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Author Event | Shirley Higuchi: Setsuko's Secret


Thursday September 22, 2022: 6:30pm to 7:30pm  Add to Calendar /   Add to Google Calendar


Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room


Shirley Higuchi, a graduate of Huron High School and the University of Michigan, will discuss her book, Setsuko's Secret: Heart Mountain and the Legacy of the Japanese American Incarceration. She will describe life as a third-generation Japanese American learning about the incarceration of her parents and their families during World War II at the Heart Mountain camp in Wyoming, and how that experience shaped her and thousands of other Japanese Americans whose parents told them little about that shameful period of American history. She is a lawyer for the American Psychological Association, a past president of the DC Bar and chair of the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation, which operates a museum on the site of the former camp. 

This event includes a book signing and books will be for sale. 

The author is pictured next to the cover of her book, which features her mother as a young girl along with her family. A faded photo of the Heart Mountain camp is the background.


About Shirley Higuchi

Shirley Ann Higuchi, JD, chair of the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation (HMWF), is the daughter of former incarcerees, Dr. William I. Higuchi and the late Setsuko Saito Higuchi. Her American-born parents were children when they were incarcerated at Heart Mountain during WWII. Shirley’s pursuit of law stemmed from her feelings of discomfort toward how the U.S. judicial system treated her parents. It was not until her mother was on her deathbed in 2005 that Shirley would inspire to take on her mother’s dream of “having something built there.” She was elected Chair of the Board in 2009 and her proudest moment was unveiling the Foundation’s world-class Interpretive Center in August 2011 alongside journalist Tom Brokaw, the late Senator Daniel K. Inouye, Secretary Norman Mineta and Senator Alan K. Simpson.

Shirley has a special connection with Ann Arbor as a Huron High School (’77) and University of Michigan (’81) graduate. 

In addition to her work with Heart Mountain, Shirley is currently the Associate Chief of Professional Practice for Justice, Legal & State Advocacy, American Psychological Association. Active in the District of Columbia Bar, Shirley served two elected terms on the Board of Governors from 1994 to 2000, served as Chair of the Bar’s Nominations Committee in 2001, and was elected President of the Bar for 2003. In 2008, Shirley was appointed to the Judicial Tenure and Disabilities Commission for a 6-year term where she was responsible for reviewing misconduct, evaluating reappointments, and conducting fitness reviews of the District’s judges. In 2014, Shirley was appointed to the Federal Law Enforcement Nominating Commission by Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) and she was recently re-appointed. Her book, Setsuko’s Secret: Heart Mountain and the Legacy of the Japanese American Incarceration published by the University of Wisconsin Press is now available at your favorite bookseller. For more information go to: Follow Shirley Higuchi on Twitter at: @HiguchiJD