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 […]

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 […]

LETTERS: Author ‘ignores … primacy of racism’

Editor’s Note: The following letter was sent in response to the ‘“Enemies among Us’ author protests book review” letter to the editor Dr. John E. Schmitz wrote, published in the Jan. 20, 2022 issue of the Nichi Bei Weekly. Dear Editor: John E. Schmitz charges me with misrepresentations concerning his book. He denies what he […]

LETTERS: ‘Enemies among Us’ author protests book review

Editor’s Note: The following letter was sent in response to the “Enemies among Us: The relocation, internment, and repatriation of German, Italian, and Japanese Americans during the Second World War” book review entitled ‘Composite history’ falls short,’ published in the Jan. 1, 2022 issue of the Nichi Bei Weekly. Dear Editor: As the author of […]

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 […]

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