Nikkei literary pioneer re-examined

JOHN OKADA: THE LIFE AND REDISCOVERED WORK OF THE AUTHOR OF NO-NO BOY Edited by Frank Abe, Greg Robinson and Floyd Cheung (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2018, 376 pp., $29.95 paperback, $90 hardcover) For Japanese American writers and readers, John Okada is our Lady Murasaki — the first to have produced a book-length piece […]

Let’s Talk … About standing up

I’m here in Honolulu to assist in interviewing my friend and inspiration, Mr. Hitoshi “Hank” Naito, a 93-year-young Nisei man whom I met several years ago while working on a documentary film about my family’s experience at Tule Lake, Calif. during World War II. Confronted with the so-called “loyalty questionnaire,” Hank’s Issei father had worked […]

JAs launch petition to prevent fence at Tule Lake

Filmmaker (“Children of the Camps” and “From a Silk Cocoon: A Japanese American Renunciation Story”) and licensed therapist Satsuki Ina has started an online petition to stop the proposed fence at the Tulelake Municipal Airport, the site of the former Tule Lake Segregation Center, where persons of Japanese descent were incarcerated during World War II. […]

Boxer introduces bill designating Tule Lake camp as National Historic Site

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) on Dec. 17 introduced legislation to establish the former Tule Lake concentration camp as a National Historic Site managed by the National Park Service, a statement from Boxer’s office said. Tule Lake was the largest “War Relocation Authority” camp during World War II, incarcerating nearly 19,000 persons of […]

‘Mori’ Tanimoto, Tule Lake Block 42 resister, dies

Mamoru “Mori” Tanimoto, one of about 35 men from Block 42 of the Tule Lake concentration camp who had been arrested for refusing to register for the controversial loyalty questionnaire, passed away Nov. 3, 2015. He was 95. During the past decade, both Mori and younger brother, Jim, became fixtures at the biennial Tule Lake […]

A JACLer’s perspective of ‘Allegiance’

Having heard about the somewhat negative portrayal of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) and one of its early leaders, Mike Masaoka, in the play, “Allegiance – The Musical,” I was a bit skeptical about seeing the show. However, I bought tickets and went to see it in New York City. Mike Masaoka was a […]

Lost words

It has been said by many that writing letters is a lost art form. People under the age of 35 or so may have never experienced the sentimental emotions of discovering that dusty old shoebox full of beautifully crafted letters that convey love, joy, sorrow and introspection. The grief-stricken letter with tear-stained handwriting or the […]

No-nos, renunciants speak out about stigma over wartime actions

TORRANCE, Calif. — The “No-No Boys” and renunciants, Nikkei prisoners who protested the injustice of having to answer a “loyalty questionnaire” while incarcerated in American concentration camps during World War II, were the focus of a forum held on Oct. 27 at the Katy Geissert Civic Center Library Community Room in Torrance. Although 70 years […]

Pledging ‘Allegiance’: New musical doesn’t hide from controversy

A chance encounter in a New York theater between actor George Takei and producer Lorenzo Thione — who was with composer Jay Kuo — led to the development and production of a new musical, “Allegiance,” now playing at The Old Globe Theatre in San Diego. Takei spoke about his experiences during World War II as […]

Open letter about ‘Allegiance’

The play “Allegiance” opened in San Diego, Calif. on Sept. 19. The producers of the play have received criticism about a pre-opening version of the play and they may have made some changes before opening. However, we understand that they do not intend to change the play’s characterization of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), […]

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