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 […]

BOOK REVIEW: Mixed Marriage in the WWII era: For better or worse

JAPANESE WAR BRIDES IN AMERICA: AN ORAL HISTORY By Miki Ward Crawford, Katie Kaori Hayashi and Shizuko Suenaga (Santa Barbara: Praeger Publishers, 2009, 268 pp., $54.95, hardcover) This is an interesting collection of oral histories of 19 Japanese War Brides who share their reflections, perspectives and experiences before, during and after World War II. This […]

BOOK REVIEW: Images of camp, what remains

PLACING MEMORY: A PHOTOGRAPHIC EXPLORATION OF JAPANESE AMERICAN INTERNMENT By Todd Stewart, Essays By Natasha Egan and Karen J. Leong. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2008, 121 pp., $34.95, hardcover) “Placing Memory” is a wonderful and welcome addition to the existing body of photographic works capturing images of Japanese Americans’ concentration camp experiences. Stewart’s work […]

BOOK REVIEW: Kashiwagi’s perspective, style shines

OCEAN BEACH By Hiroshi Kashiwagi (San Mateo, Calif.: Asian American Curriculum Project, Inc., 2010, 98 pp., $12 paperback) For more than half a century now, Hiroshi Kashiwagi has been quietly building himself an eclectic and accomplished artistic career as a poet, playwright and performer. With the recent publication of his first collection of poetry, “Ocean […]

BOOK REVIEW: The king of cartoon characters

IWAO TAKAMOTO: MY LIFE WITH A THOUSAND CHARACTERS By Iwao Takamoto with Michael Mallory (Jackson, Miss.: University Press of Mississippi, 2009, 240 pp., $22, paperback) Iwao Takamoto (1925-2007), the creator of such beloved characters as Scooby-Doo, Muttley, Atom Ant and Penelope Pittstop, has left us with a memoir much like his personality — witty, humorous […]

Untold stories of Tule Lake Segregation Center unveiled at pilgrimage

The 2010 Tule Lake Pilgrimage had the apt theme of “Sharing the Untold Stories of Tule Lake,” as more former Tuleans participated in the four-day pilgrimage, many for the first time. Close to 330 people participated in this year’s pilgrimage on the Fourth of July weekend, with more than 60 of them over the age […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: Norman Thomas and the Defense of Japanese

Norman Mattoon Thomas (1884-1968), leader and perennial presidential candidate of the Socialist Party, distinguished himself by his tireless defense of the human rights of Japanese Americans during World War II. He was the only national political figure to take a public position against Executive Order 9066, which he decried as “totalitarian justice.” In newspaper articles and public speeches, […]

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 […]

An Unharmonious History Revisited

CAMP HARMONY: SEATTLE’S JAPANESE AMERICANS AND THE PUYALLUP ASSEMBLY CENTER By Louis Fiset (Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 2009, 232 pp., $25, paperback) Many readers are probably familiar with Louis Fiset’s previous works, especially “Imprisoned Apart.” He has produced another important work on a subject long ignored perhaps because of the temporary nature of the […]

Documented: From Exile to Release from Concentration Camps

With the advent of digital, cell, and even laptop cameras, we snap endless images knowing that we can just transport them to a worldwide audience or merely delete them into cyberspace without a second thought. There was a time, however, when cameras were considered contraband and Japanese Americans had to turn them, along with guns, […]

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