I am on a fixed income, a student, or otherwise cannot afford the registration fee; what options are available to me?
Please don’t let cost be an obstacle if you wish to attend the Pilgrimage. We offer partial scholarships to those who cannot afford to pay the full registration fee, and we welcome donations to help defray the costs of these scholarships. Email email@example.com for scholarship information.
What does the registration fee cover?
The registration fee covers all expenses of the four-day program, including transportation, meals, lodging, site tours and entertainment.
What happens at a Pilgrimage?
Most of the first day is spent traveling to the Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT) in Klamath Falls, where our accommodations are college dormitory rooms. The following day is a visit to the Tule Lake site, with an optional hike to the top of Castle
Rock for early risers, a memorial service, lunch, and visits to a variety of sites on a tour of the concentration camp. The third day includes facilitated intergenerational discussion groups and workshops at OIT, and an evening cultural event that is also open to the public (non Pilgrims pay admission at the door). Day 4 is spent traveling home.
What can I expect on the bus ride to and from Tule Lake?
Each chartered tour bus has bus monitor(s) who serve as your guides on the Pilgrimage. We take rest stops every few hours and provide snacks, entertainment and information that will make your bus trip more meaningful. Throughout the Pilgrimage, pilgrims are encouraged to contact their bus monitor(s) with any questions or comments.
I use a wheelchair for mobility; can the Pilgrimage accommodate my needs?
Each year we have at least one wheelchair-accessible bus, usually departing from Berkeley. Please indicate any special mobility or medical issues on your registration form, and we will try our best to accommodate you comfortably. The Pilgrimage venues are wheelchair accessible except for the day we tour the Tule Lake site; a few sites are unpaved and have historic structures that may be difficult to access for those with limited mobility. We are committed to including everyone on the Pilgrimage experience, so please let us know as soon as possible what special accommodations you need.
What is the historical significance of Tule Lake?
Tule Lake was one of the 10 concentration camps operated by the War Relocation Authority (WRA). It was the first WRA concentration camp to open, and the last to close, in March 1946. It was also the largest, with a peak population of over 18,000 inmates. In 1943, it was converted into the only segregation center under the authority of the WRA. For most of the past 60 years, it has been stigmatized as the concentration camp for “troublemakers” and “disloyals”, a carryover of the government’s loyal/disloyal paradigm forced on Japanese Americans.
Can I drive myself instead of taking the bus to the Pilgrimage?
You may drive a private vehicle to Klamath Falls; however, a key aspect of the Pilgrimage is the discussion and sharing that take place among fellow passengers on the bus trip up to and back from the Pilgrimage. There are no cost savings if you drive your own vehicle; those who opt to drive personal vehicles to the Pilgrimage will pay the same registration fee as those who ride in the buses.
“The Pilgrimage is not only fun, but can be deeply transformational. I was on the Sacramento bus, because that is where my dad lived pre-internment. The experience begins with bus ride and Lorna (our bus monitor) makes it amazing!” –Trish Morita (Indianapolis)
Can I visit the Tule Lake area, without going on the Pilgrimage?
Yes. The National Park Service conducts tours every Friday and Saturday during the summer months, and you can also arrange a visit by contacting the National Park Service staff. Please note that the Pilgrimage is the only time that permission is granted to climb Castle Rock, which is a protected bird habitat and crosses private
property. Contact information for the NPS Tule Lake website: http://www.nps.gov/tule/planyourvisit/hours.htm.
I've heard that the Tule Lake Committee published a book of photographs and stories from Tule Lake. How can I obtain a copy?
The book, “Second Kinenhi: Reflections on Tule Lake,” is sold at Pilgrimages and is also available from theNational Japanese American Historical Society here: http://www.nikkeiheritage.org/pub/pub15.htm.
Besides attending the Pilgrimage, where can I learn more about my relatives?
National Japanese American Historical Society (NJAHS), Japanese American National Museum (JANM), Densho (an oral history and photo archive), and the National Archives (http://www.archives.gov/research/japanese-americans/internment-intro.html) are a few resources that have been helpful to other families. Try the Federal Depository Libraries in your area, ask for the “final accountability roster.” Here and here are other government links (http://aad.archives.gov/aad/series-description.jsp?s=623) and (http://www.archives.gov/research/guide-fed-records/groups/210.html) that have been helpful to people searching for their family’s records from camp.
What is the current status of the Tule Lake site’s historical designation?
Tule Lake’s historic significance in American history is reflected in its status as a National Historic Landmark (2006) and a National Monument (2008). On December 5, 2008, the Tule Lake Segregation Center NHL area and Camp Tulelake, a former CCC camp, were designated as the Tule Lake Unit of the Valor in the Pacific National Monument by Presidential proclamation. The National Park Service and the Tule Lake Committee presented a dedication ceremony for the new National Monument during the July 2009 Pilgrimage.
What should members of the media know before attending?
The word “pilgrimage” refers to a trip to a sacred place. The Tule Lake Pilgrimage is, for many participants, a spiritual journey and there are some events that are not appropriate for photographing, filming, interviewing, or taking notes. Please respect the privacy of former incarcerees, and understand that you are welcomed as full participants, not outside observers or recorders.
We require that members of the media register with the Tule Lake Committee at the time of payment and registration, informing us of your professional and commercial interest and agreeing to conditions set forth by the Tule Lake Committee for photographing or recording Pilgrimage events. As an all-volunteer educational organization, we also request access to all materials developed on the Pilgrimage, for use on future Pilgrimages.
Thank you for your interest and support.