The Mtn. ReView Summer 2017 - Page 6

Spring Meeting Recap Japanese in Mountain View By Marina Marinovich MVHA Publicity Chair Photos and mementos from Mtn. View’s Japanese community were displayed during the event. Ellen Kamei helped organize the event’s speakers and shared information on her family’s history in Mtn. View. Panelists included L to R: Julie Satake Ryu, Ken Kamei and Wayne Adachi. The Mountain View Historical Association held its annual Spring Event & Membership Meeting 2017 at the Historic Adobe Building on May 7, 2017. The focus was on the history of Mountain View’s Japanese American community. The event was timed to celebrate May as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and to reflect on the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, which authorized the forced removal of Japanese- American citizens and longtime residents from the West Coast. A panel of Mountain View’s Japanese American community came together to share their stories and memories of being in the internment camps and of how being forced off their land affected their families forever. South Bay native Mike Inouye, NBC Bay Area’s weekday morning traffic anchor, served as moderator for the panel. Ellen Kamei, who helped organize the event’s speakers, is a third-generation resident of Mountain View and currently serves on the city’s Environmental Planning Commission. Ken Kamei, her father, was born in a Japanese internment camp during World War II. He was also part of the first graduating class of Graham Middle School. Julie Satake Ryu presented two wonderful broadcast- quality short films that shared poignant Japanese American memories, stories, and photos all related to her own rich family history. Mike Inouye, NBC Bay Area’s weekday morning traffic anchor served as panel moderator. Wayne Adachi, who recently sold the last of his family’s berry farm property in Mountain View, grew up on the Adachi Nursery and explained how foreign market trade and ever-increasing expenses eventually led to the demise of the flower industry here in the Bay Area. Halle Sousa, a high school student and Mountain View native, presented a touching film she produced titled Amache Remembered. It is about the internment camp her grandfather was sent to during the war in Amache, Colorado. It can be found at the Japanese American Memorial Society web site. Stories were shared about their respective families’ histories. There was felt to be a strong mutual respect and camaraderie between the panel members based on their shared history of growing up in farming families in the Mtn. View area. Their grandfathers and fathers were founding supporters of the Buddhist Temple that served as a backbone for their community. It helped to strengthen and unify them as they faced the challenges of attending school as members of a minority group. The MVHA would like to thank everyone who participated in the panel and attended the event. We hope to continue to offer programs such as this that give the many diverse communities that have called Mountain View home a chance to reflect on their history and share their stories. 6