshi Yamane. Among the grocery items displayed are fresh fruit and potatoes, loaves of Wonder Bread, and packaged and canned goods. Washington State Historical Society, Yamane Family Collection, catalog ID 2009.20.35.