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Event Archives

Past Events: 2014 – 2015

Winter & Spring 2015

EXPOSURE: April 4, 2015, 8:00 pm-12:00 am

The Museum of Art is holding their second annual event titled ‘Exposure’ this April 4th in the WSU Museum of Art. Exposure is a night dedicated to celebrating the arts on our campus and establishing museum presence amongst the student body. Exposure will feature KZUU DJS, a dance party, an interactive art piece, and a student ‘artwalk’, where visitors can purchase and view work created by emerging student artists. The event, entirely run by MOA interns, was piloted last year and reached roughly 200 attendees. This year, with your help and participation, we can reach more students and spread the importance of the arts and the museum as a resource to students on campus. The event will be held from 8pm-midnight. Visit Facebook for more info or to sign up for this event!

Summer & Fall 2014

WSU Takes Unprecedented campus wide look at Japanese American incarceration during WWII and it’s students during the 1940’s

From September – December 2014, Washington State University took an unprecedented campus wide look at the incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII. There were 10 internment camps established and many people across the U.S. are not aware that this happened, from 1942-1945, where many Japanese American families lost their homes, property, and livelihood.

Due to the donation of the “George and Frank C. Hirahara Collection” of over 2,000 photographs taken and processed at the Heart Mountain Relocation Camp in Wyoming to the WSU Libraries MASC, this collection has helped Washington State University become a part of the Japanese internment conversation across the country. Considered the largest private photo collection of photos taken at Heart Mountain, it has brought notoriety to WSU. This donation will keep on giving to provide future generations with a first-hand glimpse into this time in history.

Spearheaded by the WSU Museum of Art, this series of exhibits, events, lectures, and television programming created an interest by students and the community at large to look further into Japanese internment. The information below shows the highlights and descriptions of the series of events on campus and the many WSU colleges, schools, and departments that worked together to delve into this topic.

Roger Shimomura: An American Knockoff
September 19 — December 13, 2014
Thursday, September 18, 6:00 p.m., Museum of Art/WSU
Lecture: (Roger Shimomura) September 18, 7 p.m., Fine Arts Auditorium

A survey exhibition of the work of Lawrence, Kansas-based artist, Roger Shimomura, whose paintings and prints address sociopolitical issues of Asian America. He does this through a painting style that combines his childhood interest in comic books, American Pop Art and traditions of Japanese woodblock prints, thereby evoking his Japanese ancestry while locating him firmly within modern American artistic developments.

Our exhibition focuses on Shimomura’s most recent series, An American Knockoff(2009-present), in which the artist inserts himself as an aging Asian Everyman in various guises, both funny and poignant. He does this as an imposter in or a battler against a host of ironic, stereotypical settings: punching at a gaggle of Disney cartoon characters, joining Chinese Mao-era brigades, attacking Japanese stereotypes and assuming identities of such iconic American figures as Superman, George Washington and Dick Tracy.

Funding generously provided by: Jon and Mary Shirley Foundation, Samuel H. and Patricia W. Smith Art Endowment, Cleve and Judith Borth, Greg Kucera and Larry Yocom, Patti Hirahara, Members of the Museum of Art, Washington State Arts Commission, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Museum of Art is located on Wilson Road across from Martin Stadium in the Fine Arts Center on the WSU Pullman campus. Gallery hours are Monday – Saturday, 10 am. – 4 pm., open until 7 pm on Thursdays and closed on Sundays. For more information please contact the museum at 509-335-1910 or visit our website at

Complementary programs include…

Documentary Reception & Screening: (Witness: The Legacy of Heart Mountain) Oct 15, reception 6pm, Museum of Art/WSU; Screening: 7 pm, CUB Auditorium
Panel Discussion: (Witness: The Legacy of Heart Mountain) Oct 15, immediately following screening, CUB Auditorium
Performance: (Living Voices Theatre, “Within the Silence”) Nov 13, 7:30 pm, WSU Performing Arts Center, Jones Theater
Hirahara Photo Collection Display: Japanese Internment, Manuscripts, Archives & Special Collections, Oct 6-31,2014, Terrell Library
Installation Exhibit: Student Entertainment Board, Oct 13-Nov 14, 2014, CUB Gallery Reception: Oct 15, 2014, 12-2pm

Gallery Reception: Oct 15, 2014, 12-2pm

Media Coverage

Click below to read related news stories…

Washington State Magazine – Uncovered treasures

Daily Evergreen – Addressing Internment

Daily Evergreen – Film Screening Article

Daily Evergreen – Travel to the 40s

Daily Evergreen – Story spans campus

The Orange County Register – photos  (BROKEN)

