A look back in time

From HistoryLink.org

"On March 30, 1942, the U.S. military removes 275 Japanese American residents from Bainbridge Island. The removal comes after Franklin Roosevelt's Executive Order 9066 gives the military the authority to intern anyone they consider "dangerous." The order set in motion the expulsion of 110,000 Japanese Americans from the West Coast to 10 inland prison camps, based on their ethnicity and heritage. None was accused of any crime or charged or convicted of any act of espionage or sabotage. Bainbridge Island's Japanese American residents were the first in the country to be removed, most likely because of the nearness of the Bremerton Navy Yard and other military installations."

From time to time, I work on our family tree until I get too overwhelmed/ frustred/ stuck; things get complicated when you start to go that far back in time. Above, is a US Census document from April 11, 1930 which listed my grandfather and great grandfather. It lists them both as Japanese and my great grandfather as a restaurant owner - must be where I get my cookin' skills from! I was pretty excited when I found this! I imagine how easy this will be for my great great grandchildren - just a quick search on google to find out what I was up to.

While my mom's side is predominantly English and easy to trace thanks to a family bible, my father's side is riddled with a variety of ethnicities, divorces and name changes. It makes for an interesting, complicated story to try and unfold; detective work really.

My grandfather, Joseph Tadashi Sugiura, his wife and their 2 month old daughter Judith all went to those same camps even though he was half Japanese. Although he never really talked about it, I can only imagine what it was like - I've read a few books on the subject. I do know that everyone that was put in there lost their homes, their business, their belongings - everything. To be picked up and moved like that was truly horrible though when you look at the pictures, especially the ones from Bainbridge, they all look so dignified and graceful. It really makes me apprciate how lucky I am to live in such a tolerant community.