‘Kikan — The Homecoming’ retraces a San Francisco Nikkei tale

Japanese American filmmaker Kerwin Berk plans to premiere his latest film “Kikan – the Homecoming” Aug. 18 in San Francisco’s Japantown. Set in the 1940s, Berk tells the story of Jimmy Ibata (Ryan Takemiya), a Japanese American soldier returning to America after fighting in Europe with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. “Kikan” features a multi-generational cast of Japanese Americans directed by the director of “The Virtues of Corned Beef Hash” and “Infinity & Chashu Ramen,” two films predominantly set in the ethnic enclave. The Nichi Bei Weekly interviewed Berk, a Sansei, about his latest film.

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 […]

RABBIT RAMBLINGS: Kiyoshi Okamoto, an unsung hero of the camp resistance movement

It was a solemn and moving ceremony in a Buddhist church last month, the funeral for Frank Emi. At 94, his time had come, and so a steadfast American patriot was honored and put to rest at Evergreen Cemetery in Los Angeles. When the light that was Frank’s spirit — which had burned so steadily […]

Remembering Heart Mountain Fair Play Committee leader Frank Emi

Frank Seishi Emi was a fighter. The word “retreat” was not in Frank’s vocabulary. He, and he alone, would decide when it was time to move on. Sadly, that time has arrived. Frank’s battle began in 1943 in the Heart Mountain concentration camp when the so-called “loyalty questionnaire” was circulated, ostensibly to help the government […]

Artist shares camp memories in Japanese American Museum of SJ exhibit

Artist Chizuko Judy Sugita de Queiroz was 9 years old when she and her family were uprooted from their home in Orange, Calif. and incarcerated in a wartime concentration camp in Poston, Ariz. for three years. Sugita de Queiroz illustrates her childhood memories through watercolors in the traveling exhibit “Camp Days 1942-1945: Childhood Memories of […]

Journey Back to Topaz: Former inmates take pilgrimage to former Central Utah concentration camp

Although May Saito Takashima was only 9 years old when Pearl Harbor was attacked, that Sunday is seared into her memory. “That’s when I became a ‘Jap’ overnight,” said Takashima, who participated in the recent pilgrimage to the former Topaz (Central Utah) concentration camp. “When I went to school Monday, I became a ‘Jap.’ I […]

Going back to ‘Ground Zero’ called Topaz

This past August, Ken Yoshida went back to Topaz, Utah, where, in 1944, an Federal Bureau of Investigation agent picked him up. “The FBI agent came inside our barrack because it was windy and dusty outside. But it was windy and dusty inside, too,” recalled Yoshida, who was, at that time, going to be taken […]

Bill establishes Jan. 30 as Fred Korematsu Day

Sacramento — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Sept. 23 signed Assembly Bill 1775, which establishes Jan. 30 as Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution. The bill uses the wrongful conviction of Fred Korematsu during World War II to emphasize the importance of preserving civil liberties and the Constitution. “Fred Korematsu was an ordinary […]

Japanese American WWII students at City College of SF sought for diploma project

The California Nisei College Diploma Project (CA Nisei Project) is seeking to locate those Japanese Americans whose studies at the City College of San Francisco (CCSF) were halted due to the signing of Executive Order 9066 during World War II. California Assembly Bill 37 (AB37) calls for honorary degrees to be presented to more than […]

Nisei hibakusha reflects upon wartime experience during Topaz pilgrimage

To recognize the 65th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Jack Dairiki, a Nisei hibakusha on the Topaz pilgrimage bus, shared his experiences. When Dairiki was in the 5th grade, the Sacramento-born Nisei accompanied his father to Hiroshima in 1941 to visit his ailing grandfather. They boarded the Tatsuta Maru in July […]

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