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Celebrating Vashon’s Japanese and agrarian heritage

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Exciting News !!!

County announces plan to buy Mukai Barreling Plant

Mukai Barreling Plant

For more information see the Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber article by Anneli Foget click here

 

An Interview with Mary Matsuda Gruenewald

Mary Matsuda Gruenewald, who was 90 years old in 2015 when this interview took place, is a retired Seattle health care professional and author of the memoir Looking Like the Enemy: My Story of Imprisonment in Japanese-American Internment Camps (NewSage Press, 2005).

Mary Matsuda was a 17 year old living on her family's strawberry farm on Vashon Island on December 7, 1941 when Pearl Harbor was attacked. The island's Japanese-American leaders were taken away by the FBI and detained in secret. Her family knew the government would come for them next, so they burned all of their Japanese possessions - family photographs, her father's music, treasured books, even her dolls. They did not want to look even faintly sympathetic to Japan, the country responsible for the Pearl Harbor devastation. Five months after the attack, on May 16, 1942, the Matsuda family and the other Japanese-American families on Vashon Island were forced to evacuate Vashon Island, and moved into the "protective custody" of inland internment camps for three years, along with almost 120,000 others of Japanese descent.

This interview captures parts of Mary's stories that are not fully covered in Looking Like the Enemy, and asks specific questions about her experience on Vashon Island and her knowledge of the Japanese-American community on Vashon before and after World War II.
To view the interview Click Here


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This Place Matters

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