Preserving Manzanar

A few years back I had the good fortune to listen to Bonnie Clark from the University of Denver discuss her community-based work with the families and descendants of Japanese-Americans interred at Amache.  She described the careful excavation of a small rock feature; a scene of rocks emerging out of the soil, artfully arranged; she and her students recognizing it as a rock garden carefully assembled by the residents of Amache.

For several years the cultural resources team at Manzanar National Historic Site has been working alongside former internees and their families to restore similar gardens at Manzanar.

Manzanar Relocation Center, 1943, Ansel Adams, Library of Congress

Most recently, the team has resotred the Arai fish pond and Block 12 Mess Hall gardens, small monuments that, like the gardens at Amache, attest to the perserverance of internees and their struggles to maintain home and community during WWII.

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