The Tule Lake Jail, built in February 1945, was used to imprison renunciants before sending them to DOJ internment camps in Santa Fe, N.M. and Bismarck, N.D. Photo taken by Don Tateishi of Caltrans in 1988.

The Tule Lake Committee announces that the 2020 Tule Lake Pilgrimage is scheduled from Friday, July 3, through Monday, July 6.

The standard registration fee is $575 per person. For those on fixed incomes or students and survivors of incarceration, the fee is $350. Payment is by check only.

The registration fee is all-inclusive and covers charter bus transportation, lodging, meals and all activities during the four-day pilgrimage. Fees were increased slightly due to increases in the cost of buses, accommodations and meals. Grants are available to assist with the registration fee.

Registration forms for the 2020 pilgrimage will be posted on Feb. 19 on the Tule Lake Committee’s website,

Complete and mail the form and send a check to the address listed on the registration form. The date of your postmark determines the order of registration priority. Overnight and two-day delivery service will not improve priority on the list. Also, do not request a signature as proof of receipt; the mail may be returned to sender.

Space at the pilgrimage is in high demand. Avoid disappointment; plan ahead to download and complete the registration form, and promptly mail in your completed registration form and payment.

If you do not have a computer and access to the Internet, and would like registration forms mailed to you via USPS, contact Hiroshi Shimizu at (415) 317-2686.

Details of 2020 Pilgrimage

This year’s pilgrimage will provide pilgrims with the opportunity to see the restored Tule Lake Jail, the iconic structure that, over the past decade, the National Park Service and the Tule Lake Committee worked to preserve. Constructed in February 1945, the jail was used to imprison hundreds of Japanese American protesters that the government stripped of U.S. citizenship and prepared to deport as “enemy aliens.”

“Tule Lake’s jail tells an important civil rights story about Japanese Americans who said ‘no’ to America’s injustice, a story of moral and political courage that should be remembered and honored,” says Shimizu.

Thanks to grants from the Japanese American Confinement Sites program and the California Civil Liberties Public Education program, and donations from the Japanese American community, the TLC raised over $350,000 to bring the jail to “shovel-ready” status and accelerate the NPS’ timetable for restoration. The Tule Lake Committee raised more than $850,000 to preserve structures that tell Tule Lake’s segregation center story.

Pilgrimage participants travel together in deluxe, chartered buses that depart from San Francisco, Berkeley, San Jose, Union City, Sacramento, Sacramento Airport, Seattle and Portland.

Accommodations are dormitory rooms at the Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls. The two housing options: standard double-occupancy rooms are included in the registration fee; accommodations in the four-bedroom/four-person air-conditioned suites will cost an extra $75 per person. The suites are farther from the main activity building and have no elevators. If you wish for a room in a suite, write a separate check to cover the extra $75-per-person expense.

Activities over the four-day pilgrimage include a memorial service and tours of the concentration camp site. Multiple discussions and workshops provide occasions to learn, share experiences and help heal the multigenerational wounds of the incarceration.

The final night’s closing cultural program is open to the public, held at the Ross Ragland Theater in downtown Klamath Falls.

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