Opinion

Public statement by the Japantown community regarding the proposed purchase of the Hotel Buchanan by the City and County of San Francisco

This statement is a demand that the Hotel Buchanan be removed from further consideration of City acquisition. Many have tried to paint this as a Japantown vs. the unhoused issue, or just another not-in-my-backyard reaction. It is an age-old tactic to pit vulnerable communities against one another. We will not be used. San Franciscans pride […]

Wakasa monument unearthing a ‘slap in the face’

To All Concerned, Despite the personal request of a decades long financial supporter of the Topaz Museum to fund a ceremonious, archivally professional excavation of the long buried stone monument, Jane Beckwith (Museum Director), the very next business day, hired her trash haulers to dig up and move it to her private museum. That personal request […]

Wakasa Memorial Committee ‘stunned’ by Topaz Museum Board’s ‘crude and unprofessional’ unearthing of monument

Sept. 7, 2021 Dear Topaz Museum Board President Jane Beckwith and Board Members Lance Atkinson, Scott Bassett, Lorelei Draper, Rick Okabe, Hisashi Bill Sugaya, and Teresa Thompson: The U.S. Department of the Interior has designated the Topaz Relocation Center (“Topaz”) as a National Historic Landmark (NHL), the nation’s highest and most coveted historic status. Topaz […]

Tribute to Jan Mirikitani

Jan died on my birthday. She called me while I was still in the hospital. “How ya doing?” I poured my heart out. (I’d been there nearly a month!) For over an hour she listened, comforted. You know how she is. Then she said, “Bren, I have some bad news … I know how much […]

LETTERS: JA ‘offended’ by ‘desecration’ of James Wakasa’s ‘final resting place’

Editor’s Note: The following letter was sent in response to the column entitled “The ‘desecration of sacred ground’ at Topaz” that appeared in the Aug. 19, 2021 issue of the Nichi Bei Weekly. Dear Editor: I have just learned they discovered the secretly buried James H. Wakasa memorial monument. Mr. Wakasa was a neighbor of […]

LETTERS: Wakasa monument statement from the Friends of Topaz

August 30, 2021 To the Japanese American Community, We are the Friends of Topaz, a group of predominately Japanese American descendants of World War II Topaz concentration camp incarcerees, living in the San Francisco Bay Area. We exist to support the Topaz Museum because we believe in their mission to preserve Topaz stories and to […]

For a summer of fun and friendship, let’s vaccinate all youth 12+

When the COVID-19 pandemic led to prolonged shutdowns here in San Francisco, all of us had to find a new normal, working and going to school from home, ordering takeout and delivery from our favorite restaurants, and video chatting with friends and family. Now that our state has reopened, my organization, the Japanese Community Youth […]

A declaration for peace

The atomic bombs detonated over Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945, were small and rudimentary nuclear weapons, only 10 and 12 kilotons respectively. Yet they reduced these once beautiful cities to complete ashes and caused unspeakable human suffering, killing nearly a quarter of a million people instantly and leaving those who survived […]

Why Tule Lake matters

In this post-Trump, post-Stephen Miller era where social media has brought to the fore the systemic racism that permeates U.S. society, it is time to see Tule Lake for what it was. Tule Lake had nothing to do with loyalty or disloyalty. That’s just government propaganda, perpetuated by the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL). What […]

Folding the origami crane

It is belie(ved) that if you fold 1,000 origami cranes one’s wish will come true. It takes hours to fold that many and string them on a streamer. The crane is also considered to live 1,000 years. It symbolizes good fortune, longevity and peace, and represents hope and healing … during such challenges, especially the […]

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