Risa Shimoda calling for SJC residents help

Risa Shimoda has been collecting bits and pieces of her father’s history for 20 years and is requesting additional help from San Juan County residents.  

Her father, Midori Shimoda, was living in California during WWII when the Japanese living on the west coast were suddenly under suspect after Pearl Harbor.  

It was 70 plus years ago that Midori took advantage of the U.S. Government’s voluntary evacuation program and was able to obtain a sponsor and relocate to San Juan County. He lived with two families – the Frederick Jones family in Monticello, and the Oscar Hurst family in Blanding – and he was befriended by many others. 

Twenty years ago, the Blue Mountain Panorama ran a front page article written by Jake Joslin about Risa’s quest to learn about her father’s experiences and to gather a visual record of what he did here.  

She is now making one more giant effort to see if other stories and pictures are hiding away in Grandma or Grandpa’s collection of photos from that WWII era. 

Midori was a photographer himself and took many portraits of people in both communities, thanks to the help of Ernest Biggs, San Juan High School principal. 

Several of those ended up in the SJHS yearbook, The Pinion.  Hopefully more of those photos will surface as local genealogists help in this gathering of family history.  

To visit those yearbooks, go to http://skalooza.com/utah-san_juan-blanding/san_juan_high/yearbooks.html.  (You’ll need to register.)

Contact  Risa Shimoda at risa@theshimodagroupcom if you discover any information that will aid her in this family history research. 

To learn more about the family, and see what photos she has already secured, visit  https://blandingbitspieces.blogspot.com/


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