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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

Phase 2 of Japanese American redress has begun

Phase 2 of the historic Japanese American campaign for redress is underway. The signing of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, which many of you supported, (thank you!) gave redress to Japanese Americans who were citizens and Legal Permanent Residents when they were interned during World War II, but Japanese Latin Americans (JLAs) were excluded. […]

In praise of J.A. allies

For Japanese Americans, the World War II U.S. concentration camps are part of our heritage and family history, holding a special significance that others have not experienced. Even so, the historical legacy of these camps belongs to all Americans. We now have an opportunity to remember James Hatsuaki Wakasa and to acknowledge those Japanese Americans […]

Report from Topaz

On November 30 and December 1, 2021, an expert National Park Service team was in Delta, Utah at the invitation of the Topaz Museum to conduct a condition evaluation of the Wakasa monument and site. This is a report of that evaluation and concurrent ceremonies conducted by the Wakasa Memorial Committee (WMC), as seen through the […]

Love and compassion

 As I read about the circumstances about the unearthing of the Wakasa monument, I am saddened by some of the inflammatory language of the past four months surrounding the event and the innuendo demeaning the character of Jane Beckwith and the Topaz Museum Board. For nearly four decades, these are individuals who have been the […]

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