Pacific Citizen – Documentary Spurs Japanese Internment Conversation at WSU

Pacific Citizen – WSU Celebrates the Lives of Japanese American Alumni

Pacific Citizen – Washington State University to Examine the Internment of Japanese Americans During WWII

The Moscow Chamber – Emmy-Award Winning Documentary Witness: The Legacy of Heart Mountain comes to WSU

Photo by the Museum of Art (BROKEN)

Rafu Shimpo – Washington State Takes a Look at Internment


AsAm News – History of Heart Mountain Lives on in Photos from Hirahara Collection (BROKEN) (BROKEN)

Nikkei West – Pair Build History Archive of Growers on FaceBook

YouTube – Asian Pacific America with Robert Handa featuring “Hidden Legacy”

Photo Links for WSU Cross Campus Events…


The history of WSU and its role in the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII is not a well-known tale to many. Through the donation of one of the largest private photo collections taken at Heart Mountain Japanese Relocation camp, Washington State University is now becoming a key player in the discussion of Japanese Internment.  Historically, the University offered Japanese American students a higher education during this dark time.

This Fall, WSU has the honor of highlighting these stories through exhibits, student events and classroom involvement, and showcasing former WSU alumni on campus. Here is a sample of some of the activities:

Photo Collection Display: George and Frank C. Hirahara Collection, Heart Mountain Wyoming Japanese Internment Camp Photos 1943 – 1945 – Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Terrell Library – October 6-31, 2014. Frank C. Hirahara was a WSU 1948 Alumnus, an elected member of the WSU Athletic Council 1946 – 1947, and a member and junior manager of the WSU Track Team. This collection has been featured in 5 documentaries, the world premiere of the musical Allegiance at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego and was the recipient of a National Park Service Grant for WSU to digitize and preserve the collection for future generations.

WSU Libraries – George and Frank C. Hirahara Photograph Collection, 1943-1945

Washington State Magazine – Gallery: Life at Heart Mountain Internment Camp

Emmy Award Documentary Screening – “Witness – The Legacy of Heart Mountain” inspired by the WSU Hirahara Photographic Collection – October 15, 2014 CUB Auditorium 7 PM; Reception – October 15, 2014 Museum of Art/WSU 6 PM. This show has also won the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) National Unity Award for diversity programming, an RTDNA Edward R. Murrow Award, and an Asian American Journalist Association’s Television Award.  This documentary has been shown on KABC-TV in Los Angeles and on KGO-TV in San Francisco as well as being screened in Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon. Co-Producers ABC7 Los Angeles Eyewitness News Anchor David Ono and award winning editor and videographer Jeff MacIntyre will be part of a panel discussion as well as WSU President’s Associates Donor Patti Hirahara, WSU Associate Professor Dr. John Streamas, and Murrow College Systems Administrator Jeffrey Snell.

WSU News – Emmy-winning film recounts internment camp

Northwest Public Television Airing of Witness – The Legacy of Heart Mountain
October 16, 2014. KWSU-TV in Pullman, WA at 8 PM / KTNW-TV in the Tri-Cities at 7 PM and Witness will re-air on  Sunday, November 23 at 7pm on KWSU in Pullman and KTNW in the Tri-Cities.  With the Hirahara Family Collection being the inspiration of the Yakima Valley Museum exhibit “Japanese Pioneers of the Yakima Valley,” which is currently on display through 2018, this documentary airing in the Tri-Cities will be of great interest.

Performance (Living Voices Theatre “Within the Silence”) – WSU Performing Arts Center, Jones Theatre, November 13, 2014 7:30 PM.

CUB Gallery (Heart Mountain) – Installation Exhibition of WSU Alumni Memorabilia from 1944 – 1948 and WSU related Japanese internment projects,Student Entertainment Board (SEB),  October 13 – November 14, 2014 . Sketch Wednesday Reception: October 15, 2014 12-2pm.

College and Department Highlights

College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences – A profile of 1945 WSU Alumnus – Tom Kitayama. He was the first Japanese American to hold public office in California, just 14 years after the end of WWII as Mayor of Union City, California. Once dubbed the “King of Carnations,” he was a successful businessman for 43 years as the head of a multimillion-dollar empire growing and wholesaling fresh-cut flowers. They have plants in Watsonville and Colorado as well as 16 wholesale outlets throughout the country. Tom Kitayama will be remembered as the Mayor with the longest political career in Union City with 32 years of service.  His family was originally from Bainbridge Island, Washington.

School of the Environment – NASA’s Sam Higuchi will be a guest lecturer for the WSU School of the Environment during his visit here to Pullman this October. At NASA, his areas of leadership expertise include:  Adapting to Climate Change & Managing Climate Risks, Mitigating Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Sustainable Critical Materials Management, and Strategic Risk Management. His father Sam Higuchi, was a varsity member of the 1945 track team.

