Opinion

Praise for Topaz Museum’s Jane Beckwith

Dear Editor, The letter writer who wrote that Jane Beckwith should be replaced is way out of line. I maintain that if it wasn’t for Jane B. there probably wouldn’t even be a Topaz Museum! Instead of calling for her resignation, we should be thinking about holding a huge banquet in her honor. Fred M. Shinoda […]

Sixth annual Nichi Bei Day of Giving fundraiser Sept. 5

Livestream Web-a-thon to feature the best of the ‘Nichi Bei Café,’ staff and board, and more The public is invited to join in on the sixth annual Nichi Bei Day of Giving Web-a-thon on Monday, Sept. 5, from 3 to 6 p.m., to benefit the Nichi Bei Foundation and its cultural programs. The first $50,000 […]

On memorializing James Wakasa

Mr. Wakasa was shot by a guard while walking his dog along the perimeter of the fence at the Topaz, Utah concentration camp.  Other prisoners created a half-ton, five-foot high, concrete monument to honor Mr. Wakasa and commemorate his death. I assume they created the monument by making a mould in the ground and filling […]

LETTERS: A call for building trust and grieving

Dear Nichi Bei Weekly, It is heartbreaking to read of the continued hurt and controversy over Mr. Wakasa’s memorial stone. Especially painful are the continued invalidating messages that only add to the trauma. Forgiveness can only come as a consequence of healing, a conscious choice that cannot be forced, and as an expansion of compassion. […]

The Wakasa Monument belongs back home in Japantown, San Francisco

It’s not 1942 anymore; “Shikata ganai” is no longer in my vocabulary. I was four when they put me in that prison camp, Topaz. I’m 84 now. Today I shall fight the injustice/racism before me. Back then, we were apolitical, in survival mode. We were so afraid of our government. Just the labels on cushions, […]

Results of a community dialog about a Japanese American artifact

On a scenic knoll in Gold Hill about 50 miles east of Sacramento lies the singular grave of Okei, the first Japanese woman and immigrant buried on American soil. After her untimely death in 1871, one or more of Okei’s fellow colonists procured her stately gravestone that has withstood the elements for over 120 years. […]

LETTERS: Preserving the site of James Wakasa’s murder

Dear Editor: I’m glad there is consideration for a professional archeological examination of the site of the Wakasa memorial stone. It is very appropriate as the stone marks the most important archeological artifact of Topaz camp. James Wakasa was a martyr and the site of his murder needs to be preserved and commemorated for future […]

Wakasa Committee asks for professional excavation where monument was unearthed

The Wakasa Memorial Committee has asked the Topaz Museum Board to carry out a professionally-led community archaeology excavation of the site where the Wakasa monument was unearthed by the museum last year using a forklift. Artifacts were left behind and the hole where the monument was dug out was covered with backfill, according to a […]

Topaz Museum seeks public input to guide preservation and future of Wakasa Monument

DELTA, Utah — The Topaz Museum Board announces the launch of the Topaz Community Outreach Project, as part of its effort to preserve and interpret a recently discovered stone monument, first erected in 1943 in honor of James Hatsuaki Wakasa. Wakasa was a Japanese American man unjustly imprisoned (along with nearly 11,000 others) during World […]

LETTERS: The Wakasa stone

Dear Editor, To quote Jesse Jackson, “We must turn to each other and not on each other.” I am referring to the current controversy in the Japanese American community regarding the damage done to the Wakasa memorial stone in the Topaz concentration camp grounds. The National Park Service Assessment Report was released in February itemizing […]

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