Steven Shigeto Sindlinger was born in Stockton, California in 1966. He was adopted and raised in Ann Arbor Michigan. His adoptive family was similar in background to his biological parents as his mother was Japanese and his adoptive father was American. He attended Eastern Michigan University where he double majored in Economics and Spanish and participated in a co-ed service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega. After graduating from college, he began working at the University of Michigan. He started to explore his biological family after the death of his adoptive parents and found a member of his biological family through 23andMe DNA testing. This led him to his biological mother, whose family was incarcerated at Topaz. He deepened his interest in Japanese American history and incarceration as well as his involvement in his local chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League. In this interview, Sindlinger discusses his early life, family, education, career, exploration of his heritage and subsequent connection with his biological family and research into Japanese American incarceration during World War II and Topaz. He also discusses the education of his sons about American history and shares his reflections on history as a cycle.




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