Mount Hood reflecting in Trillium Lake at sunset, in Mount Hood National Forest, Oregon.

ONE OREGON PODCAST EPISODE 04

Many Stories, One State

 

 

Episode 04: A Parallel Cultural Story of Hood River Valley History with Maija Yasui

In this episode, we talk with Maija Yasui who was born and raised in Hood River, Oregon. Maija’s family came to the community as part of the wave of Finnish immigrants who settled in the years between 1900 and 1915. She later married into a Japanese family who had also immigrated to the Valley.

Maija has been a long-time community activist working to preserve and honor the local history of Japanese Americans, including the atrocity of their imprisonment during World War II. Here, she shares her family's intertwining stories of these immigrant communities.

To learn more about the history of Japanese Americans in Oregon please visit the following resources:

The History Museum of Hood River County at: https://www.hoodriverhistorymuseum.org/

The Japanese American Museum of Oregon at: https://jamo.org/ 

Densho: https://densho.org/

Nisei Soldiers Break Their Silence by Linda Tamura: https://uwapress.uw.edu/search-results/?contributor=linda-tamura

The Hood River Issei: An Oral History of Japanese Settlers in Oregon's Hood River Valley by Linda Tamura: https://www.amazon.com/Hood-River-Issei-Japanese-Experience/dp/0252063597

Family Gathering directed by Lise Yasui: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3294916/

Never Give Up! Minoru Yasui and the Fight for Justice co-directed by Holly Yasui: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6332918/

Listen to the full episode on: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Anchor, or wherever you get your podcasts!

FINAL

 

Episode 04 Transcript:

Ann: Today we are joined by Maija Yasui who was born and raised in Hood River. Maija’s family came to the community as part of a wave of Finnish immigrants who settled in the years between 1900 and 1915. She later married into a Japanese family who had also immigrated to the Valley. She shares her interesting perspectives on the intertwining stories of these immigrant communities. Maija has been a long-time community activist in Hood River working to preserve and honor the local history of Japanese Americans, including the atrocity of their imprisonment during World War II. Maija joined us for this interview from her home in Hood River, Oregon.   

And we start this episode the way we always do, by asking Maija how her Oregon story began…   

Maija: Well, I'm from a family of Finnish descent. I grew up in a real tight community of Finnish neighbors, most of whom I was related to, all on the west side of the Hood River Valley in the 1950’s. My mother was fifth generation from the British Isles who moved gradually west and finally settled in the early 1920’s in the Hood River Valley smack dab in the middle of the Finnish in the Japanese community. She married my dad, Sulo. Their marriage lasted only about 13 years and was tragically cut short when she lost a three-year battle with breast cancer. I was eight at the time. My father was left with four children under the age of 12 to raise. It was a daunting task for a 54-year-old man, but we were surrounded by aunts and uncles and cousins all of Finnish descent and they helped raise us.   

My life story is really a web of the most personal intersection of my Finnish family and my marriage into a family of Japanese ancestry. My neighborhood friends were either Finnish or Japanese, a detail that was underscored when we began attending elementary school. I later married a Japanese-American, Philip Yasui, in 1970 and merged the Finnish and the Japanese culture into a really eclectic mix.  

Emily: We asked Maija to tell us more about what brought Finnish immigrants to Hood River in the late 1800s. 

 Maija: They were drawn to the valley by free homestead land and the proclamation that this was a fertile valley where fruit trees would thrive… that the rivers were overflowing with fish. Most importantly to the Finns, it was a place where their families would never go hungry because famine was one of the reasons the Finnish men had fled Finland along with a desire to avoid conscription into the army.

Young Finnish men came by steamship across the Atlantic Ocean in the1870s. They came by way of Ellis Island and they settled across the northern reaches of America. They worked in dangerous jobs in the iron mines much like they had in their homeland, and they moved west, trying to find a place to homestead. Like most immigrants, they settled together, building communities that shared their values and their customs. The first and second generation of Finnish did speak Finnish in their homes. They celebrated traditional holidays they observed the Lutheran faith. They were of a socialistic mindset.   

Emily: Maija’s grandfather shares a similar story to these Finnish immigrants. He immigrated to the US via Ellis Island in 1879 and settled in the Dakotas. Eventually, he earned enough money to bring all his brothers to the U.S. as well. Relatives who had made it further west told them about the ‘utopia’ of Hood River and the entire family relocated in 1909.   

