CODY, Wyo. — This year’s Heart Mountain Pilgrimage will be a multigenerational arts festival and will be held on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 10 and 11.

Reservation deadline is July 1. Register online at

The focus of the event will be to bring in the younger generations to continue the efforts of the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation.

The weekend will be centered on three documentaries. Each is different in its message, reminding the audience of the World War II internment of 120,000 Japanese Americans while asking the question: “Could this happen again?”

“Ken Watanabe’s America: Japanese Americans and Post-9/11 America” will be shown at the Wynona Thompson Auditorium on Friday evening following the pilgrimage dinner at the Holiday Inn. A panel discussion is scheduled after the movie.

Saturday events will be hosted at the Heart Mountain Interpretive Learning Center. An outdoor arts fair featuring local and Heart Mountain artisans and authors will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Among other presentations and demonstrations outside, Eric Muller will introduce his new book, “Colors of Confinement: Rare Kodachrome Photographs of Japanese American Incarceration in World War II” (University of North Carolina Press, 2012) with a short presentation and book-signing.

“An American Contradiction” filmmaker Vanessa Yuille stands with her mother Kathy during a Heart Mountain Hike.

Inside the center, two films, “Hiro: A Story of Japanese Internment” and “An American Contradiction,” will have alternating schedules throughout the day. Each film will be introduced by the filmmakers with a short question-and-answer period after the screening.

There will be several showings of each film throughout the day. Guests will be invited to explore the exhibits and the outdoor arts fair while waiting for the movies. Food vendors will be available and a bus will take people from the ILC to the honor roll, walking tour, and hospital complex.

Lee Nellis, a private contractor with Y Loop Road Trips, is working with the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation and will be offering Heart Mountain hikes on Thursday, Aug. 9, Friday, Aug. 10, and Sunday, Aug. 12. Reservations for the hike can be made through him at or by calling (307) 250-9382.

Schedule of Events

Registration will include entry to the following events:

• Reception hosted by Youth Council on Friday, Aug. 10, from 4 to 5 p.m. at Holiday Inn in Cody.

• Pilgrimage Dinner on Friday, Aug. 10, at 5 p.m. at Holiday Inn Ballroom.

• Presentation of “Ken Watanabe’s America” on Friday, Aug. 10, at 7:30 p.m. at Wynona Thompson Auditorium in Cody.

• Interpretive Learning Center Arts Festival on Saturday, Aug.11, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 1539 Road 19, Powell.

Featured Programs

• “Ken Watanabe’s America: Japanese Americans and Post-9/11 America.” In the years since 9/11, Arab and Muslim Americans have faced harassment and discrimination. One group of Japanese Americans took a stand, and defended their countrymen. Ken Watanabe, the star of “Letters from Iwo Jima,” traveled to America to get to know these brave Japanese Americans.

The Hoshizaki family, pictured on March 7, 1944, is the subject of “Hiro: A Story of Japanese Internment.”

He met and extensively interviewed Norman Mineta, a Nisei who was interned at Heart Mountain during World War II and who was the U.S. secretary of transportation when 9/11 occurred. In this film, Watanabe explores the link between the Japanese American experience and the discrimination experienced by Arab and Muslim Americans in a post-9/11 world, and shows that those who know their history are not doomed to repeat it.

• “An American Contradiction.” Seeking knowledge about her country’s history and heritage, filmmaker Vanessa Yuille journeys to her mother’s birthplace, Heart Mountain. Former internees reflect upon the experience of leaving their homes as children and the wartime hysteria that stripped them of their lawful rights.

This dark chapter of American history not only contrasts with the natural beauty of the landscape but also calls into question the definition of what it means to be an American. Through her investigation, Yuille challenges the audience to correctly define the true nature of what happened there.

• “Hiro: A Story of Japanese Internment,” 2012 Student Academy Award winner. Filmmaker Keiko Wright explores the life of Hiroshi Hoshizaki, a retired grandfather of six, who was imprisoned in an internment camp during his adolescence. As the film follows him on own journey to confront the events and memories of his past, the viewer learn of his experiences while imprisoned at Heart Mountain and the traumatic repercussions on him and his family.

In “Colors of Internment,” Bacon Sakatani explores the past in an abandoned Heart Mountain building.

The voices of “Hiro” tell a story of the political hysteria, racism, and scars that internment evoked during the World War II era — feelings that still echo to this day.

• “Colors of Confinement: Rare Kodachrome Photographs of Japanese American Incarceration in World War II.” This book presents 65 color photographs of life at Heart Mountain shot by Bill Manbo, an internee who was an amateur photographer, along with four essays interpreting the photographs. One of the essays is a reminiscence by Bacon Sakatani, and another is by Eric Muller, the book’s editor.

Travel Information

The following hotels have rooms blocked for the event:

• Holiday Inn in Cody, (307) 587-5555. Discount code: K1HMWF

• Comfort Inn in Cody, (307) 587-5556. Discount code: K4HMWF

• Buffalo Bill Cabins in Cody, (307) 587-5555. Discount code: K3HMWF

• The Cody in Cody, (307) 527-3360. Discount code: Heart Mountain Reunion

• Super 8 in Powell, (307) 754-7231. Discount code: Heart Mountain Foundation

Air Travel

• Yellowstone Regional Airport in Cody (COD). Two miles from the central business district of Cody. The Cody Hotels listed above all provide shuttle service to and from the Cody airport. Time to the hotels from the airport is around 5 minutes. If staying in Powell, the drive is approximately 30 minutes.

• Billings Logan International Airport (BIL), Billings, Mont., 109 miles from Cody. The drive from the Billings airport will take approximately 2 hours. You will need to rent a car.

Both airports offer car rental services.

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