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 […]

JACS grant update and request for help

The Japanese American Confinement Sites (JACS) grant program (Public Law 109-441) was established to preserve and interpret the United States confinement sites where Japanese Americans were incarcerated during World War II (WWII). The grants have helped to educate the public about how and why those confinement sites were established. As we approach the end of […]

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 […]

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 […]

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