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 […]

YONSEI RAPPERS ON A HIP-HOP JOURNEY: ScoJourners claim their history and connect across borders through rap

It’s not easy being independent these days. All the harder if you are a group of hip-hop artists committed to musical integrity in an era of the corporatized, cookie-cutter music. Even tougher when you are Asian Americans, meaning you don’t exactly fit the mold of the generic rapper. But galvanized by a love for the […]

Safekeeping ‘treasures’ and their stories for future generations

  “You can’t take it with you but you can leave it behind with meaning and purpose,” Rosalyn Tonai told a room of more than a dozen people gathered for the “Treasures Revealed” workshop on preserving artifacts from previous generations for the future. The event, held at the Japanese American Citizens League’s (JACL) national headquarters […]

HONORING ALLIES AND ACTIVISM: A ‘Day of Remembrance’ and déjà vu

The 2011 Bay Area Day of Remembrance opened with the recorded voice of Dr. Cornell West asking the audience, “Who you gonna call?” for righting civil wrongs. The answer wasn’t Ghostbusters. “You gonna call on the regular people,” he declared. The 2011 Bay Area Day of Remembrance (DOR) program featured a wide variety of talent […]

Alameda County supervisors’ proclamation honors Korematsu

(Bay City News Service) — The Alameda County Board of Supervisors on Jan. 25 approved a proclamation honoring Fred Korematsu, an Oakland native who was arrested in downtown San Leandro in 1942 for refusing to go to a concentration camp for Japanese Americans. The resolution coincided with a new California holiday called the Fred Korematsu […]

SF Board of Supes declare Jan. 30 Korematsu Day

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Jan. 25 passed a resolution unanimously declaring Jan. 30 Fred T. Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution, “to commemorate the spirit and meaning of Fred Korematsu’s life, and the importance of preserving and protecting our civil rights and liberties, even in times of real or perceived […]

Away game

THE LUCKY BASEBALL: My Story in a Japanese-American Internment Camp By Suzanne Lieurance (Berkeley Heights, N.J.: Enslow Publishers, Inc., 2009, 160 pp., $14.95, paperback) Twelve-year-old Harry Yakamoto lives for baseball. Growing up in Cedar Grove, a small town in Central California with only a handful of Japanese Americans, his peers do not allow Harry and […]

The Power of Words resolution, three months later

It has been over three months since the National Council of the JACL passed the Power of Words (POW) resolution at the July 2010 National Convention in Chicago. It was amazing to have 80 chapters voting for the resolution with only two chapters voting against. As a devoted proponent of the proposal from its inception […]

RABBIT RAMBLINGS: Interest in wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans continues

As time goes by, I am struck by the enduring interest in the WWII Japanese American concentration camp experience. I am still writing an occasional book review for an Asian American newspaper in Seattle, the International Examiner, and the books usually have some connection to the camps. For instance, the last two books I’ve been […]

Cherry Blossom Alumnae’s conference considers incarceration and its legacy

On Oct. 3, the Cherry Blossom Alumnae (CBA) held its third annual CBA Conference at the Hotel Kabuki in San Francisco’s Japantown. Panelists representing four generations of Japanese Americans came together to discuss the theme, “Internment’s Impact on Generations of Japanese Americans.” Nikkei actor Tamlyn Tomita and filmmaker, actor and performance artist Lane Nishikawa served […]

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