ジェフ・バートン

(Jeff Burton)

Jeff Burton is Cultural Resource Program Manager at Manzanar National Historic Site in California. Each year he leads volunteer projects uncovering Manzanar’s history, including restoring gardens built by imprisoned Japanese Americans during WWII. His archeological overview of Japanese American internment sites was cited in the national law that created the $38 million Japanese American Confinement Sites grant program. His work has also been pivotal in the establishment of National Park Service units at three other internment sites: Minidoka (Idaho), Tule Lake (California), and Honouliuli (Hawaii). In 2017 he received an award for excellence from the Society for American Archaeology for his work at confinement sites.

Updated June 2021

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The Power of Place: James Hatsuaki Wakasa and the Persistence of Memory

Part 5: Epilogue—The Persistence of Memory

The monument stone, toppled, perhaps face-down in the dirt, is a witness to the honor fellow incarcerees tried to show Mr. Wakasa. It is also a witness to the administration’s effort to eradicate that honor and suppress the truth of the killing. For the stone to tell its story, it needs to be carefully exam…

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The Power of Place: James Hatsuaki Wakasa and the Persistence of Memory

Part 4: Memories on the Landscape in 2020

In the fall of 2020, wildfires were raging across California, and smoke in our hometown of Lone Pine, near Manzanar, made it hard to breathe. With new information in hand, we planned a short escape, our first journey after nine months of surgeries and chemotherapy. We drove through Nevada across beautiful, stark …

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The Power of Place: James Hatsuaki Wakasa and the Persistence of Memory

Part 3: Reclaiming History

1943–1946: While Walking his Dog

How is such a tragic event noted when it occurs? What memories are taken away? By the time Topaz closed in October 1945, Wakasa’s shooting had been documented in various ways beyond the government memos and press releases.

Memories of the children appear to be…

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The Power of Place: James Hatsuaki Wakasa and the Persistence of Memory

Part 2: Shot and Killed in 1943

The evening of April 11, 1943, James Hatsuaki Wakasa had dinner with a friend but left the mess hall early to walk his dog.1 During his walk he talked to a nine-year-old boy (Ukai, personal communication to Jeff Burton, 2020). There are several accounts of what happened next, Mr. Wakasa had been incarcerated at T…

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The Power of Place: James Hatsuaki Wakasa and the Persistence of Memory

Part 1: A Story Meant to be Found

Prologue: The Power of Place

As archaeologists, we have experienced the power of place in all sorts of sites. But after almost 30 years investigating sites associated with the World War II mass incarceration of Japanese Americans, we have found these confinement sites among the most powerful, the most expre…

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