April 1, 2008

Gann Matsuda
(310) 825-2488
publicrelations -at- manzanarcommittee-dot-org


"Continuing The Legacy" is the theme for the 39th annual Manzanar
Pilgrimage, sponsored by the Manzanar Committee, which will be held
on Saturday, April 26, 2008 at the Manzanar National Historic Site,
located on US Highway 395 in California's Owens Valley, between the
towns of Lone Pine and Independence, California, approximately 230
miles north of Los Angeles.

Each year, hundreds of students, teachers, community members, clergy
and former internees attend the Pilgrimage. This year marks the
twentieth anniversary of the passage of the Civil Liberties Act of
1988, which provided an official government apology and reparations
to thousands of Japanese Americans imprisoned without due process in
ten concentration camps located in the most desolate, isolated
regions of the United States. Manzanar was the first of these camps
to be established.

The afternoon program begins at noon at the Manzanar cemetery site,
with a performance by UCLA Kyodo Taiko.

Featured speakers are Dr. Arthur A. Hansen, Professor of History,
California State University, Fullerton and co-author of Manzanar
Martyr, Bruce Kaji, a former Manzanar internee and Mickie Okamoto,
President of the Nikkei Student Union at UCLA.

The afternoon program will conclude with the traditional interfaith
service and Ondo dancing.

In addition to the daytime program, the popular Manzanar At Dusk
(MAD) program is scheduled from 4:00 PM to 7:30 PM with a screening
of "Music Man of Manzanar," a short documentary film by Brian Maeda.
The filmmaker, along with original members of the "Jive Bombers" will
be in attendance for a brief question and answer period following the

MAD participants will then have the opportunity to interact with
former internees in attendance to hear their personal stories and
discuss the relevance of the concentration camp experience to
present-day events and issues.

Further details about the daytime program and Manzanar At Dusk will
be announced at a later date.

"This is an opportunity for the public to hear and see first-hand,
how executive decisions and public hysteria can undermine the basic
liberties we take for granted," said Kerry Cababa, Co-Chair of the
Manzanar Committee. "When people come to the Pilgrimage, they are hit
with the reality that this really happened and if we don't remain
vigilant, it will happen again."

The Manzanar Committee has also announced that bus transportation to
the Pilgrimage will be available from Los Angeles.

Two air-conditioned buses will depart from in front of the Japanese
American National Museum in Los Angeles' Little Tokyo (369 East First
Street, between Alameda Street and Central Avenue) at 7:00 AM on
April 26. All-day parking is available for $6.00 across from the
departure point.

One bus will leave Manzanar at 4:00 PM, arriving in Los Angeles at
approximately 8:30 PM. The other bus will leave Manzanar at 7:30 PM,
arriving in Los Angeles at midnight.

Both buses will also take participants to the Interpretive Center at
the Manzanar National Historic Site. Those wishing to participate in
the Manzanar At Dusk program should make reservations on the bus
leaving Manzanar at 7:30 PM.

Reservations are now being accepted from members of the general
public on a first-come, first-served basis by sending e-mail to or by calling (323) 662-5102. The non-refundable
fare is $40.00 per seat if reserved before April 21 or $50.00 after
that date.

Pilgrimage participants are advised bring their own lunch, drink and
snacks as there are no facilities to purchase food at the Manzanar
National Historic Site (restaurants and fast food outlets are located
in nearby towns). Water will be provided at the site.

For more information about the Pilgrimage events, please contact the
Manzanar Committee at (310) 532-7562 or (310) 908-7508, check their
web site at or send e-mail to
info -at- manzanarcommittee -dot- org.