How to Use the HISTORY Section
Welcome to the History section of the BIJAC website. This section provides insight into the lives of the Nikkei (people of Japanese descent) of Bainbridge Island from the first immigrants who came to work in the lumber industry in the early 1900's, to their families who lived through the evacuation and incarceration during World War II, to their lives in the post-War era. It will be of particular interest to:
- Educators wanting to share first-person experiences with their students.
- Family members researching their family history on Bainbridge Island.
- Historians wanting to understand the unique circumstances surrounding the Nikkei of Bainbridge Island, who were the first to be forcibly removed and excluded and one of the largest groups to return to their homes after the war.
Most of the photos and memorabilia featured on the History pages are personal contributions made by Issei and Nisei families on Bainbridge Island. They are supplemented with photos from the collections of news organizations and historical societies with a special interest in this topic.
Of unique value are our oral histories, which were undertaken as a project beginning in 2005. In these video clips, Nisei and other Bainbridge Islanders who lived through these events give personal, often intimate accounts of their experiences and feelings as children and young adults during these times. The oral histories are notable in that for some they represent the first time they had ever spoken publicly about the forced removal, life at the concentration camps, and the challenges that followed when they returned home. We are grateful for their courage.
Feel free to navigate through our extensive collection of information by historical period using the HISTORY dropdown navigation above or by searching in any of the following:
Strawberries Being Loaded for Transport —Eagle Harbor, Bainbridge Island, WA. These were possibly the strawberries of the "Royal Shipment." In May, 1939, strawberries grown on Bainbridge Island were shipped to British Columbia for a visit by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of England. Eight hundred cases of fresh Marshall strawberries were collected from Nikkei farmers all across Bainbridge and were shipped by boat up to Vancouver, BC. They were served at a Royal Luncheon at the Hotel Vancouver.