Nancy Fujishige of So-Phis of Orange County and Nancy Oda of Tuna Canyon Detention Station Coalition. (Photo by Jason Kusagaya)

The So-Phis of Orange County, a social and philanthropic group, recently honored the Tuna Canyon Detention Station Coalition with a check to further its mission to preserve the stories of the Japanese, German, and Italian aliens, and Japanese taken from Peru during World War II.

Last summer, the Cerritos Millennium Library hosted its traveling exhibit entitled “Only the Oaks Remain,” where 3,000 daily visitors passed by the lobby space on their way to the reading room and book shelves.

Nancy Fujishige found the name of her grandfather, Hisao Fujishige, on the wall listing Tuna Canyon detainees. That was an awakening that many feel when finding a grandfather or great-grandfather’s name on the wooden honor wall. Her personal connection motivated her to seek more information.

She wrote, “Just as it was for me, the story was new to the ladies. There we were — a room full of Japanese American women. Internment and war relocation are deeply woven threads in the fabric of our family histories. We diligently pass these stories on to the next generations … and yet most of us had never heard of Tuna Canyon. This has to change. Thus, So-Phis decided to make a donation to the TCDS Coalition.”

“We thank the So-Phis for nominating us for this generous gift. Building a lasting memorial is foremost in our minds,” said TCDS Coalition President Nancy Oda.

The Tuna Canyon Detention Station Coalition is an educational 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

In addition to the A-frames, a new pop-up exhibit is available for smaller spaces and short-term residencies. The exhibit will be at the Orange County Agricultural and Nikkei Heritage Center from June 15 to Aug. 15. For more information, visit:

So-Phis’ Annual Fashion Show, Luncheon and Boutique will take place on Saturday, April 4, at the Anaheim Hilton. Proceeds from the fashion show go to various Southern California nonprofit organizations such as Tuna Canyon Detention Station Coalition.  For tickets or more information, visit the So-Phis website:

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