In March 1942, a P-I photographer captured a photograph of a bewildered, apprehensive, and yet determined-looking Japanese mother, holding her baby girl while waiting, guarded by soldiers with bayonets and guns. They waited for a ferry that would take her from her Bainbridge Island home to Seattle, where she, her family, and the rest of Bainbridge Island’s 227 Japanese-Americans would board a train car to the Manzanar War Relocation Center, an internment camp in California. The photograph became a classic image of the wartime internment of Japanese-Americans.
The mother in the photograph, Fumiko Hayashida, just celebrated her 98th birthday, and lives here on Beacon Hill. On Saturday, the Japanese American Citizens League honored her for raising awareness about the internment.
In 2006, Hayashida testified before the United States House of Representatives in support of the proposed Bainbridge Island Nidoto Nai Yoni memorial at the former Eagledale Ferry Dock. The law establishing the memorial as part of the national park system was signed by President Bush last May.