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'My Mother's Experience': Author Toby Asai Loftus on WWII Japanese American Incarceration

Thursday, January 20, 2022
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Event Type:
Location Details:
Online event

Date and time: Thu, January 20, 2022 @ 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM PST

This year marks the 80th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, which led to World War II incarceration of over 120,000 in American of Japanese decent.

Join Take PART (Portland Anti-Racism Team) on Thursday, January 20, 2022 at 7:00 pm Pacific Time, for a presentation by Toby Asai Loftus who will present a talk about the incarceration of thousands of Japanese Americans, including his mother’s family.

Toby’s talk will cover the arrival of his grandparents in the United States; the anti-Asian laws and racism prior to WWII; Executive Order 9066, which mandated the incarceration of Japanese Americans; his uncles’ service in the U.S. armed forces; and the racism his family faced upon their return home.

Toby’s mother, Mitsuko (Mitzi) Asai, was a fourth grader in Hood River when she and her family were forced to leave their home and sent to guarded “relocation centers,” first in Tule Lake, CA and later in Heart Mountain, WY. The Asais, like more than 120,000 other Japanese people, were rounded up and incarcerated in the barbed wire-enclosed camps during World War II without charge, due process, or conviction for any crime. Their only “crime” was being of Japanese heritage.

Toby Asai Loftus has assisted his mother with many talks on this subject and has accompanied her on pilgrimages to the Tule Lake and Heart Mountain relocation centers.

Mitzi Asai Loftus received a BA from the University of Oregon in 1954, and taught at Creswell High School. She received a Fulbright teacher’s grant to teach English as a foreign language in Shizuoka, Japan. Mitzi is the author of Made in Japan and Settled in Oregon, a memoir of her family's history that includes their experiences during World War II. Mitzi spent 47 years as an educator and raised three sons.

The mission of Take PART is to confront racism and to engage in dismantling the systems that perpetuate ingrained racial inequality. We do this through events, education, and outreach that foster engagement in building community where all people are treated with equality and respect.

Added to the calendar on Sun, Jan 16, 2022 12:15PM
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