243 – Dr. Stephanie Takaragawa and Patti Hirahara

Dr. Stephanie Takaragawa is an Associate Professor of Sociology. Her research interests focus on issues of representation in film, mass media, art, performance, and cultural display. She is a founding member of the curatorial collective Ethnographic Terminalia. Her dissertation Visualizing Japanese-America: the Japanese American National Museum and the Construction of Identity examined the role of the Japanese American National Museum in the construction and dissemination of a Japanese-American identity. She is currently president of the Society for Visual Anthropology (2015-2017) a subsection of the American Anthropological Association. B.A., University of Southern California; M.A., Ph.D., Temple University.

Patti Hirahara has been an advocate in preserving the Japanese American legacy in the United States and was a featured speaker at the FDR Presidential Library and Museum, last October, in Hyde Park, New York talking about the Japanese American incarceration and her family’s over 2,000 photographs processed in a secret underground darkroom and taken in a Wyoming Japanese incarceration camp during WWII.

The Hirahara Family came to the State of Washington in 1907, from Japan, and she has helped to preserve the history of the Japanese in the Pacific Northwest. This year Patti has received several honors for her work in this field by being named an Honorary Alumna of Washington State University by the Washington State University Alumni Association which is the most prestigious award a non-alumnus can receive from WSU. She is the first Japanese American to receive this award since its inception in 1966.

She was part of a panel highlighting the 76th anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066 in her family’s home of Yakima, Washington at the Yakima Valley Museum last February and was named Grand Marshall of the Washington State Pioneer Power Show this summer. This was the same honor her grandfather George Hirahara received in 1987.

Patti has also been active here at home receiving a proclamation from the Anaheim City Council on June 12th for her work in telling the Anaheim Japanese Pioneer story. She will be working with the Anaheim Public Library’s Heritage Center to help create an exhibit about the Anaheim Japanese community before and after WWII in 2019. The Anaheim Public Library just received a National Park Service Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Award to create an exhibit at the Anaheim MUZEO next year. Patti is excited to talk about the project and reach out to families who may want to participate.



Chapters is a five-part Creative + Cultural Podcast series dedicated to stories surrounding the exclusion, forced removal, and internment of Japanese-Americans. The program also parallels a narrative thread through Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

Chapters is supported by the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program administered by the California State Library. This episode was recorded live on October 21 at the 1888 Center located in the Historic District of Old Towne Orange, CA.

Producer: Heritage Future
Host: Trevor Allred
Guest: Dr. Stephanie Takaragawa and Patti Hirahara
Audio: Brew Sessions Live
Music composed and performed by Dan Reckard