Let’s Talk About … Honoring the dead

Obon season is upon us. It is when our Japanese American communities gather to share an ancient Buddhist tradition to honor the spirits of our ancestors. In Japan, it is a time when families return to their ancestral family homes to visit and clean their ancestors’ graves. It is thought to be the time when […]

LETTERS: More on the Topaz (Central Utah) incarceration experience

Editor’s Note: The following was sent in response to the article entitled “Prewar Nikkei life depicted.” Dear Editor, In Greg Robinson’s July 21, 2016 book review of Toshio Mori’s  “Yokohama, California,” Robinson writes that, “Indeed, the text nowhere referred to the wartime fate of the author, confined at Topaz (Central Utah) …” Writer Toshio Mori, […]

Topaz Museum presents proposed exhibits to S.F. Nikkei for comment

Following more than two decades of planning and work, the Topaz Museum in Delta, Utah is hoping to open its permanent exhibit sometime in 2016. Despite initial issues regarding the exhibit’s content first proposed more than a year ago, the newly revised proposed exhibits met mostly positive reactions at a Dec. 13 open house presentation […]

RABBIT RAMBLINGS: Who gets to tell the Japanese American incarceration story?

What are the meanings to be found in our camp experience? And why am I puzzling over such a deep question, and why now? It’s because I am involved in an inquiry about the contents that are to be placed in the Topaz Museum. As many of you know, there has been a multi-year effort […]

LETTERS: Bittersweet effort to honor Mitsuye Endo

Dear Editor This letter is in re to … Nichi Bei Weekly article, “Senator asks Obama to honor Endo,” dated May 28, 2015 (page 4). It is indeed wonderful that Mitsuye Endo is finally being recognized for her wartime stand, ex parte Endo 323 US 283 (1944) that freed 120,313 (people of Japanese descent)  incarcerated without due process […]

Topaz class of ‘45 holds 69th reunion

OAKLAND, Calif. — The Topaz High School class of 1945 held their 69th year reunion  June 28 at the Sequoyah Country Club. The former classmates spent their entire high school years,  from 1942 to 1945, imprisoned in the Topaz (Central Utah) concentration camp. Bob Utsumi of Oakland was the reunion chairman, and Daisy Uyeda Satoda of […]

Topaz: Ancestral inheritance in the poetry of Dempster 

TOPAZ By Brian Komei Dempster (New York: Four Way Books, 2013, 110 pp., $15.95, paperback) Members of the Japanese American community may be familiar with the life and work of Nichiren Buddhist Archbishop Nitten Ishida, and his wife, Chiyoko Ishida. Nitten’s singular works of calligraphy, completed during and after the Pacific War, remain major works […]

JAMsj presentation focuses on ‘digital reconstruction’ of concentration camps

SAN JOSE — Individuals will soon be able to virtually experience the sights and sounds of the wartime American concentration camps, including the barracks and gardens, through mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Elizabeth Lee, the director of operations of the nonprofit organization CyArk, recently discussed the “digital reconstruction” project in her presentation, “CyArk: […]

From the Yamato Colony to ‘Mr. YMCA’

PEARLS: THE FRED Y. HOSHIYAMA STORY As told to Doug Nakashima, edited by Craig Altschul ed. (Chicago: Marshall Jones, 2010, 67 pp., $24.95, paperback) This must be the season for memoirs, and “Pearls: The Fred Y. Hoshiyama Story” is another wonderful addition to “telling” the story of Nisei accomplishments that are often muted or understated […]

Desperately seeking LGBT memories of World War II incarceration

Two years ago, I was invited to participate in E.G. Crichton’s project “Lineage: Matchmaking in the Archive” in which artists, writers and musicians were asked to respond to personal collections in the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society archive. I was “matched” with Jiro Onuma, a gay Issei who moved to the U.S. from Iwate […]

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