Filmmaker seeks to educate about L.A.’s racist past

Former educator and “Putting Them Where They Could Do No Harm” filmmaker Steve Nagano seeks to rename Fletcher Bowron Square, which is named after the former Los Angeles mayor who supported the wartime incarceration of persons of Japanese decent in U.S. concentration camps. The Nichi Bei Weekly interviewed Nagano via e-mail about his short film […]

‘Reparations’ explores struggle to atone for slavery

In Jon Osaki’s film, “Reparations,” Blacks and Asian Americans address the four-century struggle to atone for slavery in the U.S., and discuss the critical role that solidarity between communities plays in addressing systemic racism in America. Osaki, an award-winning filmmaker and director of “Alternative Facts: The Lies of Executive Order 9066,” spoke to the Nichi […]

11th annual Films of Remembrance to feature films on wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans

The Nichi Bei Foundation presents the 11th annual Films of Remembrance, a showcase of films commemorating the 80th anniversary of then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s signing of Executive Order 9066, which led to the forced removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans in American concentration camps during WWII. The event will be held Saturday, Feb. 26 and […]

Minidoka survivors on U.S. government’s violation of Americans’ civil rights

Producer Rory Banyard’s film, “Betrayed: Surviving An American Concentration Camp,” explores the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans by the United States government during World War II. The Nichi Bei Foundation will screen the film online during its 11th annual Films of Remembrance Saturday, Feb. 26 at 2 p.m. PST. The film may be viewed through […]

A classroom favorite and must-have for families

Hello Maggie! Revised 2nd Edition By Shigeru Yabu, illustrated by Willie Ito (Camarillo, Calif.: Yabitoon Books, 2021, 42 pp., $19.95, paperback) “Hello Maggie!” is the true childhood story of author Shig Yabu and his best friend, a magpie named Maggie. It is also a chronicle of Shig and his family’s forced removal from their life […]

How Hawai‘i avoided incarcerating Japanese Americans en masse

INCLUSION: HOW HAWAI‘I PROTECTED JAPANESE AMERICANS FROM MASS INTERNMENT, TRANSFORMED ITSELF, AND CHANGED AMERICA By Tom Coffman (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2021, 384 pp., $24.99, paperback) Tom Coffman is a prolific scholar, journalist and filmmaker whose books “Nation Within” and “The Island Edge of America: A Political History of Hawai‘i” have shaped scholarly discourse […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: ‘By Order of the President’ turns 20

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the publication of my book “By Order of the President: FDR and the Internment of Japanese Americans.” “By Order” was my first book. It introduced me to the public as a specialist in the history of Japanese American wartime confinement, and helped launch my career as both scholar […]

Graphic novel documents acts of resistance

WE HEREBY REFUSE: JAPANESE AMERICAN RESISTANCE TO WARTIME INCARCERATION By Frank Abe and Tamiko Nimura, illustrated by Ross Ishikawa  and Matt Sasaki (Seattle: Chin Music Press/ Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience,  2021, 160 pp., $19.95, paperback) The graphic novel, “We Hereby Refuse: Japanese American Resistance to Wartime Incarceration,” focuses on the real life experiences of Jim Akutsu, a Minidoka War Relocation Authority camp draft resister; Mitsuye Endo, a Topaz (Central Utah) WRA inmate who challenged the incarceration through a habeas corpus petition; and Hiroshi Kashiwagi, […]

Minding and mining the gaps of one family’s trauma

FORCED OUT: A NIKKEI WOMAN’S SEARCH FOR A HOME IN AMERICA By Judy Y. Kawamoto (Louisville, Colo.: University Press of Colorado, 2020, 202 pp., $29.95, hardcover) I immensely enjoyed and was greatly enlightened by Sansei psychotherapist Judy Kawamoto’s singular book. I would classify its genre as a meditative memoir. As she succinctly notes, “psychotherapy is […]

A digestible telling of familiar snippets of JA WWII history

FACING THE MOUNTAIN: A TRUE STORY OF JAPANESE AMERICAN HEROES IN WORLD WAR II By Daniel James Brown (New York: Viking Books, 2021, 560 pp., $30, hard cover)  Daniel James Brown’s “Facing the Mountain: A True Story of Japanese American Heroes in World War II” recounts the narrative of the Japanese American wartime experience by focusing on the individual histories of Gordon Hirabayashi, Katsugo “Kats” Miho, Fred Shiosaki and Rudy Tokiwa. Hirabayashi famously contested Executive Order 9066 in the courts, […]

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