The Minidoka Swing Band is led by Larry Nobori, and accomplished Jazz artist and retired Portland School District music teacher.  The band consists of 18 musicians and 3 vocalists. Musicians have ranged in age from 12 to 87 years of age. Several of our band members were actually interned during WWII and several other band members had parents and grandparents interned.  Our band is named after the Minidoka Internment Camp which was located near Twin Falls, Idaho and where a majority of the Japanese-Americans from the Northwest were interned during WWII after the signing of Executive Order No. 9066 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 19, 1942.  For more information on the band please continue viewing our website. Thank you!

Related Links:

The Minidoka Swing Band is excited to be a part of this KEET-TV project funded by a grant from the National Park Service and the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program to create "J.A. JIVE: Swing Music in the Japanese American Internment Camps" 


Portland JACL

Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center

Minidoka National Internment Site

Images of WWII Japanese-American Internment Camps

Purpose

Mission Statement: "The Minidoka Swing Band was formed in September, 2007 to encourage youth to remember the perseverance and accomplishments of those who were interned at U.S. Internment Camps during World War II."

The goal was to establish a tribute band, the Minidoka Swing Band, to exemplify the spirit and strength of which internees embodied during their period of internment. Interment was an era of trying to keep things as positive and upbeat as possible. The Minidoka internees listened to music and held Saturday night dances --which helped them keep life as normal as possible.

So Portland’s JACL youth group, Unite People, through the leadership of Roberta Tsuboi, Connie Masuoka and Marilyn Loy, created and held weekly dance and music classes to teach youth how to play Swing Band and Jazz songs and how to swing dance. The Minidoka Swing Band established sessions to promote music and perpetuate traditions of their heritage. The Minidoka Swing Band and Unite People Youth group performed at the Minidoka Internment site in Twin Falls, Idaho on June 22, 2008. They represented future generations commemorated the history of the Minidoka Internment Camp.

Many of these youths had great-grandparents, grandparents and relatives who were interned during the era. By remembering the empowerment of their ancestors, it will help to discourage such acts from occurring again. Members of the band range in age from 13 yrs. to 85 years.

The Minidoka Pilgrimage in 2008 enabled the Minidoka Swing Band and Unite People Youth group to visit and experience first-hand a Japanese American Internment Camp. Minidoka was a barren land which internees transformed into a smooth-running community. This was possible only because of cooperation, understanding, sacrifice and selfless efforts of the internees. It taught the youths how the work of their ancestors contributed toward the community welfare.

The membership of the band has changed since 2008 because original youth members have moved on to college and they have been replaced with “older” new members, but the purpose of the band remains the same.  The band continues to help promote and continue faith of the democratic principles and Civil Liberties of the United States. The youth's community efforts and good will spoke for their families who had to endure and continue to endure a difficult period of rehabilitation that must follow the end of a war. The Minidoka Swing Band will provide a forum in which future generations can tell the story of their ancestors and the story of Minidoka.

EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9066

FEBRUARY 19, 1942

Authorizing the Secretary of War to Prescribe Military Areas 

Whereas, The successful prosecution of the war requires every possible protection against espionage and against sabotage to national defense material, national defense premises and national defense utilities as defined in Section 4, Act of April 20, 1918, 40 Stat. 533 as amended by the Act of November 30, 1940, 54 Stat. 1220. and the Act of August 21, 1941. 55 Stat. 655 (U.S.C., Title 50, Sec. 104):

Now, therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States, and Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, l hereby authorized and direct the Secretary of War, and the Military Commanders whom he may from time to time designate, whenever he or any designated Commander deem such action necessary or desirable to prescribe military areas in such places and of such extent as he or the appropriate Military Commander may determine, from which any or all persons may be excluded, and with respect to which, the right of any person to enter, remain in, or leave shall be subject to whatever restriction the Secretary of War or the appropriate Military Commander may impose in his discretion. The Secretary of War is hereby authorized to provide for residents of any such area who are excluded therefrom. such transportation, food, shelter, and other accommodations as may be necessary, in the judgment of the Secretary of War or the said Military Commander and until other arrangements are made, to accomplish the purpose of this order. The designation of military areas in any region or locality shall supersede designation of prohibited and restricted areas by the Attorney General under the Proclamation of December 7 and 8, 1941, and shall supersede the responsibility and authority of the Attorney General under the said Proclamation in respect of such prohibited and restricted areas.

I hereby further authorize and direct the Secretary of War and the said Military Commanders to take such other steps as he or the appropriate Military Commander may deem advisable to enforce compliance with the restrictions applicable to each Military area herein above authorized to be designated. including the use of Federal troops and other Federal Agencies, with authority to accept assistance of state and local agencies.

I hereby further authorize and direct all Executive Department, independent establishments and other Federal Agencies, to assist the Secretary of War or the said Military Commanders in carrying out this Executive Order, including the furnishing of medical aid, hospitalization, food, clothing, transportation, use of land, shelter, and other supplies, equipment, utilities, facilities and service.

This order shall not be construed as modifying or limiting in any way the authority granted under Executive Order 8972. dated December 12.1941, nor shall it be construed as limiting or modifying the duty and responsibility of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with response to the investigation of alleged acts of sabotage or duty and responsibility of the Attorney General and the Department of Justice under the Proclamation of December 7 and 8, 1941, prescribing regulations for the conduct and control of alien enemies, except as such duty and responsibility is superseded by the designation of military areas thereunder.

Franklin D. Roosevelt 
The White House, February 19, 1942