College of Arts and Sciences – Department of Critical Culture, Gender, and Race Studies  – WSU Associate Professor Dr. John Streamas will look into the incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII in his multi-cultural literature English class by assigning Julia Otsuka’s novel, “When the Emperor Was Divine” as one of the reading selections for this semester. The novel looks into a Japanese American family that was sent to a Japanese Relocation Camp in Utah during WWII. Dr. Streamas’s personal research interests include looking into this time in history.

The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication – Visiting Los Angeles Emmy Award Winning TV Co-Producers David Ono and Jeff MacIntyre will speak to the following COMM Classes during their visit to WSU in October. 466-Production, where senior students are learning advanced video production techniques and storytelling and 465-News, where senior students are producing daily newscasts.

WSU Profile: A link to Heart Mountain – Murrow College Systems Administrator Jeffrey Snell grew up in Powell, Wyoming and returns every year to visit his parents. For as long as he can remember, the Heart Mountain Internment Camp has been a fixture in his life. He grew up knowing several Japanese and American families that settled in the Big Horn Basin, after leaving the camp. He will be sharing his personal story as a panelist during the screening of “Witness – The Legacy of Heart Mountain,” at the CUB Auditorium in October.


Alumni and Student Involvement on Campus

Washington State University Alumni Association – The WSUAA will help promote the activities to its membership.

Asian Pacific American Student Coalition – Student members are excited about the opportunity to learn about this period of history and WSU’s role in educating Japanese Americans.  They plan to help promote these events to WSU students and participate in as many of the activities as they can. At their weekly meeting in October, visiting guests Dr. La Verne Abe Harris, daughter of WSU Swim team member George Abe who attended WSU from 1940 – 1942, and Sam Higuchi, whose father was a member of the 1945 WSU track team, will meet with members of the APASC and share their stories. The Abe Family lived in Pullman, WA and some of their descendants are buried at the Pullman Cemetery.

WSU History Department – From School to Armed Service: Loyalty and the Limits of Citizenship in Japanese America, Wednesday October 22, 2014 – 7 PM CUE 419 – Free

Through the presentation of a wider historical context, WSU History faculty members Dr. Clif Stratton and Dr. Kathleen Fry propose that apart from the WWII internment experience, that there is a general ignorance / amnesia about the historical widespread negativity toward Japanese and Asians, in general, in American culture. Drawing on the experiences of Nisei (second generation) children and their immigrant parents in Territorial Hawai’i and the Western states, the discussants will reveal how institutions including schools, courts, and legislatures served to question the loyalty and thus the citizenship of Japanese Americans, in America, both before and after the Internment.

WSU Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture – Tina Hilding will be writing an alumni profile story on Frank Hirahara as a graduate of the WSU Engineering School which is due out the first week in October.

School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering – Dr. Terry Ishihara, WSU outstanding senior and Crimson Circle member, who graduated with a B.S. Degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1949, will be visiting the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering in October to talk with students and faculty about his time at WSU and how it affected his career. He was Department Chair of the Mechanical Engineering Department at Saginaw Valley State University in University Center, Michigan.

WSU Athletics Department
WSU Track and Football in 1945
In 1945, WSU track coach Bob Campbell looked to his Japanese American athletes to add talent to his 1944 – 1945 school year team. The team won three out of their eight school meets that season.

Outstanding performers for Washington State was Sam Higuchi who was a varsity letterman standout in the sprints and freshman Tom Hide excelled in the 440-yard sprint and Frank C. Hirahara in the broad jump. Tom and Frank received their Freshman numerals that year.

After Sam Higuchi left Pullman, he went to Minnetonka, Minnesota and later became the first and only Japanese American Mayor of the City in 1977 and served the City of Minnetonka for a total of 19 years as  Mayor and City Councilman.

Tom Hide could only attend WSU one year after graduating from Heart Mountain High School in 1944. He had to return to the Heart Mountain Japanese Relocation Camp in Wyoming to help relocate his family to Southern California in the Fall of 1945. Tom Hide became a prominent flower grower and was elected president of the Southern California Floral Association in 1955 at the age of 28.

Frank C. Hirahara became an Electrical Engineer and won honors and awards for his work on the U.S. Space program and his Heart Mountain photographs are now a part of the WSU Libraries MASC collection.
1945, was also a very good year for one WSU Freshman Varsity Football player by the name of Frank Miyaki. An outstanding athlete and student leader at North Central High School in Spokane, Washington, Frank Miyaki was the key football player in the backfield for the North Central Indians. He was chosen to the all-city first squad for the 1944 football season, and in the school’s best game that year, he had a 95 yard run-back on the opening kick-off against Lewis and Clark.

