PRESERVING OUR JAPANTOWNS: History Forgotten, Isleton’s Japantown

ISLETON, Calif. — Unfamiliar with the Sacramento Delta region but lured by Japantown lore and a faint recollection of actor-comedian Pat Morita claiming his roots in Isleton, my family and I visited the riverfront town. Driving the two blocks of Main Street, we easily found Chinatown with its distinctive architecture and remnants of Chinese characters […]

High School Could Be Named After Fred Korematsu

SAN LEANDRO, Calif. — A campaign has been launched to name San Leandro High School’s new ninth grade campus after the late Fred Korematsu — whose challenge of the forced relocation during World War II and efforts to throw out his wartime conviction decades later ultimately led to the Japanese American Redress Movement. Stephen Cassidy, […]

THE POWER OF WORDS REVISITED: ‘Concentration Camps’ and ‘Internment Camps’

Note: The following is the second part of a series on the terminology used to describe the incarceration of Nikkei during WWII. The first piece, which focused on two specific terms — “evacuation” and “relocation” — appeared in the Nichi Bei Times Weekly July 23-29, 2009 (www.nichibeitimes.com). Some people have told me the problem with […]

Race Relations in the Neighborhood

When I first came to California I was warned to be careful about certain neighborhoods. I didn’t know what it meant until I heard about a tourist being robbed on a quiet street in San Francisco. He was surrounded by a group of little boys between eight to ten years of age each wielding weapons […]

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