A Talk with Jean Umemura

Saturday, April 29
Doors open at 10:00 a.m.
Program: 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. (EDT)

Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art
500 West Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204

Jean Umemura, a retired schoolteacher of 30 years from Allisonville Elementary School in Indianapolis, was just 14 years old and living in Seattle when she and her family were sent to a temporary internment camp in Puyallup, Washington. She and her family were later moved to a permanent camp in Minidoka, Idaho, and were one of the 120,000 Japanese and Japanese-Americans incarcerated by the United States during World War II. The internment is viewed by historians as one of the great civil rights injustices by the U.S. in the 20th century. Now 96 years old and a long-term resident of Indianapolis, Jean will discuss her experiences in the U.S. during World War II and the aftermath of the anti-Japanese sentiment that followed.

This is a rare and special opportunity to hear from someone in our community who lived through the incarceration of Japanese-Americans in camps in the United States, and who can share first-hand this important history, ever more relevant in the face of current anti-Asian sentiment. Jean’s husband George was the founding President of the Hoosier Chapter of the Japanese-American Citizens League (JACL) in 1975, and later, they were also members of the Japan-America Society of Indiana (JASI).

This event is sponsored by Barnes & Thornburg, the Japan-America Society of Indiana, and the Japan Foundation.

To register, please visit:

Doors open at 10 a.m.; Program from 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.

Program will be in English. The easy-to-understand presentation will be accompanied by photos and slides. Japanese interpretation will be available for the Q&A portion of the program.

The speaker program is an educational component of the exhibit “CHANGING VIEWS: The Photography of Dorothea Lange”. For more information on the exhibit, visit:


Photo by Dorothea Lange, Pledge of Allegiance, Raphael Weill Elementary School, San Francisco, April 20, 1942., The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 2000.50.16