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“A touching tribute to a terrible page in American history”

Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: A unique National Historic Site inspired to represent the waves of time passing, the sinuous, curving Memorial Wall is built on the historic Eagledale Ferry dock landing site where the first of more than 120,000 Japanese Americans - two/thirds of them U.S. citizens - were banished from their West Coast homes and placed in concentration camps during World War II.On March 30, 1942 - with only six days notice and only allowed to bring what they could carry or wear - 227 Bainbridge Island men, women and children were forcibly removed by bayonet-armed U.S. Army soldiers. They were the first mass community to arrive at the Manzanar concentration camp in California and later most were assigned to the last barracks at the Minidoka concentration camp in Idaho, becoming the emblematic bookends of the Japanese American incarceration story.The 276-foot long contemplative Memorial Wall of old-growth red cedar, granite and basalt honors the names of all 276 Japanese Americans at the start of WWII who were exiled from Bainbridge Island by President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Executive Order 9066 and Civilian Exclusion Order No. 1. It also honors the unique legacy of a community that stood by their friends and neighbors and welcomed them home. Five large terra cotta friezes along the Memorial wall movingly illustrate this American story of perseverance, patriotism and courage.Guided tours - some with living survivors of the forced removal - are available with a minimum of three weeks notice. Please indicate the size of your group, date, time and expected duration of your visit. As a fully volunteer organization, we will do our best to accommodate requests. The Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial Association (BIJAEMA) is a private non-profit organization that designed and supports the maintenance and operation of the memorial. The memorial is a satellite unit of the Minidoka National Historic Site located at the west end of Pritchard Park co-owned by the Bainbridge Island Metropolitan Park and Recreation District and the City of Bainbridge Island. These organizations, along with the Bainbridge island Historical Museum, cooperate in partnership with the BIJAEMA in the management of the site.
Seattle, Washington
Level 6 Contributor
54 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“A touching tribute to a terrible page in American history”
Reviewed July 6, 2013

Prior to World War II, the tiny town of Winslow and the surrounding Bainbridge Island countryside was home to a community of Japanese immigrants and Japanese-American families. Largely members of the farming community, these people were uprooted by Executive Order 9066 and interred "War Relocation Camps". The trauma of dispossession, personal and familial hardships in the camps, and the wrenching return to 'normal life' is simply and powerfully portrayed in this memorial.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank 444RayS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ClarenceMoriwaki, Manager at Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial, responded to this review, July 2, 2014
Thank you for your well-written mini-history lesson and your positive review of the memorial. We are happy that you were moved by your visit, please visit us again!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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96 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Level 5 Contributor
70 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Worth stopping by...”
Reviewed July 3, 2013

This was a really great find while on our own bike tour around the island. It is a beautiful tribute to those of the past and brings the reality of what the Japanese endured while living on the island.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Carley P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ClarenceMoriwaki, Manager at Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial, responded to this review, July 2, 2014
We are glad you enjoyed your visit to the memorial. Thank you for your kind review, and please encourage others to visit!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bainbridge Island, Washington
Level 6 Contributor
194 reviews
65 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
“Connection to My Family's History”
Reviewed June 24, 2013

We recently relocated to Bainbridge Island and were initially unaware that it was the first place that the Japanese were evacuated during WWII. My father's family was removed from their home in Tacoma, WA and sent to the internment camp in Tule Lake, CA shortly thereafter. The Bainbridge Island Memorial is a tasteful history lesson in a peaceful setting that reminds us of the injustice of that event. It is a nice snapshot of "before", while my visits to Tule Lake and Manzanar were a moving introduction to life "after" evacuation. The turn off for the Memorial is small, and the park is easy to miss (a left turn off Eagle Harbor Dr), but it's well worth a visit. There is also a path that leads down to a nice beach where you can watch the boats and the ferry on Eagle Harbor.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank dmresource
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ClarenceMoriwaki, Manager at Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial, responded to this review, July 2, 2014
Welcome to Bainbridge Island and thank you for sharing your personal family's story about their incarceration at Tule Lake. We are happy that you enjoyed the memorial, and thank you for your positive review!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southampton, Pennsylvania
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Moving Memorial to Sad Chapter of US History”
Reviewed June 15, 2013

Located on bainbridge Island, the first place where Japanese citizens were rounded up for nothing more than being Japanese. Well designed "story walk" which is exactly as loing (in feet) as the number who were taken away. Work in progress - alreadfy lovely, but much more planned.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Paul B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ClarenceMoriwaki, Manager at Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial, responded to this review, July 2, 2014
We are so glad you enjoyed your visit to the memorial. Thank you for your positive review, and please encourage others to visit!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new jersey
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Part of the Family history of America”
Reviewed April 19, 2013

I travelled with a number of family members who were visiting Seattle for a family birthday. We ranged in age from 9 to 75. We took the ferry over to Bainbridge Island and drove to the memorial. My brother's wife is the granddaughter of one of the detainees, and we have heard over the years about the memorial. This is the first time the family from the East was able to see it.
Another detainee, who is also a family member, told us about the actual events while showing us the displays. The first part of the display is set up to look sort of like a japanese temple, but as she told us, they didn't want it to look strictly Japanese, like a pagoda - they wanted American influences in the style. The folks who were interred were Americans. No nails were used in the building and I believe the only metal is in the roof.
When you see these photos and you realize that the person telling you about this was a little girl and one of the internees many years ago, and that someone you know, (age 102) is in these photos from 70 years ago, it makes it really moving. This is much less than six degrees of separation.
The display continues along a path with a wooden wall next to it that has stone plaques engraved with those Bainbridge Island residents names and ages. There are quotations from these internees, and artwork about this time. You want to bring a camera. Some paths away from the site go through a forest. The area was beautiful in February, so I'm sure it will be more so later. Your visit time would depend on your interest in the subject, but I would allow at least an hour.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
Thank nickimom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ClarenceMoriwaki, Manager at Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial, responded to this review, July 2, 2014
Thank you for honoring us with your visit to the memorial, and for sharing your personal family connection and story to the Bainbridge Island Japanese American community. We appreciate your positive review, and hope that you will visit us again soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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