Conviction in killing of Rohnert Park custom guitar maker Sakashita

SANTA ROSA, Calif. —  A Sonoma County jury on Sept. 28 convicted Joshua Begley of all charges in connection with the stabbing murder of Rohnert Park custom guitar maker Taku Sakashita in his workshop on Feb. 11. Begley, 29, was convicted of felony first-degree murder during the commission of a robbery as well as robbery, […]

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 […]

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 […]

Fishing Through History – Bell Shimada, a man, a seamount, a boat

The fisheries survey vessel (FSV) Bell M. Shimada, a research fishing vessel operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce, was commissioned on Aug. 25. The ship, with all its scientific equipment and maneuvering capabilities, is one of the most technologically advanced ships out at sea today. The […]

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 […]

‘UNDERCOUNTED’ Asian Americans continue to face barriers to being accurately represented by Census data

Every 10 years, the United States Census Bureau sets out to gather information about the country’s population with a short questionnaire. Americans were encouraged to send their forms back by April 1, and one month later, on May 1, census workers started going door-to-door to collect answers from non-respondents. Despite the scope of this undertaking, […]

Supporters of Japanese culture across the nation recognized with Kunsho medals

In the May 27 issue, the Nichi Bei Weekly published information about Kunsho medal recipients named by the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco. Kunsho medals have been simultaneously handed out all across the country; this week’s issue includes information about recipients from other areas. Southern California and Arizona • Paul Kunio Shiba of […]

NPS awards $2.9 million in grants to preserve confinement sites

WASHINGTON — The National Park Service (NPS) has awarded 23 grants totaling $2.9 million to help preserve and interpret historic locations where Japanese Americans were detained during World War II. In the program’s second year, the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grants will help fund projects in a dozen states, including the restoration of a historic […]

Bill to establish ‘Fred Korematsu Day’ passes Assembly Education Committee

SACRAMENTO — Legislation that would recognize Jan. 30 as “Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution” passed the California state Assembly Education Committee on May 5. Jan. 30 is the birthday of the late civil rights icon, who passed away in 2005. Assembly Bill 1775, presented by Assemblymember Warren Furutani (D-Long Beach), will […]

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