Erin Shigaki is an important part of the Tsuru for Solidarity movement. Her artwork has been a powerful source of inspiration for our social justice mission. We support Erin’s continued efforts to educate fellow Washingtonians about the racist, anti-Japanese agitation that deprived Japanese immigrants of legal rights in the state and built the drumbeat for the World War II incarceration. And we are deeply disturbed and angered by the repeated efforts to whitewash and erase her works describing how Miller Freeman — a local businessman who later profited from appropriating Japanese American farms — played a leading role in this racist agitation.
As Erin has written, “The United States’ history of racism should not be erased or modified, just because some find it difficult to come to terms with, or because it names people whose generational wealth and power is entwined with that racism.”