THE KAERU KID: Journey to Jordan

Editor’s Note: This is the first of a two-part series. I left Damascus by again taking a shared SUV for $20 to Amman, Jordan that takes about three hours, not including the time it takes to clear passport. It took about two hours to clear passport control for both Syria and Jordan, but it would […]

Choice gifts that educate about difficult choices made by Nisei during World War II

World War II brought some difficult choices for Japanese Americans, especially young Nisei men whose citizenship and idea of “America” was called into question. Some felt they had to prove their loyalty in the battlefield, and did so gallantly, and with high honor. Others felt compelled to prove their loyalty in the courts on constitutional […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: The astonishing history of Japanese Americans in Louisiana (pt. 2)

Editor’s Note: This is the second in a two-part series. The Second World War hit Louisiana’s Japanese population hard. On Dec. 8, the Japanese consulate closed its doors and its Japanese alien employees were incarcerated. Japanese shrimp boats were grounded, and the Hinata art store in New Orleans closed its doors. The Hinata daughters, anticipating […]

Petition launched to rename Arizona park to commemorate wartime incarceration

CHANDLER, Ariz. — The city of Chandler, Ariz. drafted plans for “Nozomi Park” in 2005, but has since suspended indefinitely its plans due to budgeting shortfalls. The 70-acre park was meant to honor those of Japanese descent who were incarcerated in the state during World War II. The park’s name, which means “hope” in Japanese, […]

RABBIT RAMBLINGS: A question of loyalty and ‘Conscience’

It is a wonderful thing that my friend, Frank Abe, took the time and effort to expand on his very good documentary, “Conscience and the Constitution” (originally released in 2000). He has produced a two-disc Collectors’ Edition DVD, and because we now have the technology to add material, Abe’s story of the draft resisters during […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: Nisei exclusion at Penn (Pt. 3 of 3)

Editor’s Note: Part of this piece was previously published as ‘Admission Denied,’ in the Pennsylvania Gazette, January-February 2000 issue. Until the story of her exclusion was broadcast nationwide, Naomi Nakano had been, by her own admission, rather removed from the controversy. She had not participated in the protests, and The Bennett News had been careful […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: Nisei exclusion at Penn (Pt. 2 of 3)

Editor’s Note: Part of this piece was previously published as ‘Admission Denied,’ in the Pennsylvania Gazette, January-February 2000 issue. In the spring of 1944, the University of Pennsylvania’s blanket policy excluding Japanese Americans rebounded strongly against it after Naomi Nakano, a senior majoring in philosophy in the College for Women, applied for admission to the […]

Two years … and still going …

With this issue, we have officially passed our two-year mark in publication as the first nonprofit ethnic newspaper of its kind in the country. Our first edition of the Nichi Bei Weekly, published on Sept. 17, 2009, featured the Spirit of Japantown Festival in San Jose — just as today’s special edition does. Launching the […]

Extras in ‘Conscience’ DVD add a fuller, if not more controversial, picture

“Conscience and the Constitution,” the documentary on the only organized draft resistance movement to come out of a U.S. concentration camp during World War II, has been re-issued as a two disc DVD set with two hours of additional footage and interviews. When “Conscience” first came out in 2000, it uncovered the untold story of […]

JACL seeks stories for book on Watsonville’s Japantown

WATSONVILLE, Calif. — The Watsonville-Santa Cruz chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) seeks stories from current and past residents of Watsonville, or the general Santa Cruz County and Parajo Valley areas, as it writes “Watsonville Nihonmachi: Then and Now.” The group hopes to incorporate stories about life in the area before and after […]

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