Maija: We moved in mass, all the brothers and their families, to the Oak Grove area on the west side of the valley in 1909. All of the men in the family became orchardists, or farmers as they used to be called. Three of the five sisters became schoolteachers and taught in the valley from the 1920s through the 1960’s.   

The homestead orchards on the west side of the valley were plagued with steep rocky hillsides and infertile soil and they were almost all sold to the valley's newest immigrants in the 1920’s.   

Ann: The newest immigrants to Hood River also included Japanese families, who came to the area in the early 1900’s.   

Maija: Initially, Japanese and Finnish families lived side by side in the Oak Grove area. They exhibited the same hard work ethic, devotion to family, and perseverance. in Japanese this is called “gambate”, in Finnish, “sisu”.  

As neighbors, they helped one another when facing the elements such as forest fires or dust storms and the great depression, but they stayed within their own ethnic groups, speaking their native language, worshiping in their own churches, socializing with their own kind.   

The Finnish settlement was more mature than the Japanese in that they had been in the United States longer, having traveled all the way from the east coast to the west coast over a number of generations. My father was third generation, my siblings and I, fourth generation. In general, many of the Finnish families of Hood River had second, third and fourth generation families and they were already assimilating into American society. Their characteristic blonde hair and blue eyes made them far more acceptable in whitewashed Oregon communities.   

In contrast, the Japanese came directly to the west coast from Japan and settled here after short side journeys to work on the railroads in Montana, Oregon and Idaho. They were first generation males. Second generations only began forming in the decade prior to the Oregon anti-alien land law implementation. Physically, they were very identifiable. They were easy targets of prejudice and discriminatory actions. The local newspapers carried anti-Asian cartoons stereotyping the Japanese immigrants as “stupid, buck-toothed, of small stature, brown skin and poor eyesight”. They were ridiculed for living in tents and poor shacks while beginning to raise their families. The Japanese also shared a strong work ethic but philosophically, they believed in fate… what will be will be…“shikata-ganai”. You live with what is dealt to you and when you want to get along in a new place you keep your head down because “the nail that sticks up will be hammered down, “deru kugi wa uttareru”.  

Maija: For the first decade, 1900 through 1910, the Japanese were simply viewed as a necessary, but transitory workforce. As long as they did the work that others did not want to do, they were left alone.  In the valley, they built the railroad from Hood River to Mount Hood. They cleared the timberland for the logging companies, a dangerous backbreaking job, especially on the steep hills. They planted fruit trees, strawberries and asparagus on the newly tilled land. They seldom went to the town of Hood River. It was a fairly long journey from the rural outskirts. When they did, they only frequented the Japanese-owned store, the Yasui store, or the Kuga bath house or noodle house.  

Prejudice and fear increased when the Japanese men appeared to be planting roots in the community. They were planting orchards but sending for wives and other family members. As the Japanese families grew, they became much more visible and increasing economic success led to jealousy.   The establishment that had sold them the rocky steep hillsides, thought that it was infertile and it wouldn't allow them to settle, but here they were starting their families. As their children entered public schools in the early 20’s, their presence became increasingly uncomfortable to those in power.   The local newspaper drummed up fear of the Japanese. It was defined as a Japanese problem in Hood River. It was framed as a battle for self-preservation. Schools were a double-edged sword for the children of Japanese descent. They began learning English in the public schools. They began socializing in school with their Finnish counterparts. They played together on sports teams and heaven forbid, when they became teens, perhaps they looked romantically at one another! This was forbidden by law until 1952 in the State of Oregon.    

With larger families the norm in the 20’s and 30’s, the number of Japanese students in the classroom seemed to be growing disproportionately to their Caucasian counterparts. The silent minority was becoming a majority in the rural outlying schools where they had settled. Racial distrust escalated among the parents, even as the friendships increased among the youth.    

My three aunts were school marms at Oak Grove school. As teachers. they were looked up to by students and their families that settled in the area. Racial barriers that existed were breaking down in the rural classrooms and on those playing fields. But in the areas where the Japanese were not allowed to settle, in the downtown area of Hood River on the east side of the valley where farmland was more fertile and families held generational wealth and power, fear and discrimination escalated. Japanese social activities were segregated except in schools. There was a Japanese ball team that played baseball against Warm Springs tribes, a Japanese bowling league. The cemetery had a burial section for only Japanese. There was a Japanese music band as well.    

