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Passing It On: The Yasui Family and Japanese Americans in Hood River

April 15, 2023 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Free

Join the Japanese American Museum of Oregon, the Oregon Historical Society, and The History Museum of Hood River county for a panel discussion with Dr. Linda Tamura, Barbara Yasui, and Maija Yasui.

Saturday, April 15, 2023, 2PM – 4PM
Columbia Center for the Arts
215 Cascade Ave
Hood River, Oregon 97031

Noted historian Dr. Linda Tamura discusses the history of the Yasui family with Barbara Yasui and Maija Yasui. The program will touch on the Yasui Brothers Store and the critical role the Yasui family played in shaping Japanese American history in their home of Hood River, Oregon. While the Yasui family has been explored in books and documentary films, this public program will offer personal insights and stories as well as perspectives on the advocacy work that has helped make the history of this prominent Oregon family more widely known. This program will also feature a display of select objects and materials preserved in OHS’s museum and research library collections relating to the Yasui family. A casual reception with light refreshments in the Columbia Center for the Arts lobby will follow the program.

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Linda Tamura is Professor Emerita of Education at Willamette University in Salem. A Sansei (third generation Japanese American) and daughter of a World War II veteran, she was raised on an apple and pear orchard in Hood River, Oregon. Growing up, Tamura did not realize that the “camp” her mom mentioned was not a summer camp at all. That led her to ask questions and eventually publish two books about Japanese Americans as well as her community’s notoriety (The Hood River Issei and Nisei Soldiers Break Their Silence). Tamura is a former elementary teacher and is a co-editor-in-chief of The Oregon Encyclopedia. She was a co-initiator for Senate Bill 1509, which led to dedicating the Oregon Nisei Veterans WWII Memorial Highway in August 2022.

Barbara Yasui is a third generation Japanese American (Sansei) who was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. She is the granddaughter of Masuo and Shidzuyo Yasui. Her interest in family and Japanese American history is inspired by her father, Homer Yasui. Yasui is a retired educator, trainer, and community organizer with a special interest in multicultural education, racial equity, and social justice. She currently serves as an interviewer and educational consultant with Densho, the Japanese American legacy project, and is writing an article for the Oregon Historical Quarterly on the Yasui Brothers Store in Hood River. She received her BA from Stanford University and her MEd from the University of Washington. She currently resides in Seattle and enjoys running, playing taiko, and spending time with her two grandchildren.

Maija Yasui was born in 1950 into a family of orchardists in Hood River Valley. She received her BS from Portland State in 1970 shortly after marrying into the Yasui family. Along with a lifetime of farming, her professional roles include coalition building, grant writing, and writing a weekly column in the local newspaper. Her activism was inspired by interviews she conducted with the Issei (first generation Japanese Americans) and stories about redress shared by the Yasui family Nisei (second generation Japanese Americans). Her interest in history was inspired by author Lauren Kessler, filmmakers Holly Yasui and Lise Yasui, and attorney Peggy Nagae. She has served on many local and state boards, training thousands of students and groups on the history of the Hood River Japanese community, diversity, and racism. She serves on the Minoru Yasui Legacy Project Steering Committee, a nonprofit organization that honors the legacy of Minoru Yasui in defending civil rights and advancing social justice.

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Date:
April 15, 2023
Time:
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Cost:
Free
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