Soldiers’ Homecoming: Japanese flags returned to families after decades abroad

More than 70 years ago, American soldiers fighting on the frontlines took home souvenirs from the dead bodies of Japanese soldiers. Today, they are finding their way back home to Japan through the efforts of the Obon Society. Based in Astoria, Ore., Rex and Keiko Ziak work full time to accept, catalogue and research Japanese […]

NPS announces $1.2M for World War II JA incarceration sites

WASHINGTON — The National Park Service announced in a statement Aug. 17 $1.2 million in grants to “fund preservation, restoration, and education projects” at several sites where some 120,000 Japanese Americans were incarcerated by the U.S. government during World War II. Grantees • Chicago Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League, Chicago, Ill., “The Kansha […]

A century of growth

One hundred years ago, Gijiu Kitazawa established the seed company that still bears his name. He first worked as an apprentice for a seed company in Japan before immigrating to the U.S. at the age of 22. In 1916, Gijiu and his brother Buemon started the Kitazawa Brothers Nursery and Seed Company in San Jose, […]

Let’s Talk About … Honoring the dead

Obon season is upon us. It is when our Japanese American communities gather to share an ancient Buddhist tradition to honor the spirits of our ancestors. In Japan, it is a time when families return to their ancestral family homes to visit and clean their ancestors’ graves. It is thought to be the time when […]

NPS announces $1.6 million in grants to preserve and interpret WWII JA confinement sites

WASHINGTON — The National Park Service on June 8 announced $1.6 million in grants to preserve and interpret sites where Japanese Americans were unjustly incarcerated during World War II. The grants aim to support the “preservation, restoration and education projects” at these sites where some 120,000 Nikkei were incarcerated in concentration camps after President Franklin […]

U.N. panel calls for revising Japan-S. Korea ‘comfort women’ deal

GENEVA — The U.N. Committee against Torture called on Japan and South Korea to revise their 2015 deal to settle the long-standing row over women who were forced into wartime Japanese military brothels. The agreement should be modified to “ensure that the surviving victims of sexual slavery during World War II are provided with redress, […]

Calif. Civil Liberties projects announced

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California Civil Liberties Public Education Program announced in a statement May 2 that 29 California groups will receive funding for projects to remember the wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans, as well as “present-day civil liberty issues.” The State Library has awarded more than $922,000 has been awarded by the State Library […]

API community mourns death of civil liberties champion Mike Lowry

Editor’s Note: This story was originally published by the International Examiner. Former Washington Governor Mike Lowry, an early champion of redress payments for Japanese Americans incarcerated during World War II and a passionate supporter of universal health care, passed away on Monday at the age of 78. Lowry was a much admired friend of the […]

Carl Takei shares family memories of incarceration during World War II

Seventy-five years ago, President Franklin Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066. While the order avoided naming any particular ethnic group, the president and his advisers intended it to target Japanese Americans. Military officials “evacuated” Americans of Japanese ancestry to “relocation centers.” 120,000 men, women, and children had just days to divest themselves of all they owned […]

Japanese dance teacher who brought joy to WWII inmates remains active at 99

LOS ANGELES — Fujima Kansuma, the legendary Japanese dancer who taught several thousand students in a career that has spanned nearly eight decades, participated in a little-known part of history when she overcame obstacles to share her art with Japanese American inmates during World War II. When hostilities erupted between America and Japan, resulting in […]

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