BIJAC Projects - Oral History
BIJAC is leading the local effort to preserve personal stories of Japanese immigration and the WWII exclusion and return. A recent project that involved recording oral histories began in 2005, supported by the Bainbridge Community Foundation (BCF), Bainbridge Island Arts and Humanities Fund (BIAHC), Humanities Washington, and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). We are working closely with Densho: The Japanese American Legacy Project, Seattle's extraordinary online repository of oral histories and images, as well as curricula materials related to the Nikkei experience.
We have recorded and transcribed over forty oral history interviews, created with the professional help of two talented local film–makers, Lucy Ostrander and Don Sellers of Stourwater Pictures. Fifteen of these can be seen on the Densho website in their entirety, and more will be added as funding allows. This website contains over ninety 1–6 minute film clips from our oral history collection. See the History section for a list of these short film clips covering topics from life on Bainbridge Island before WWII, to exclusion and internment.
BIJAC's archives include these recent interviews and others recorded over the past several decades, including audio tapes of many Island Issei. Other interviews were recorded during the creation of the photo exhibit Kodomo No Tame Ni–For the Sake of the Children (1989), and the PBS documentary Visible Target (1985).
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(RIGHT) Behind the Scenes of a BIJAC Oral History Interview — Don Sellers, Videographer, and Lucy Ostrander, Producer. Filming Frank Kitamoto being interviewed by John deChadenedes.