Virtual Book Talk On History And Legacy Of Heart Mountain To Be Held Saturday

Sep 24, 2020

Credit Shirley Ann Higuchi

A new book focuses on the importance of having a memorial at Heart Mountain, where Japanese-Americans were imprisoned during World War II. 

Shirley Ann Higuchi is the daughter of former incarcerees at Heart Mountain. In her new book, Setsuko’s Secret, Higuchi tells the story of her parents and many others whose lives were touched by the Japanese-American concentration camp. 

Higuchi said for most of her life, her parents tried to not bring attention to the fact that they were Japanese-American. 

"I always feel that in a lot of ways Japanese-American incarceration has been whitewashed in our society," said Higuchi. "And I think the Nisei, the generation that my parents are, second generation Japanese-Americans, have been sort of whitewashed and told to sort of minimize that experience."

As a result, Higuchi wasn't aware of Heart Mountain’s significance to her family until after her mother passed. 

"She did note that she wanted her memorial, her koden money to go to Heart Mountain, and sort of unveiling that secret about her hidden desires," said Higuchi. "I became invested in Heart Mountain."

That investment meant helping build the memorial and making sure people knew the stories of people imprisoned at Heart Mountain. She said her book puts her experience and knowledge in one place. The virtual event takes place Saturday, September 26, at 6 p.m. MST. 

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Kamila Kudelska, at kkudelsk@uwyo.edu.