Manzanar’s ‘unexpected’ land defenders

Like many Sansei, Ann Kaneko grew up hearing about “camp” from her parents’ dinnertime conversations, but it wasn’t until she was asked to talk about her family’s World War II incarceration in the fourth grade that she realized that what they had experienced was far from a “fun camp where they had been for a […]

Down from mountain, Japanese American incarceree’s remains return home

When Giichi Matsumura arrived at his final resting place in December, the people who knew him best already were there. His wife, Ito, who had mourned his passing for 60 years before her death in 2005, was buried in the same plot, as was his daughter, Kazue, who died in 2018. His father, Katsuzo, who […]

eBay auction of Japanese American incarceration art pulled after protest

LOS ANGELES — The auction of a series of sketches purportedly drawn by an artist at the Japanese American concentration camp at Manzanar was canceled April 6 after groups protested it was offensive and immoral to profit off the misery of incarcerated people. The auction was halted by eBay hours before it was to conclude […]

Hello, ‘Farewell,’ AGAIN: Reflections on reintroducing ‘Farewell to Manzanar’ to the public

On March 11, 1976 the world television presentation of “Farewell to Manzanar” was broadcasted to a national audience. Then in February 2001, the film was reintroduced to the public in a number of private screenings to commemorate Day of Remembrance events in California. Now another 20 years later, the film is being presented Feb. 21 […]

Q-and-A with longtime activist and mentor Alan Nishio

Editor’s Note: This Q-and-A-format interview was originally posted on the Manzanar Committee’s blog prior to the 2020 virtual Manzanar Pilgrimage. https://manzanarcommittee.org/2020/04/25/nishio-q Alan Nishio, who is the keynote speaker for our 2020 Virtual Manzanar Pilgrimage, was awarded the Manzanar Committee’s 2017 Sue Kunitomi Embrey Award for his leadership during the Redress Movement in the 1980s, along […]

DNA results confirm body found near Manzanar concentration camp site was missing Nikkei

INYO COUNTY, Calif. — Remains found Oct. 7, 2019 near the Manzanar concentration camp in California’s Inyo County were determined to be those of Giichi Matsumura, who had gone missing in July of 1945, said a joint news release by the Inyo County Sheriff and the Manzanar Historic Site. On Oct. 7, 2019, two hikers […]

Remains found may be Manzanar inmate

Skeletal remains discovered by hikers near Mount Williamson on Oct. 7 could be that of a Manzanar, Calif. concentration camp prisoner who disappeared July 29, 1945, while hiking in the nearby Sierra Nevada Mountains, the Associated Press reported. In the closing days of World War II, a man from Manzanar had joined other Japanese American […]

Paul Bannai, first Japanese American to serve in California State Legislature, dies at 99

Former California State Assemblyman Paul Takeo Bannai, the first Japanese American elected to serve in the California State Legislature, peacefully passed away in Los Angeles, Calif. on Sept. 14, 2019. He was 99. Bannai was born on July 4, 1920, 180 miles northeast of Denver, in Delta, Colo. He grew up in other towns in […]

Annual concentration camp pilgrimage salient to politics 50 years on

LOS ANGELES — After being expelled from university for “inciting a riot,” fighting for African Americans’ civil rights and protesting the Vietnam War, Warren Furutani decided it was time to galvanize a Japanese American community which had experienced mass incarceration two decades earlier. Just 22 years old at the time of the first pilgrimage to […]

The postwar shadow looms

LIFE AFTER MANZANAR By Naomi Hirahara and Heather C. Lindquist (Berkeley, Calif.: Heyday, 2018, 208 pp., $28, hardcover) In their new book, “Life After Manzanar,” Naomi Hirahara and Heather C. Lindquist throw new light on the lives of Japanese Americans in the postwar era, tracing the experience of the former camp inmates through resettlement, the […]

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