My Finnish relatives and neighbors were rapidly assimilating. Their physical characteristics made them indistinguishable from those in power. Their longer migration history allowed for the early adoption of the English language. They held positions of leadership early on. They were the teachers, the servicemen, the fire department. They were ultimately the mayors, the legislators and the owners of the farm cooperatives. 

Ann: The paths of these two immigrant communities continued to diverge, as discrimination against Japanese Americans escalated throughout the 1920’s and 30’s.   

Maija: Much of that underlying fear and discrimination came to a head with the attack on Pearl Harbor in World War II, enhanced by wartime propaganda stereotyping all people of the Japanese race are the enemy.   

From December 7th, 1941, when Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and the U.S. entered World War II, Hood River became a hotbed of racial prejudice aimed at all people of Japanese descent. Within three days, three of the leaders of the Japanese community were removed including Masuo Yasui, my husband's grandfather. They were imprisoned throughout the war, as enemy aliens. All people of Japanese ancestry, regardless of citizenship, were restricted, They were not allowed to join in groups of three. They had to speak English. Their bank resources were frozen. They had to turn into the sheriff's office, radios, guns, any maps or letters written to Japan. They had a curfew from 8 pm to 6 am, imprisoning them in their own homes.  They were not allowed to travel through the Gorge. If they had to travel, they had to be escorted by a white person. From February, 1942, with the passage of executive order 9066, through May 13th when all people of Japanese ancestry were forcefully removed from the valley these restrictions were in place. They were required to sell or lease their businesses, farms, homes, cars, any and all of their possessions that they could not carry. It was a buyer's market. The Yasui family store downtown was sold for one dollar.  

Sixty-one armed soldiers were deployed to force the Japanese families onto trains in Hood River. Babies and grandparents were weeping in sadness and fear. That train was later given the moniker, the “train of tears”. A handful of belongings were tagged for later retrieval. It was a harrowing journey to an unknown destination for an undetermined duration… perhaps forever. No one knew. They were cast out from the valley they had called home for the last 30 years.    

Five hundred people of Japanese ancestry throughout Hood River Valley, first, second, third generation family members, two-thirds of whom were American citizens by birthright, were incarcerated in prison camps. First at Pinedale, California in horse stalls where the temperature soared to 120 degrees. Later, they were moved to Tule Lake, California, to a more permanent prison camp, where high winds blew dust through every building crack stinging your eyes. Winters where the temperature dropped well below zero, and summers were always in the 100’s.    

I learned of the personal details of the Japanese treatment beginning with interviews I conducted with the Issei, the first generation, those who were unallowed citizenship, when I returned to Hood River to begin my married life in 1970. This project was called the Berkeley project, where families were asked to interview the Japanese before they passed away. We were to capture their stories of immigration, life as Japanese in a white state, incidents of racism as well as compassion, recounting times of incarceration and return to their homes or relocating to other communities. Ultimately, it's been a life journey of mine.  

I'd like to share a few of those stories with the own words of those Issei and Nisei …  

“When we were dropped in the middle of nowhere, when we got off the train, we saw our luggage piled high as a mountain. We looked for our tags. Everything we owned was somewhere in that mountain of belongings. There was a huge pile of burlap bags beside our luggage and another mountain of straw covered in cow manure that had been shoveled out of the stalls. We were told to fill the burlap bags with straw and manure to make a bed to sleep on”.    

“It was 120 degrees in Pinedale. It was so hot that the tar dripped out of the roofing. It would burn us if it dropped on our skin. I had blisters all over. We would pull the manure filled mattresses over our heads and lay on the dirt floor. Later, when there was an asphalt floor, the metal bed frames melted right into the floor” - Mits Takasumi    

“There was no man's land… a line was drawn in the sand inside the wire. If we got too close to the line, the guards would warn us. One time they shot in the air at a boy running after his ball” – Mamoru Noji  

Emily: Maija had a fairly idyllic childhood, growing up within a close-knit community, and knowing nothing of what had happened to her Japanese neighbors just a few years before she was born.     

Maija: You know, it was a lot like a utopia to us when I look back on my childhood. I grew up as a tomboy on the farm. My brother and I began working in the orchard when we were about eight or nine, shortly after our mother died. Our older sister was in charge of our home and helping raise our baby sister. I loved being outside with my brother. We would rake fruit tree prunings into the center of the tree rows so our dad could push them into a huge pile with an old Caterpillar. This was burned at the end of each harvest season. Those huge bonfires were great adventures for roasting marshmallows, singing Finnish songs and listening to our dad tell stories of growing up in Oak Grove on the homestead.  By the time we were 10, we were thinning and picking fruit as well as spreading fertilizers, scattering boxes and loading the fruit on trailers and trucks. This allowed us to drive tractors in the orchard which was exciting for a young person. I remember the local sheriff created a driver's license for John and I so we could drive the truck loaded with fruit to the packing house about a quarter of a mile away. We could also drive the mile and a half to the Annala homestead where my uncle Alva lived.   

