Tag Archives: WWII

Great Udon at the Tacoma Hongwanji Buddhist Church

Great Udon at the Tacoma Hongwanji Buddhist Church


My udon and mochi at Tacoma’s Buddhist Church during their Fall Bazaar were delicious and my husband said his miso soup really hit the spot. Our meal was served by the nicest volunteer waitstaff and our tea was topped off on a regular basis. Really the fall festival was a positive experience.

The Buddhist property at 1717 Fawcett Avenue, in Tacoma, is sometimes referred to as a temple and sometimes as a church. The building, which features a lovely red tile roof and stone lanterns flanking the main door, was originally constructed in 1930 for its current use.  It is listed on the city, state and national historic registers. One interesting note to the building’s history is that it was closed in May 1942 for the duration of World War II. Many of the members of the congregation were sent to Camp Harmony (now the site of the Puyallup Fair) and the leader of the church taught Sunday School at the camp. The camp was a detention center for Japanese Americans during the war.

Luckily that time is behind us.

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U.S. Soldiers Home Cemetery

soldiers home cemetery

soldiers home cemetery

The Washington Soldiers Home Cemetery in  Orting, Washington is associated with the nearby Washington Soldiers Home.  There are 2,683 interments. The soldiers that are buried here fought in the Civil War through the Vietnam War and sometimes have wives and mothers buried next to them. While most of the soldiers are men, there are some women also.

Four of the soldiers are Civil War Congressional medal of honor recipients. They are George L Houghton, Alexander U. McHale, Albert O’Connor, and William Sickles (pictured).

For more information on this cemetery, you should go visit the real wonderful associated Facebook Page. The photos below also include one of Mt. Rainier from downtown Orting.

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Normandy, France

14506191527_7833a0a1f0_kPer Wikipedia….During the Second World War, the D Day landings on the Normandy beaches, under the code name Operation Overlord, started the lengthy Battle of Normandy and resulted in the Liberation of Paris and the restoration of the French Republic. These landings were a significant turning point in the war.

The 172 acre cemetery contains the remains of 9,387 American military dead, who were primarily killed during the invasion of Normandy. We paused to visit the grave of Theodor Roosevelt, Jr., the son of president Teddy Roosevelt. One of President’s other sons, Quenton, is also buried there. Quenton died during WWI and his remains were reburied next to his brother at Normandy.

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The Wall That Heals

the wallThe Vietnam Veterans Traveling Wall is in the Auburn Veteran’s Memorial Park at 411 E Street NE this Veteran’s Day Weekend. The exhibit is a half size replica of the Washington DC Vietnam Memorial Wall which was designed by Maya Lin. It was really a very interesting exhibit. So many dead — 58,195 names are listed. And there is an iPhone App to help one find any name by panel number and line. The original wall is listed as number 10 for America’s favorite piece of architecture per Wikipedia. While I was at the park I snapped some photos of the rest of the park including mural art representing many of the major US wars.

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The Panama Hotel Tea and Coffee House

The Panama Hotel Coffee and Tea House at 607 South Main Street in the International District of Seattle has a fine selection of teas and plenty of history. I learned of it because my book group read The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. Though it is a work of fiction, it is based on historical facts about the treatment of the West Coast Japanese during World War II. The book opens with artifacts being found in the basement of the hotel and now a days one can view some of these artifacts through a plexiglass in the floor.


The Site of the Japanese Schoolhouse

1715 Tacoma Avenue South is the site of Tacoma’s Japanese Schoolhouse, which was demolished in 2004. To be fair, I think this is  a photo of the site, though it might be the site next door.

I’ve heard it called the Japanese Schoolhouse, but it is also known as the Japanese Language School,  Nihon Go Gakko  and Tacoma Yochiyen. It was constructed in 1922 and placed on the national historic register in 1984 and the Tacoma historic register in 1985. The building was used for cultural activities and education of Tacoma’s Japanese population until 1942 when it was closed. It was then used as a registration and processing center for local Japanese citizens when they were relocated to “camps” for the duration of World War II.

The National Archieves has this to say about the Japanese relocation (http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/japanese-relocation/)

The attack on Pearl Harbor also launched a rash of fear about national security, especially on the West Coast. In February 1942, just two months after Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt as commander-in-chief, issued Executive Order 9066, which had the effect of relocating all persons of Japanese ancestry, both citizens and aliens, inland, outside of the Pacific military zone. The objectives of the order were to prevent espionage and to protect persons of Japanese descent from harm at the hands of Americans who had strong anti-Japanese attitudes.

In Washington and Oregon, the eastern boundary of the military zone was an imaginary line along the rim of the Cascade Mountains; this line continued down the spine of California from north to south. From that line to the Pacific coast, the military restricted zones in those three states were defined.

Roosevelt’s order affected 117,000 people of Japanese descent, two-thirds of whom were native-born citizens of the United States. The Issei were the first generation of Japanese in this country; the Nisei were the second generation, numbering 70,000 American citizens at the time of internment. Within weeks, all persons of Japanese ancestry–whether citizens or enemy aliens, young or old, rich or poor–were ordered to assembly centers near their homes. Soon they were sent to permanent relocation centers outside the restricted military zones.

I was able to go through the schoolhouse before it was demolished and it was a fascinating bit of history. Some of the original desks were still there! When I went through the space was being used by a neon glass artist. Normally buildings on the historic register are saved from demolition, but this wooden structure was too far gone to be saved. The property is now owned by the University of Washington.

Pictures of the building can be found at the Tacoma Public Library http://search.tpl.lib.wa.us/buildings/bldgdetails.asp?id=BU-2563&vhash=T&i=1




It’s the Year of the Dragon

What luck! The family decided to get out of the house today and each of us picked a place to go. Dear daughter wanted to go to Uwajimaya in the International District of Seattle. When we got there we learned that it is the Chinese New Year and they were having special events, such as a dragon parade. While we were there was grabbed lunch in the food court and picked up some groceries (pocky, drinks, fortune cookies). Uwajimaya is a wonderful store, which is full of treasures. It actually started in Tacoma, but when the US entered WWII the family was sent to Tule Lake Internment Camp in California. After the war, they felt more welcome in Seattle and settled themselves and their new store there. It was a loss for Tacoma! It is the largest Japanese grocery store in the Pacific Northwest.