Former Topaz Internment Camp survivor Masako Takahashi

Last year, two archaeologists found a monument at a Utah internment camp that imprisoned Japanese Americans. The prisoners there built it for a man killed by a guard. But earlier this year, the Topaz Museum — built to educate the public about the camp — removed the monument with a forklift. There were no archaeologists on hand and the museum hadn’t let former prisoners and their descendants know.

The Japanese American community was crushed. Some were angry. But now, they’re trying to find a path forward.

The former Topaz Internment Camp sits 16 miles northwest of Delta. It’s now an empty, dry desert landscape with just the foundations of buildings left. But 80 years ago, it housed 12 of Nancy Ukai’s relatives and a 63-year-old man named James Wakasa.

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