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

The 2010 Topaz/Central Utah Pilgrimage attracted participants as far away as Tom Kurihara from Virginia, to local Utahns, but the majority came from California via Toru Saito’s Topaz Bus. Former Topaz inmate Saito has been organizing pilgrimage busses for years. “The reason I do this Topaz bus thing,” said Saito, “is because I kind of […]

Story of Nikkei nurseries told at Richmond Museum of History

RICHMOND, Calif. — For Nisei Tom Oishi, the Sept. 12 opening ceremony at the Richmond Museum of History was cathartic. “I couldn’t believe what the U.S. government did to us when they sent us to the camp,” said the 88-year-old Oishi, who during World War II was sent to Tanforan Assembly Center in San Bruno, […]

New Mexico high school named after Nikkei veteran

GALLUP, N.M. — Some 300 people gathered at Hiroshi Miyamura High School on Sept. 4 to celebrate the dedication and naming of the school, said principal Frank Chiapetti. Hiroshi “Hershey Miyamura” was born in Gallup, and graduated from Gallup High School, before enlisting in the U.S. Army, where he served as a member of the 442nd […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: The censorship of Japanese American history

The story of Executive Order 9066 and the mass removal and confinement of Japanese Americans during World War II is a difficult one for many people to wrestle with, even today. The inability of Americans to deal fully with the wartime treatment of Japanese Americans can be demonstrated by looking at two different incidents of […]

Former Crystal City inmate seeks help in creating detailed map

A former resident of the Department of Justice camp at Crystal City, Texas is looking for others who were forcibly relocated there, in hopes of building a detailed map of the camp. Werner Ulrich, who was incarcerated at Crystal City from 1943 to 1947, is trying to identify who stayed in each of the living […]

New film portrays 442 with honor, dignity

World War II is the defining period of Japanese American history. There’s the concentration camps, the resisters, the no-no boys and, of course, the 442nd and 100th infantries. Anyone with an interest in Nikkei culture and history should be familiar with the story of the all-Japanese American combat units — they were so important to […]

Legislature sends Korematsu Day bill to governor’s desk

SACRAMENTO — The California state Legislature on Aug. 24 passed Assembly Bill 1775, which would establish Jan. 30 as Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution. The bill is headed to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s desk for his signature. The bill uses the wrongful conviction of Fred Korematsu during World War II to emphasize […]

Commentary: Three generations visit former Granada camp

Recently in July I visited the Amache (formally known as Granada) internment camp in Granada, Colo., along with 12 other family members. We represented three generations (Sansei, Yonsei and Gosei) coming from multiple cities (Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco). Three people in our group were former internees — including both my parents and my […]

Toyo Miyatake’s life, art and incarceration — through pictures

Toyo Miyatake was the preeminent commercial photographer for Nikkei in the Los Angeles area for much of the 20th century. He was the go-to guy for weddings, funerals and portraits and he served as the official photographer for community events like Nisei Week, but he was also an artistic photographer whose work was exhibited internationally […]

Calif. Civil Liberties Program announces latest round of grant recipients

SACRAMENTO — The California Civil Liberties Public Education Program (CCLPEP) recently announced their fiscal year 2009-2010 CCLPEP grant recipients. The CCLPEP was created with the passage of the California Civil Liberties Public Education Act (AB1915) in 1998. The legislation was authored by Assemblymember Mike Honda and was renewed in 2000 by Assemblymember George Nakano. The […]

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