Pledging ‘Allegiance’: New musical doesn’t hide from controversy

A chance encounter in a New York theater between actor George Takei and producer Lorenzo Thione — who was with composer Jay Kuo — led to the development and production of a new musical, “Allegiance,” now playing at The Old Globe Theatre in San Diego. Takei spoke about his experiences during World War II as […]

Open letter about ‘Allegiance’

The play “Allegiance” opened in San Diego, Calif. on Sept. 19. The producers of the play have received criticism about a pre-opening version of the play and they may have made some changes before opening. However, we understand that they do not intend to change the play’s characterization of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), […]

LA DOR: Human Relations Chief Warns of Dangers in Defense Authorization Act

LOS ANGELES — Robin Toma, the executive director of Los Angeles County’s Human Relations Commission, warned about threats to human rights and civil liberties in the National Defense Authorization Act that President Barack Obama signed into law at the end of last year. Toma sounded the alarm during his keynote speech Feb. 18 at the […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: The life and times of resister Gordon Hirabayashi (Part 2)

Note: This is the second of a two-part column. In 1951 Gordon Hirabayashi defended his doctoral thesis in sociology. His subject was the adaptation and status of the Doukhobors in British Columbia’s Slocan Valley. It was an intriguing choice of subject. Members of this sect of pacifist Christians from Russia, who believed in holding land […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: The life and times of resister Gordon Hirabayashi (Part 1 of 2)

As we remember the wartime removal of Japanese Americans, one outstanding figure to celebrate is Gordon Hirabayashi, a man of principle whose legal challenge to official injustice went all the way to the Supreme Court. Jeanne Sakata’s 2007 play “Dawn’s Light” has now brought Hirabayashi’s wartime tale exploits to countless audiences. However, there is a […]

Former San Jose State University students return for honorary degrees

Chitoshi Akizuki was a San Jose State University freshman and a member of the basketball team when his studies and those of other Japanese American students were interrupted by World War II. “I was just beginning,” said Akizuki, 87, a San Jose resident. Akizuki was one of 24 former Nisei students recognized with honorary degrees […]

For UCLA Nisei, ‘a dream deferred has now been achieved’

LOS ANGELES — For 48 Japanese American students whose dream of acquiring an education at UCLA was cut short in February 1942, more than two months after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, their dream was finally achieved when they received honorary degrees in a traditional graduation ceremony May 15 on the UCLA campus. Nineteen of […]

SF State honors Nikkei with honorary degrees

Nineteen students of Japanese descent were among those honored at San Francisco State University’s (SFSU) 109th commencement held on May 22 at Cox Stadium. More than 8,000 students — including 115 veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces — received their degrees before an audience of more than 20,000 guests. SFSU President Robert A. Corrigan said, […]

Wartime Sacramento Jr. College students return for commencement

SACRAMENTO — After almost 70 years of waiting, former Sacramento Junior College students and their next of kin completed some unfinished business at Sacramento City College. Representing the 224 Nisei that once attended, 12 of the former students and 35 of their next of kin were present to receive their honorary diplomas in accordance with AB […]

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