Architecture students design interpretative centers for WWII internment in the Northwest

EUGENE, Ore. -- (Mar. 26, 2009) - Delving into the World War II internment history of Japanese Americans, students from the University of Oregon's department of architecture will design ways to tell the story.

During spring term, students in Kevin Nute's architecture studio will design visitor interpretative facilities at Minidoka National Historic Site in Idaho and at the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center in Portland.

To gather research from the individuals whose lives were most affected by the internment, the university will host a free, public lecture series. Four lectures, entitled "Outside Inside: The Pacific Northwest's Japanese American Internment Remembered," will be given, including a discussion with former internees who attended UO as students.

The lectures will examine social, legal and racial aspects of the internment and their relevance today. All lectures will be held in 177 Lawrence Hall, 1190 Franklin Blvd.

• Wednesday, April 8, 6 p.m.: Tetsuden Kashima, "The Social Context of the Japanese American Incarcerations." Kashima is a professor of American Ethnic Studies at the University of Washington, and author of "Judgment Without Trial: Japanese American Imprisonment during World War II."

• Wednesday, April 15, 6 p.m.: Peggy Nagae, "The Legal Implications of Japanese American Internment: Then and Now." Nagae was the lead attorney for the Yasui vs. the United States appeal, former assistant dean of the University of Oregon School of Law, and principal, Peggy Nagae Consulting.

• Wednesday, May 6, 6 p.m.: Henry Sakamoto, Alice Sumida, George Azumano and Kennie Namba, "Experiences of Japanese American Internees from Oregon." Three former UO students and a veteran of the all-Japanese 442nd Infantry Regiment, all held at Minidoka, Idaho.

• Wednesday, June 3, 7 p.m.: Wendy Janssen, "Remembering the Japanese American Internment in the Pacific Northwest: The Future of Minidoka National Historic Site." Janssen is the superintendent for the National Park Service for Minidoka National Historic Site in southern Idaho where the majority of Oregon's Japanese American population was incarcerated between 1942 and 1945.

The architecture studio and accompanying lecture series are sponsored by the UO's Joel Yamauchi Fund donated by MulvannyG2 Architects, the university's Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity and the President's Office. Along with thousands of other Japanese Americans from Oregon, Yamauchi's grandfather, parents and older brother were sent to Minidoka internment camp during World War II. His father George was one of the many who enlisted in the U.S. military while being held in internment.

During the early 1940s, a Presidential Executive Order forced all people of Japanese ancestry living in the western United States to be placed in internment camps. While a majority of the 120,000 men, women and children incarcerated were born in the United States, they were sent to the internment based on their ethnicity.

For information about the series or for accommodation, call 541-346-3656.

About the University of Oregon
The University of Oregon is a world-class teaching and research institution and Oregon's flagship public university. The UO is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), an organization made up of the 62 leading public and private research institutions in the United States and Canada. The University of Oregon is one of only two AAU members in the Pacific Northwest.

Contact: Karen Johnson, AAA communications, 541-346-3603,

Source: Kevin Nute, professor, UO department of architecture,