Wednesday 18th October 2017,

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Kirkland Reporter: Super sleuth tracks down story of Northwest University’s 1st Japanese American student

posted by Randall

Northwest University They say behind every picture, there is a story.

Northwest University graduate student and member of the Filipino American Historical Society Devin Cabanilla was determined to find it.

According to the Kirkland Reporter, a picture in the Christian school’s yearbook in 1942 peaked Devin’s curiosity.

It was a picture of a Japanese American woman on the Washington State campus in Kirkland near Seattle.

He would later find out her name was Yeiko Ogata and that she graduated from North Central Bible Institute, a sister college in Minnesota.

Ogata was assisted by an underground Christian movement to move her to Minnesota so she could avoid the incarceration camps of World War II.

Her academic record showed her with exceptional grades, but a note simply read “Dropped Mar. 30 Japanese Evacuation.”

“The school gave her a transfer and a way out. Our university helped someone when other people would not,” Cabanilla said. “And since her father worked for the railroad, she found a way to get to Minnesota.”

Devin was determined to find Ogata. You can read what he found out and what’s going to happen next in the Kirkland Reporter.

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