Lessons From the Past

Date, Location

    How the Past Can Help Us Live in the Now

    What can history teach us about solving today’s conflicts?

    We conclude this season of Reading Together with an inspiring and moving presentation by Frank Kitamoto, president of BIJAC, the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community. 

    Bainbridge Island’s Japanese American residents, many of them U.S. citizens, were the first to be incarcerated in WWII War Relocation Camps by the U.S. government. Kitamoto was just a toddler when his family was sent to Manzanar and then to Minidoka, two of the ten camps. Learn more about the camps...

    Kitamoto suggests that “lessons from the past help us not just to survive, but to come alive in a multi-cultural community...diversity, equality and humanism are the true strengths that make our country, the United States of America, so special and admired in the eyes of the world.” 

    He has traveled all over Washington and beyond to share the history Japanese Americans, using his presentations to convey a deeper message about self-acceptance. Karen Matsumoto, a fellow BIJAC member, says, ...“Frank constantly inspires me through his kindness, dedication to the truth, and deep understanding of the importance of working toward social justice and upholding our civil liberties.”

    The BIJAC traveling photo exhibit For the Sake of the Children (Kodomo No Tame Ni), documenting four generations of Japanese American residents on Bainbridge Island, will be on display in the community room.

    Following Dr. Kitamoto’s presentation, enjoy a performance of japanese-style drumming by Kalamazoo College’s Taiko Drumming Troupe. This group rehearses each week and performs at various campus and community events, including AsiaFest each spring. 

    Co-sponsored by the WMU Race Exhibit Initiative.