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Japanese American history comes alive on Vashon Island

Mukai Farm and Garden preserves a family and its community's past. #k5evening

VASHON ISLAND, Wash. — The recently renovated Mukai Farm and Garden provides a glimpse into life before World War II, when Vashon Island's landscape was dotted with berry farms operated by Japanese immigrant families.

On the Day of Exile, May 16, 1942, the island's residents of Japanese descent were forced to leave their homes for the duration of the war and remain in prison camps, as directed by Executive Order 9066. Only one-third of them would ever return to their island homes.

Residents gathered at Mukai Farm and Garden over the weekend to commemorate that sad and shameful chapter in American history. A traditional Japanese bell sounded for each family that had been dispossessed.

Mukai Farm and Garden is free and open to the public.

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Local celebrities, including movie star Lana Condor and football great Doug Baldwin are sharing stories about their Asian heritage, to display the diversity of the AAPI community and combat anti-Asian racism. You can contribute your own story by downloading the 'Our Stories Are Your Stories' toolkit at the campaign's website.

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