A time to take a stand

Between calls for banning Muslims from entering the United States to references to the mass incarceration of some 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry in American concentration camps, politicians in recent weeks have evoked a sense of hysteria and fear-mongering that many have likened to that of the World War II-era. Japanese Americans, who are all […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: Sen. Sanji Abe’s ‘tragic’ story, and the ‘hollow’ case for the wartime incarceration

This week’s chapter covers the tragic story of Sen. Sanji Abe as a way of understanding the plight of Japanese Americans in Hawai‘i during World War II. People who study Executive Order 9066 and the Japanese American wartime concentration camp experience often present as contrast the treatment of Japanese Americans in the Territory of Hawai‘i. […]

Hawai‘i political icon Sen. Inouye, third in line of presidency, dies at 88

A decorated World War II veteran, Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, died Dec. 17. He was 88. Hawai‘i’s most senior politician passed away from respiratory complications at 5:01 p.m. Eastern Standard Time at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., his office said in a statement issued Dec. 17. According to the statement, […]

‘Tim’ Nomiyama, a Nisei military resister, dies

Tetsuo “Tim” Nomiyama, a Kibei Nisei military resister, passed away on Dec. 10, 2012 at the age of 96. Nomiyama was born on Jan. 20, 1916 in Alameda, Calif. Around the age of 4 or 5, his parents sent him to their ancestral home in Fukuoka Prefecture to receive a Japanese education. When Nomiyama returned […]

JACL statement on ‘Allegiance’

(Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt of a statement released by the Japanese American Citizens League on “Allegiance — A New American Musical.”) WASHINGTON — The Japanese American Citizens League is the oldest and largest Asian American civil rights organization in the United States. JACL commends the producers and writers of “Allegiance — A […]

Remembering Gordon Hirabayashi, from one resister to another

It was through a news report in the early nineteen forties that I first became aware of the remarkable Gordon Hirabayashi. Shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor he had surrendered to the authorities and asked to be imprisoned for violating the curfew order that was imposed on all those of Japanese ancestry. He apparently disagreed […]

Gordon Hirabayashi, civil rights icon who resisted wartime incarceration, dies

Gordon Kiyoshi Hirabayashi, one of three wartime litigants who challenged wartime curfew or exclusion orders and whose legal convictions were vacated four decades later, died on Jan. 2, 2012 after a long bout with Alzheimer’s disease in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, his family said. He was 93. “Dad was slowly declining in health after living 10 […]

An artst’s life — interrupted

SIGNS OF HOME: The Paintings and Wartime Diary of Kamekichi Tokita By Barbara Johns (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2011, 272 pp., $50, hardcover) The new book “Signs of Home,” edited by Barbara Johns, brings the life and art work of Issei painter Kamekichi Tokita (1897-1948) back into public view. In a sense, it is […]

Pearl Harbor in new light, 70 years later

HONOLULU — Pearl Harbor survivor James Dewitt was among more than 5,000 people who observed a moment of silence at 7:55 a.m. on Dec. 7. It was exactly 70 years after the beginning of an unexpected military strike by the Imperial Japanese forces on Pearl Harbor. And it was 70 years since Dewitt had been […]

A DAY OF INFAMY INCITES LIFETIMES OF ACTIVISM: Two iconic Nisei recall the event that changed the fate of the community

The lives of Japanese Americans would forever be changed following Dec. 7, 1941, the date that President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “will live in infamy.” For many Nisei, that fateful day left an indelible memory of lives disrupted and changed forever. For two women who grew up in Southern California, this major event in U.S. […]

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