The Manzanar Fishing Club

“You never know what will save you.”

 In 1942 after the attack on Pearl Harbor the United States entered World War II.

A Civil Control Station was set up in the U.S., to which a responsible member from each Japanese family had to report for registration and  instructions. Due to fear of more Japanese attacks govt leaders from CA, WA, and OR ordered that the Japanese be relocated to isolation farther inland. Officially, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942, authorizing the Secretary of War to designate certain areas as military zones-which paved the way to forcibly relocate people of Japanese ancestry.

 The U.S. Government (with military backing),evacuated more than 110,000 people of Japanese descent and placed them into 10 wartime camps. More than two-thirds of those interned under the executive order were U.S. citizens, and none had ever demonstrated any disloyalty.

The 10 relocation centers would be located in Amache, Colorado, Gila River, Arkansas, Heart Mountain, Wyoming, Jerome, Arkansas, Manzanar, California, Minidoka, Idaho, Poston, Arizona, Rohwer Arkansas, Topaz, Utah and Tula Lake, California.

What happened in those camps is a history lesson lost. Most people have only a vague idea as did I until about 4 years ago. I stumbled upon a remarkable story of resilience to come out of one of the camps in Manzanar, California . It has stayed with me and I continued to follow it.

Now why you ask would I be writing about this?

It’s a story of the human spirit, historical, survival, life and fishing. It is my hope you will take time to read/learn about this part of history and share it.


Have you ever met someone who said fishing is the purest sense of happiness? What about the people who tell you they see God and  find their faith (whatever it is) fishing? Escape, embrace, achieve, solitude, connection … all words that sum up the experience.

For me it is salvation… hope, freedom. It’s in my heart. It is the finest definition of myself. I reminds me every time we are part of something far bigger then our imaginations allows us to understand.

For the “Fishing Club of Manzanar” fishing helped them to survive, gave them hope, courage…the lengths they went to risking their lives to fish is a testament to the human spirit.

Life is so very delicate.

When you have 5 minutes I encourage to watch this and share it with others:

As I followed this story through out the years I could not be more happy that Cory Shiozaki history of his family will finally be told. With a release date of  Feb 2012 the past six years of handwork to chronicle “The Manzanar Fishing Club”  will come to theaters.

Information on the people and the site behind the film:


“When you are on the river, ocean or in the woods, you are the closest to the truth you’ll ever get”  Jack Leonard