THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: Classical music behind barbed wires

(Editor’s Note: The following was co-written with Jonathan van Harmelen) In the tragic and difficult conditions faced by Japanese Americans confined in the War Relocation Authority camps during World War II, one imposing arena of achievement was in the arts. In recent years, a number of books and exhibits have highlighted not only the extraordinary […]

Exhibit at JANM celebrates emergence of APA consciousness

LOS ANGELES — “At First Light: The Dawning of Asian Pacific America,” a multi-media exhibit celebrating the emergence of a politically defined Asian Pacific American consciousness and identity, is now on display through Oct. 20 at the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo. This co-production of Visual Communications and JANM chronicles the transformation of […]

Hugh Macbeth Jr., advocate of Japanese Americans, dies at 100

Hugh Macbeth Jr, who died Sept. 14, 2019 at the age of 100, was an extraordinary figure, both in who he was and in what he represented. On a personal level, he was a distinguished lawyer and judge — a prime member of a generation of African Americans who achieved mainstream success, despite the formidable […]

ICE profiteers should not use JA incarceration to justify their work

There is a growing movement in the Japanese American community to stop the Trump administration from incarcerating children and families, led by survivors of the World War II camps who grew up as child prisoners. Many of their descendants — including myself — are working to support them. But not everyone in the JA community […]

AMC’s ‘The Terror: Infamy’ weaves a ‘seductive creepiness’ into the WWII incarceration story

AMC’s supernatural television anthology, titled “The Terror: Infamy,” opens with a Japanese woman putting on make up and then sticking a chopstick into her hair. I groaned. Was this going to be another series where cultural appropriation was the norm, I wondered? We never see white people stick forks or spoons in their hair. Then, […]

JACL votes to apologize to ‘Tule Lake resisters’

The Japanese American Citizens League voted Aug. 3 at its 50th National Convention in Salt Lake City to offer an apology to the “Tule Lake resisters” for its past ostracism of the group of protestors in the Northern California barbed wire concentration camp during World War II. The contentious resolution addressing the national civil rights […]

Then and now

During World War II, the Japanese Americans were detained in incarceration camps just because they looked like the enemy, Japan. Today, immigrant children are being removed from their families and put into detention centers just because President Trump hates immigrants. I’m going to talk about their similarities and why people should not be put in […]

RABBIT RAMBLINGS: Hoping for an apology

By the time this column is published, the 2019 Japanese American Citizens League National Convention will be just underway, so I write this not knowing what happened. I am concerned about the proposed resolution asking the organization to issue an apology to all Japanese Americans who were hurt and injured in various ways by individuals […]

Japanese American Citizens League considers apology to Tule Lake resisters

Nearly two decades after passing a resolution addressing its past skeletons, a national Japanese American organization is once again set to confront its controversial actions during the war. The National Council of the Japanese American Citizens League plans to discuss a resolution to apologize to the Tule Lake resisters at the 50th JACL National Convention […]

Annual concentration camp pilgrimage salient to politics 50 years on

LOS ANGELES — After being expelled from university for “inciting a riot,” fighting for African Americans’ civil rights and protesting the Vietnam War, Warren Furutani decided it was time to galvanize a Japanese American community which had experienced mass incarceration two decades earlier. Just 22 years old at the time of the first pilgrimage to […]

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