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 […]

Remembering Wilma Chan

On November 3, 2021, Supervisor Wilma Chan of Alameda County was struck and killed by a car while walking her dog. This heartbreaking news is hard felt not only by Chan’s immediate family and her supporters and colleagues in Alameda County, but for many of us in the API community. Chan was elected to the […]

Grandma’s gift

Shinayo Mori, my grandma, was born in 1899, outside the city of Hiroshima. She arrived in Honolulu as a shy, introverted picture bride at age 17. Her marriage was arranged by her parents and uncle. The groom would later be my grandfather, Shinichi Mori. I was stung by her death in 1990. She had been fighting […]

Statement from former CANE members on the sale of the Buchanan Hotel in S.F. Japantown

The Committee Against Nihonmachi Eviction (CANE) 50th Anniversary Committee formed ten months ago to commemorate CANE’s fight to preserve San Francisco’s Japantown and to share this history with future generations. Coincidentally our committee’s work is taking place during intense community discussions about the future of the Buchanan Hotel site and Japantown as a whole. Even […]

Statement from the Topaz Museum Board

September 17, 2021 In April 1943, James Wakasa was shot and killed by a military guard as he walked his dog inside the fence of the Topaz concentration camp. The guard was found not guilty in a court-martial-trial. Topaz prisoners erected a stone monument to memorialize Mr. Wakasa but it was subsequently ordered removed by […]

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