DELTA, Utah — The Topaz Museum Board is pleased to announce the launch of an online community survey to submit ideas and opinions on the future of the Wakasa Monument and ways to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the killing of James Hatsuaki Wakasa.
People are invited to complete the survey online by going to the newly created website, www.TopazCommunityOutreach.com, where it can be accessed. The survey will also be available on the website as a downloadable pdf to fill out and mail in.
The collected feedback, combined with recommendations from the National Park Service, will inform the development of a project plan. This plan will provide executable guidelines for the long-term preservation and interpretation of the monument, inform a commemoration program for the 80th anniversary of Wakasa’s death, and address future educational outreach and community engagement at the Topaz Museum.
On April 11, 1943, Wakasa was shot and killed by a guard at Topaz. Incarcerees erected a stone monument in his honor, but were forced to remove it by the military. The Wakasa monument was considered lost until its discovery in 2020, where it was buried at the Topaz concentration camp, and partially uncovered over time, due to erosion. It is now in the courtyard of the Topaz Museum in a secure and protected location.
The online survey is one of three methods in which the Topaz Museum is reaching out to the community for feedback. In addition, four in-person community meetings will be held:
• Saturday, July 30, 1 to 3 p.m. PST at J-Sei, 1285 66th St., Emeryville
• Saturday, Aug. 13, 1 to 3 p.m. PST at Konko Church, 1909 Bush St., San Francisco
• Friday, Aug. 26, 4 to 6 p.m. MT at RJ Law Community Center, 75 W. Main St., Delta, Utah
• Saturday, Aug. 27, 1 to 3 p.m. MT at Salt Lake Buddhist Temple, 211 W. 100S., Salt Lake City, Utah
In addition, two virtual community meetings will be held:
• Monday, Aug. 15, 6 to 7:30 p.m. PST
• Tuesday, Aug. 30, 5 to 6:30 p.m. PST
More details about the online survey, community meetings, and the general outreach plan can be found at www.TopazCommunityOutreach.com or by emailing email@example.com. This project is supported by a grant from the Great Basin Heritage Area Partnership.