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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Japanese American Museum of Oregon says ‘Tadaima’

On May 5, 1942, more than 2,400 members of Oregon’s Japanese American community were forcibly removed from their homes and incarcerated in the Portland Assembly Center, the first stop on their way to the Minidoka concentration camp in southern Idaho. On May 6, 1942, General John DeWitt declared Portland the first major city on the […]

Meet the Sansei researcher exploring the intergenerational impacts of Japanese American incarceration

Editor’s Note: This interview was originally posted at https://densho.org/sansei-researcher-exploring-intergenerational-impacts-japanese-american-incarceration. Once a taboo topic, the impacts of WWII incarceration on Japanese Americans who lived through it are well-documented and widely acknowledged today. Donna K. Nagata, a psychology professor at the University of Michigan and the daughter of camp survivors, started studying these impacts in the early […]

‘CAMPU’ STORIES: Lesser-known aspects of WWII incarceration captured in podcast

For Japanese Americans who lived through America’s concentration camps, the one thing many Issei and Nisei survivors shared in common after camp was silence. “They didn’t talk about camp,” is what numerous Sansei and Yonsei have said. However, over time, many did talk, maybe not to their families, but in the 1990s more than 900 […]

Objects make stories come alive for families

From dolls to furniture, objects from the unjust incarceration of some 120,000 people of Japanese descent during World War II are present in collections across the United States. Nancy Ukai, writer and researcher of the Japanese American diaspora, is focusing on the intangible stories behind the objects. As part of the “50 Objects/Stories: The American […]

Japanese American concentration camp survivors call for closure of immigrant detention centers on 78th anniversary of wartime incarceration

Members of San Francisco’s Japanese American community on Feb. 7 spoke about their experiences being incarcerated in camps during World War II, while standing in solidarity with present-day immigrants being detained at the U.S.-Mexico border. Speaking at the National Japanese American Historical Society in San Francisco’s Japantown to commemorate the incarceration of Japanese Americans in […]

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