After graduating from North Central, he attended Washington State College (now known as Washington State University.) He played on the Cougar varsity team as a freshman. In his first game against the Idaho Vandals, he exceeded his run back record by one yard with a 96-yard interception run back. He was the only Japanese American to play varsity football during that time.

Special Thanks List
President Elson S. Floyd, Ph.D.
Provost Daniel John Bernardo, Ph.D.
Fugetsu-Do Confectionary Los Angeles: Brian Kito
Densho: Tom Ikeda
Gladish Community and Cultural Center: Donna Gwinn, Executive Director
Holiday Inn Express, Pullman
Media: North American Post; Pacific Citizen; Rafu Shimpo; Yakima Herald Republic; Anaheim Bulletin; Moscow – Pullman Daily News; Orange County Register; AsAm News; Nikkei West
National Park Service: Japanese American Confinement Sites Program
Northwest Public Television – KWSU / KTNW: Gillian Coldsnow; Tom Hungate; Greg Mills; Chris Waiting
Pullman High School: Desiree Gould, Assistant Principal
The Daily Evergreen: Addy Forte; Nathan Howard
Whitman County Historical Society: Ed Garretson
WSU Administrative Services: Steve Nakata; Sharaé Randall
WSU Alumni Association: Tim Pavish, Lory Logan, VP AAPI Chapter, and Linda Linehan
WSU Asian Pacific American Student Coalition: Stephen Bischoff, Ph.D.; Vanessa Sing
WSU College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences: Therese Harris; Joshua Paulson; Kate Wilhite
WSU College of Pharmacy: Lori Maricle
WSU Alumni and Descendants of WSU Former Students: Terry Ishihara, Ph.D.,; WSU 1949; Peter Cathcart; Dave Kitayama; Monica Kitayama Cathcart; La Verne Abe Harris, Ph.D.; Carl Harris; Sam Higuchi; Patti Hirahara, WSU Alumni Platinum Life Member and WSU President’s Associate
WSU College of Arts and Sciences – Department of Critical Culture, Gender, and Race Studies: John Streamas, Ph.D.
WSU College of Education – International Programs: Anne Drobish-Shahat; Pamela Duran; Krenny Hammer
WSU College of Pharmacy: Lori Maricle
WSU CUB Gallery: Angel Nava – Advisor; Kyla Lakin – CUB Gallery Programmer; CUB Gallery Committee: Alexa Turner; Ray Lechelt; Chloesciara Galiki; Harrina Hwang; Julianne Baggett; Bayley Heggenes; Antonia Brown; Marina Fox; Seth Goler; Dylan Stensland
WSU Department of Athletics: Rod Commons; Coach Mike Leach; Coach Wayne Phipps; Chris Walker
WSU Edward R. Murrow College of Communications: Laura Dubowski; David Grewe; Herman Meier, President & General Manage, Cable 8 Productions; Dean Lawrence Pintak; Kanale Rhoden; Jeffrey Snell; Darin Watkins
WSU Foundation: Kim Holapa
WSU History Department: Kathleen Fry, Ph.D.; Edwin P. Garretson, Jr., Ph. D. – Faculty Emeritus; Clif Stratton, Ph.D. – Winner of the 2014 Eugene Asher Distinguished Teaching Award from the American Historical Association; Raymond Sun, Ph.D
WSU International Programs: Anne Drobish-Shahat, MA TESL
WSU Libraries and Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections: Trevor James Bond; Beth Blacksley; Nella Letizia; Anna Roberts; Dean Jay Starratt; Steven Bingo
WSU Magazine: Larry Clark; Jeff Koch; Kathy Montagne; Hannelore Sudermann
WSU Museum of Art: Chris Bruce; Anna Maria Shannon; Jill Aesoph; Debby Stinson; Zach Mazur; Ryan Hardesty
WSU News: Cynthia King
WSU Office of the President: Ginger K. Druffel
WSU Performing Arts Center: Gail Siegel, Director
WSU Press: Robert Clark; Ed Sala
WSU School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences: Pete Isakson; Behrooz Shirazi, Ph.D.; Cindy Lou Zimmerman
WSU School of the Environment: Stephen M. Bollens; Allyson Beall King
WSU School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering: Soumik Banerjee, Ph.D.; Michael R. Kessler, Ph.D., P.E.; Charles Pezeshki, Ph.D.; Lauren Wells
WSU Student Entertainment Board
WSU Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture: Tina Hilding
Witness – The Legacy of Heart Mountain: David Ono and Jeff MacIntyre, Co-Producers


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The museum galleries are currently closed.;


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