My brother and I would slip upstairs to poke around the attic where two bedrooms, a sleeping porch, and a huge water barrel were situated. We later learned that the water barrel was used for making moonshine during Hood River’s prohibition days. That was an exciting discovery, but it didn't hold a candle to the old trunks tucked under the eaves filled with unusual treasures. Of course, we had been told multiple times not to go in the attic and not to touch anything that was there, and of course that's exactly what we did. We wanted to explore and paw through those exotic items. As boxes and trunks were uncovered, we found silk kimonos, fans, headbands and long silk embroidered belts at least 12 inches wide and 10 feet long. There were parasols of wax paper with beautiful birds and flowers scattered across the bamboo top. There were funny wooden blocks with a v-shaped band on top that you could slip on your feet and clip-clop across the attic floorboards. Fortunately for us, our uncle was hard of hearing and never suspected we were upstairs snooping. There were letters written on transparent paper with figures I had never seen. Ink characters that ran up and down the paper instead of side to side. There were beautiful boxes, containers, and thick rustic paper, yellowed with age. Where did it come from? Who did it belong to? Why couldn't we play with it? At that time, I was a connoisseur of Nancy Drew mystery stories so surely I could solve this mystery. But it was over a decade before I would begin to uncover a few of the answers.  

Emily: Maija’s Aunt Vienna was a teacher in Oak Grove during World War II. Nearly 40 years after the Japanese imprisonment, Maija learned more about her aunt’s role in documenting this atrocity.   

Maija: It was a dusty cardboard box that my aunt Vienna Annala Van Loan kept under her bed that had the most emotional and consequential impact on the next 40 years of my life. It revealed the answer to why our homestead attic was filled with mysterious treasures and ultimately provided healing of our Japanese friends and neighbors as well as first-hand documentation of that horrific period of time. My aunt asked me to be the guardian of hundreds of pictures notes and letters written by her students during World War II. These told of the torturous journey of her Japanese friends, neighbors and students during World War II. On mimeograph paper was her letter to the superintendent of Hood River School District requesting permission to allow her eighth graders to graduate prior to their forced evacuation. His reply was “no”. To ease her students’ fears, she developed her final homework assignment for the students in her school. Those being removed and those left behind. She asked for them to write to one another, sharing their bond of friendship and detailing what they were going through. These letters helped solve some childhood mysteries that had baffled me across the years.  

This first-hand account that was given little, if any, attention in my high school studies of World War II. A story held secret for decades. Homes, farms, businesses… lost. Personal possessions, pets, reputations... all gone. Two generations of lives lost to suicide, depression, and mental disease. The letters represented hope to those being imprisoned. Perhaps they could return and renew their friendships. Perhaps they were worthy of friendship.  

I'd like to read a few of those children's letters:    

“We practiced for months carrying suitcases up and down the road to our house. Every week dad would put more things in the case so I could carry more”. - Hiro    

“Then came May 13th, the most dreaded day. I will never forget on the morning of May 13th, I boarded the train headed for Pinedale, California”. - Hideo   

“It was dark on the train. We had to keep the blinds pulled. I finally fell asleep. When I woke up, there were other kids crying. I had to go to the bathroom. I tried to get up and move towards the back of the car, but a soldier poked me in the stomach with a rifle. I was so scared, I soiled myself. I am so embarrassed. I brought shame to my family. I am sorry, Miss Annala”. -Mark   

“We rode the train of tears to an unimaginable place – nowhere. It was a different world we entered. After only three black days and nights on that rattly train, with the blinds always pulled down”. - Itsu 

“I couldn't take my dog… nobody wanted him. We left him all alone. I don't think he will have any food to eat. Can you feed him Miss Annala? I will try to send some money for a little food for him”. -Tsunai  

These were seven and eight-year-old children.   

