Exhibition at the Cultural Exchange Center
Executive Order 9066-Civilian ExclusionO

Press release: April 22, 2021-Final


Hakone Foundation Opens Exhibit on Japanese American Internment

Hakone Foundation is proud to present a new exhibition, “Hakone Gardens and Executive Order 9066” at the Cultural Exchange Center. The exhibit features an untold story of Hakone’s long-time gardener, James Sasaki, and his American-born family, imprisoned in Topaz, Utah Internment Camp during WWII. 


The Sasakis’ incarceration was the experience of more than 120,000 persons of Japanese descent, two-thirds of them American-born citizens, held at ten camps in desolate areas of the western United States.  Along with the Sasaki family’s story of internment, we also share the stories of two of Hakone’s trustees. Reiko Iwanaga tells of her experience as a child interned with her family at Amache, Colorado, and Patti Workman recounts how her mother was incarcerated at Amache and her father at Manzanar, both as teenagers.  The exhibit features photographs of the forced evacuation, scenes of life at Amache and Poston, family memorabilia and rare family photos of “camp”.


This exhibit is produced by Ann Waltonsmith, Hakone Foundation chairperson, and Connie Young Yu, Hakone Foundation trustee, who are co-authors of the new book, Hakone Estate and Gardens, Arcadia Publishing Co. Says Ann Waltonsmith,  “With the surge in anti-Asian violence and xenophobia in America, we felt now was the time to show a chapter in American history that must never be forgotten or repeated.”


The exhibit will run from the present to the end of December.  Hakone Gardens and Estate, one of the premier sites of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, is located at 21000 Big Basin Way, Saratoga, CA.  The book will be available for purchase beginning May 3rd at the Hakone Gift Shop both on site and online (Hakone.com) and also directly through Arcadia Press.  Price is $21.99.