Mary Kageyama Nomura (b. 1925)
“Natural and built settings do not determine our lives or the course of history, but they do establish boundaries and supply possibilities”—provocative words to describe Manzanar, where federal policy established and maintained boundaries that seemed, temporarily at least, to deny possibility altogether.1 Mary Nomuras recollections in this 1997 interview are exquisite in their suggestion that the bounded environment at Manzanar did offer possibilities. The people inside needed “cultural enrichment,” she explained to internment scholar and oral historian Art Hansen, and so, encouraged by a dedicated Caucasian music teacher, she used her talents to bring it to them.
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