Racist feelings were entrenched in the hearts of many people in Hood River. World War II and the war against Japan further vilified people of Japanese ancestry. The American Legion, led by Kent Shoemaker, was one of the most vehement objectors to the return of the Japanese who had been forcefully imprisoned. A campaign against the return of the Japanese to Hood River was waged, fanning flames of hatred among former neighbors and classmates. Full-page advertisements were purchased by the Legion urging the Japanese not to return. Maps showed how their farms were surrounded by angry neighbors and farmers who did not want them to return. Many of their farms had been sold on the courthouse steps for unpaid taxes.  Perhaps the most hurtful were those weekly petitions that were printed with hundreds of past friends and neighbors adding their name to the petition each week. Week after week, the papers were sent to the families imprisoned in the camps. Those who were tough enough to return were faced with drive-by shotgun blasts, inability to inhabit their own homes while ownership was tied up in courts, shop owners not selling farming supplies or food to the returning Japanese. “Jap hunting licenses sold here” were signs on the doors of stores lining Oak Street in Hood River… “Open season, no limit”. There were barbers who refused to cut the hair of returning Japanese 442 infantry heroes. Hood River received national attention when the Legion removed the names of the Japanese servicemen from Hood River from a huge billboard adhered to the side of the Butler Bank listing their honorable service. The New York Times listed our community as one of the most prejudiced in the United States.    

Emily: Maija shared with us that only 40 percent of the families of Japanese ancestry ever returned to Hood River Valley. Those that did return were the subject of harassment and abuse while others were treated as if they were invisible.  Maija too was unsure if she would ever come back home to Hood River.   

Maija: I definitely did not think I was going to be back in Hood River when I finished high school. Hood River was in a significant depression in the end of the 60’s. I graduated in 1968 and I was headed off to Oregon State University. I was a naive young person in the midst of the civil rights movement. I sat on the steps of the M.U. at Oregon State, raising my clenched fist thinking I was a community activist… from a community that had one Black family in its entirety. I had much to learn. I was brought soundly back down to earth by a sociology professor who embarrassed me in class one day. We were enmeshed in a unit on racism when he demanded that I share what had happened to the Japanese in Hood River during World War II. I had no idea what he was talking about nor did my Japanese friend and classmate. The professor made me do an additional assignment on racism in Hood River during World War II. My eyes were opened wide. I never thought there was a need to fight injustice in my own hometown. 

Ann: Of course, we know you did end up back in Hood River can you tell us a bit about what brought you back?  

Maija: Well, I think you could never take the sense of family and community out of myself. I was a farm girl at heart. My father was still working the farm, but his health was deteriorating and I took many journeys up I-5 from Corvallis to Hood River to assist with his care. I think I would have eventually come back anyway but my life was turned upside down by what one would think was an inconsequential request from a Hawaiian dormmate. She asked if I would participate in the OSU Hawaiian Luau. All I had to do was learn how to do a traditional hula and the promise was that there was a post-luau party that was going to be phenomenal!   

So, flash forward two months later to a terrified white girl on stage at the M.U. in front of a crowd of three thousand people dancing the hula and trying to see why an after party at the Hawaiian house was carrot enough to get me to do this. I was really mortified! At the after party, I ran into Flip Yasui, who was actually a fellow Hood River native. He had been a senior in high school when I was a freshman. Long story short, we split the party and ended up married two years later. He returned to Hood River to his father's farm when his dad suffered a heart attack, thinking that this was just a small break in his future plan for a career in fisheries and wildlife.   

It became a life we both embraced, without regret. So, I guess family, farm, new life…that's what brought me back to Hood River.   

Ann: Speaking of your husband, as a bicultural couple can you tell us what your families thought about your plans to marry?    

Maija: Well, I always thought my father was liberal, naive but liberal, and I was sure he wouldn't have any reservations as to who I chose as a lifelong partner. I think I idealized his marriage to mom, thinking it was perfect. The fact that he never remarried lent credence to that belief.   But dad's comment was “ I know you're going to do whatever you decide to do with or without my counsel. You're stubborn.” He said, “I will say marriage is hard enough when you come from families of the same race, with similar values, having shared similar experiences. This is going to be really hard especially in Hood River. “ I, of course, said I suppose you think our children will bear the burden of being of mixed races. Dad said, no but there was a time when that was a problem. I had yet to learn the laws prohibiting marriage out of the Japanese race and that these weren't dropped from the books until 1952, two years after I was born. I was disappointed by my father's remarks and internally labeled him a racist. I think that's a part of my youth and my new, acquired passion for social justice. 

