Docuseries offers fresh look at Asian American experience

“Asian Americans,” a five-hour film series chronicling the contributions and challenges of the fastest-growing ethnic group in America, is being shown this month on PBS during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Personal histories and new academic research cast a fresh lens on U.S. history and the role Asian Americans have played in it. Renee Tajima-Peña, […]

The real deal on the first Japanese colony in the U.S.

The Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Colony Farm and the Creation of Japanese America By Daniel A. Métraux (Lanham, Md.: Rowman & LIttlefield, 2019, 158 pp., $85, hardcover) There are books that I feel all members of the Japanese American community should have in their personal library: Michi Nishiura Weglyn’s “Years of Infamy: The Untold Story […]

On healing the ache of the familiar

There is a particular ache that many Japanese Americans feel when we see images of our World War II mass incarceration, or “camp.” It’s a bittersweet struggle with recognition and connection across barriers of time and space. If the faces and settings are not our relatives, the chilling fact remains that they might be, or […]

Pilgrimage remembers 150 years after Wakamatsu Colony established

PLACERVILLE, Calif. — Along a curved dirt path, sat a historical white farmhouse site surrounded by patches of green grass. The site was the Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Farm Colony farmhouse. Inside, the historic site contained photos and informational graphics about the first Japanese colony in the United States that were on view for the […]

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 […]

Trump’s anti-immigrant campaign castigated: Critics concerned about JA private contractor’s oversight of ICE detention centers

The Trump administration’s anti-immigrant campaign has ignited a firestorm of protests from many concerned Americans, who are horrified by the inhumane treatment of the immigrants — especially children — and concerned over the unsatisfactory inspections of Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention centers by a Nikkei-owned for-profit corporation. Carl Takei, a senior staff attorney for the […]

Newsom, Bay Area officials deplore new immigration rule

Gov. Gavin Newsom and an array of Bay Area officials on Aug. 12 deplored a new rule by President Donald Trump’s administration that will make it harder for low-income legal immigrants to extend their stays or seek permanent residency. “This is a reckless policy that targets the health and well-being of immigrant families and communities […]

150 years later, Wakamatsu colony comes back to life

PLACERVILLE, Calif. — The sun-burnt foothills of Gold Hill outside Placerville came alive June 8 with silk spinners, tea makers, flute players, priests and even a prince from Aizu Wakamatsu. They joined hundreds of history buffs from Japan, California and beyond to celebrate the 150th anniversary of America’s first Japanese outpost, the short-lived but much-revered […]

Japanese Americans say ‘never again’ to plan to detain migrant children

LOS ANGELES — Japanese Americans who claim the Trump administration is repeating the history of Japanese American incarceration during World War II, will on June 22 protest the detention of young migrants who were taken into U.S. custody after crossing the border from Mexico with no legal status. The Fort Sill army base in Lawton, […]

RABBIT RAMBLINGS: On processing the Crystal City pilgrimage

I’ve been home for a while since the March 29 to April 1 Crystal City, Texas pilgrimage and demonstration at Dilley, the largest detention center for asylum seekers in the U.S. It is as though my head and my heart are so full of thoughts and feelings that I can’t “process” the experience with detachment. […]

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