RABBIT RAMBLINGS: Revisiting the redress days

The death of Gordon Hirabayashi closes the chapter on some of the heroic actions taken by three Japanese Americans during WWII. Hirabayashi, Min Yasui and Fred Korematsu were all men who challenged the government over our illegal incarceration in the courts, and their cases went up to the Supreme Court of the United States. They […]

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. […]

Bob, Cherry, and Denny

We learned in the spring of 1989 that what HR 442 had authorized — $1.2 billion for 60,000 internees or $20,000 per victim — was not the way the bill should have been written. Applications at the Justice Department for individual payments showed that there were 80,000 living Japanese Americans eligible. The actuaries were wrong. […]

LETTERS: Remembering the ‘real Senate redress hero,’ Spark Matsunaga

Dear Editor: In the run-up to the Heart Mountain [Interpretive Learning Center] opening, [former Senator] Alan Simpson said to a Wyoming reporter that redress couldn’t have been done without me. This was all very nice, but on the Senate floor in the spring of 1988, Simpson voted for an amendment offered by Jesse Helms to […]

Muslim, Japanese American youth empowered by history

LOS ANGELES — “Have you ever been called a racist name?” Mustafah Hawari, 17, asks Yuka Ogino, 23, a Japanese American coordinator at the Bridging Communities Program. “Yes, I have,” she tells Hawari and the small group of students sitting on the floor at a mosque in Anaheim, Calif. The students, most of them Muslim […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: The life and times of resister Gordon Hirabayashi (Part 2)

Note: This is the second of a two-part column. In 1951 Gordon Hirabayashi defended his doctoral thesis in sociology. His subject was the adaptation and status of the Doukhobors in British Columbia’s Slocan Valley. It was an intriguing choice of subject. Members of this sect of pacifist Christians from Russia, who believed in holding land […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: The life and times of resister Gordon Hirabayashi (Part 1 of 2)

As we remember the wartime removal of Japanese Americans, one outstanding figure to celebrate is Gordon Hirabayashi, a man of principle whose legal challenge to official injustice went all the way to the Supreme Court. Jeanne Sakata’s 2007 play “Dawn’s Light” has now brought Hirabayashi’s wartime tale exploits to countless audiences. However, there is a […]

OBITUARY: William Hohri

William Minoru Hohri, writer, civil rights activist and lead plaintiff in the National Council for Japanese American Redress (NCJAR) class action lawsuit, passed away on Friday, Nov. 12. He was 83. “I loved him dearly and will miss him terribly,” said wife Yuriko Katayama Hohri. “He was a good man.” Had Hohri lived to March, […]

Celebrating 30 years of activism

LOS ANGELES — Members and friends of the Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress (NCRR) celebrated the activist organization’s achievements, especially its victorious campaign for redress, during its 30th anniversary party on Sept. 25 in Little Tokyo. The 45 celebrants at the Teramachi condominium complex were treated to a potluck lunch, viewed a video about […]

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