About three months later, I was seated on the couch at dad's house sobbing uncontrollably. I told him how weird my husband was. He expected me to wait on him and when he had his friends over for Friday night poker games, my job was to get them snacks, drinks, go to bed and set the alarm clock and get up and make them breakfast at 1am before they went home. That was the way his mom and dad entertained.   Dad just smiled and said, I told you it'd be hard. 

I was worried about Flip's family accepting me too. He was the baby. His older sister and brother had already married and they both had Caucasian spouses. Now I worried their baby was marrying out and they would have no Japanese grandchildren. Flip's mom and dad seemed absolutely thrilled with their baby boy's choice in a life partner but I later learned that they had tried to assimilate in every way possible, living an all-American life to be accepted. That was their path to acceptance in Hood River. His father had even purchased a birth certificate for his son stating that he was white, from a Hood River doctor who delivered him in 1947.    

The Japanese families who did return absolutely expected their children to be great students, great athletes, great boy scouts, girl scouts and student body officers. They were to turn the other cheek and prove by their actions that they were the very best Americans. These sansei, third generation children, suffered the highest rates of suicide and depression of any ethnicity in the 50’s and 60’s. My husband's father, Chop Yasui, used humor as a way to fit in, as well as outwardly forgiving those who had betrayed his family, taken their possessions, imprisoning his own father Masuo Yasui, and accusing him of being a spy. Ultimately Masuo could not live with such an attack on his reputation and he took his own life. 

Shortly after becoming an American citizen, Chop turned the other cheek when his brother Min Yasui, as a young attorney, challenged the U.S. government for unconstitutionally demanding a curfew for those of Japanese ancestry during World War II. He forgave those who vilified Minoru even as he spent the next 40 years fighting through the Supreme Court to have the findings overturned, as well as seeking redress for the losses of the Japanese people.  

Emily: And can you talk a little bit about how the community accepted you?  

Maija: As for the Japanese community, I think they adopted me in most part because I had married into the Yasui family. Flip's father, Chop, was a well-loved leader among the Japanese who returned to the valley. I was considered a member of the Japanese social scene, bowling with the Japanese league, dancing with a group of Japanese dancers, and ultimately ending up serving as the local Japanese American Citizens League secretary, later president and historian for 20 years. 

Emily: We asked Maija to share her thoughts on the future of her community.    

Maija: Hood River has a unique multicultural identity over the last 150 years. I think my concerns have really been focused on the concept that we repeat our mistakes in dealing with immigrant populations and it's always a process of two steps forward and one step back. We wiped out the Japanese culture in the valley making their language and customs and values as un-American as we possibly could. It was only when we saw a renewed interest in civil rights and the search for our roots in the 60’s and 70’s that we started sharing the stories of the Japanese, as well as promoting their culture.    

What we've tried to do in working with other groups who have come as immigrants to the valley is to learn from those mistakes. Now we're focused on bringing in farm workers from Mexico and South America in almost a similar fashion, so we keep repeating the same things that we did with other immigrant populations.  

I hope that that we can see how strong we are that when we're united against adversity, whether racism or violence or a deadly pandemic. That if we rise up and let our voices be heard over the din of lies and injustice, we can repair that damage. The work of seeking justice for all, for which Minoru Yasui, Hood River native was recognized by President Barack Obama, with the Presidential Medal of Freedom …that work is never done. It must be addressed across our lifetime and that of our children and their children. History has taught us that justice is as transitory as the seasons. Each new era offers different challenges that must be faced with perseverance.  My hope is that we're all blessed with gambatte and sisu. 

Ann: Thank you so much for this Maija. We do have one more question we typically have been asking folks. What is something that you love about your community and you can define community however makes most sense to you.  

Maija: My love for this community is multi-generational, it's multicultural, and its greatest wealth is really for our ability to come overcome adversity and to become stronger together. I think that this community overcame some grave injustices and came out stronger and better and embraced more people which truly enriches all of our lives.   

Ann: We thank Maija Yasui for taking the time to share her rich and complex stories of life in Hood River.  

You’ve been listening to One Oregon: Many Stories, One State. I’m Ann Harris and I’m Emily Henry.     

We want to thank Tim Mayer, jazz piano player and jazz activist, for offering his time and talent to creating a uniquely Oregon musical environment for our podcast. 

Also, a huge thank you to Rick Henry, editor extraordinaire, for his patience and persistence in guiding us through this first season - we could not have done it without you.

Thanks to you for listening! Please tell your friends about us. We hope you’ll join us again for another episode of One Oregon. 

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