Suga Moriwaki Suga Moriwaki on a Legacy Journey to Minnesota's North Shore © Simon Williams/The Nature Conservancy

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Gifts for the Future

Suga Moriwaki turned the legacy of her time in a Japanese-American internment camp into a gift celebrating the peace she finds outdoors.

War's End: Two-year-old Suga Moriwaki leaves Central Utah Relocation Camp in 1945
Suga Moriwaki War's End: Two-year-old Suga Moriwaki leaves Central Utah Relocation Camp in 1945 © Charles E. Mace/War Relocation Authority Staff/UC Berkeley, Bancroft Library

A Gift for Quiet Pleasures

In the 1980s, Suga Moriwaki found herself the uneasy recipient of an overdue payment: restitution from the U.S. government for her time spent at a relocation center for Japanese-Americans during World War II.

Moriwaki initially considered refusing the money, but eventually decided to put it to good use instead. She gifted half to the Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley, which stores archives of the Japanese-American wartime experience. The rest she earmarked in her will for The Nature Conservancy, because she had grown to admire the organization’s collaborative approach to its work.

“I am far from outdoorsy,” insists Moriwaki, who lives in California. Still, she enjoys visiting nearby TNC nature preserves and, since naming the group as a beneficiary of her estate, has participated in Legacy Club trips with other like-minded members to places such as Minnesota’s North Shore and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

“These experiences have provided me with an opportunity to witness the results of the Conservancy’s work,” says Moriwaki, noting that since she began traveling with TNC she has started spending more time outdoors. “My commitment to nature grows in small and specific ways.”

As first published in the summer 2018 issue of Nature Conservancy magazine.

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