Temporal Cities: Commemoration at Manzanar, California and Cowra, Australia

in Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas
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This article compares two former Pacific War incarceration histories in the us and Australia, inquiring how their narratives of confinement and redress might be interpreted spatially and materially, and how these sensibilities are incorporated into contemporary heritage strategies including, in these examples, through Japanese garden designs. At the Manzanar Historic Site in California, the efforts of several generations advocating for civil rights and preservation of the Manzanar Relocation Center have overlapped with the National Park Service’s efforts to fulfil its federal mandates to preserve and restore the historic site. Conversely at Cowra, New South Wales, these histories are interwoven with post-war commemorative spaces, aimed at drawing visitors to former incarceration sites and encouraging contemplation of these difficult histories. This article analyses their complex creative processes and interpretive strategies as useful for drawing these isolated national stories into broader global interrogations of their significance.

Temporal Cities: Commemoration at Manzanar, California and Cowra, Australia

in Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas



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    California, Manzanar, Camp Layout (Sheet 1 of 6). War Relocation Authority, 20 April 1946, National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 210, Cartography, College Park (public record).

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    Kango Takamura, Saturday Afternoon Looking South from Block 8, May 1943, University of California Los Angeles Special Collections, Collection 433, Box 1 Manzanar, F.16. Los Angeles, ca, usa.

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    Kango Takamura, Untitled Winter Landscape, May 1943, University of California Los Angeles Special Collections, Collection 433, Box 3, Manzanar, F.2. Los Angeles, ca, usa.

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    Plan of Cowra Prisoner of War Camp No. 12. Provided by the Cowra Shire Council.

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    Cowra Prisoner of War Camp No. 12. Australian War Memorial Negative Number po3160.002.

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    Repainting of the I rei to, or “Soul Consoling Tower” at the first Manzanar Pilgrimage, 26 December 1969. Karl Yoneda Papers, ucla Collection 1592, Box 13.

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    The annual Manzanar Pilgrimage (2016).

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    The Block 34 Mess Hall Garden, Manzanar National Historic Site (formerly Manzanar War Relocation Center), 2016. Inyo County, California, usa.

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    Cowra Japanese Garden at the former Cowra Prisoner of War Camp Site, 2014. Cowra, New South Wales, Australia.

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