An ‘immersion’ into Terminal Island Nikkei lives

TERMINAL ISLAND: LOST COMMUNITIES OF LOS ANGELES HARBOR By Naomi Hirahara and Geraldine Knatz (Santa Monica, Calif.: Angel City Press, 2015, 288 pp., $35, paperback) As an oral historian, I have always been addicted to reading obituaries, especially those relating to the World War II Japanese American experience. For example, a recent transfixing obituary for […]

Little Tokyo community discusses concerns and fears about Trump

LOS ANGELES — Japanese Americans and friends gathered for a meeting held at the Japanese American National Museum Nov. 13 to discuss their concerns and fears about how President-elect Donald Trump and his administration might affect the nation and this community. Bill Watanabe, retired executive director of the Little Tokyo Service Center, revealed to the […]

Tule Lake Monument General Plan and Environmental Assessment Meetings

The National Park Service is asking the public to review and comment on the “Tule Lake Unit of WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument General Management Plan and Environmental Assessment,” Tule Lake Unit, WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument Superintendent Lawrence J. Whalon, Jr. said in a statement.  The plan “presents the proposed […]

NIKKEI ANGEL ISLAND CHRONICLES: Chie Takeshita: Success and tragedy

“It was really a feeling of wow, this is America! It’s so beautiful with flowers everywhere. Then the shock of that room…” — Chie Takeshita Chie Takeshita was born in Oakland, California, on October 27, 1911 to Reisaka and Hiro Yazaki. She was the oldest of three girls and one boy in the family. She […]

Airport creates divisions among Tule Lake stakeholders

Currently, the Tule Lake Committee and various stakeholders are in discussions as to how to resolve the issue of the local municipal airport proposing an expansion in the middle of the former Tule Lake Segregation Center. The various stakeholders include, among others, the committee, the Federal Aviation Administration, Modoc County, the owners of the airport, […]

RABBIT RAMBLINGS: Confronting ‘trauma’ at Tule Lake, and a call to action

Another Tule Lake Pilgrimage is over. This last one, held over the Fourth of July weekend, from July 1-4, was the 21st. First held in 1974, this amounts to roughly 42 years of activity, an impressive accomplishment for this biennial gathering. I went several times while I lived in Seattle, and our trusty leader, Stan […]

Tule Lake Pilgrimage honors legacy of resistance, ‘hallowed ground’

Each successive Tule Lake Pilgrimage appears to attract more interest from a wide cross section of people. For 2016, the Tule Lake Committee had to close registrations for the pilgrimage within three days of the announcement, and in an effort to accommodate the increased demand, the all-volunteer committee boosted the number of attendees to 450 […]

Girl Scout creates patch program to raise awareness of WWII incarceration

Editor’s Note: This content was originally published on the Japanese American National Museum’s “First & Central: The JANM Blog” on January 5, 2016. My name is Lauren Wong. I am an Ambassador Girl Scout with Troop 881, based at the Orange County Buddhist Church in Anaheim, California, and a candidate for the Girl Scout Gold […]

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 […]

Weightlifting legend began Olympic journey as World War II inmate

TOKYO — While many Olympic athletes can trace their path back to high school gyms or local playgrounds, weightlifting legend Tommy Kono began his journey to the Games in a most unlikely setting — a World War II concentration camp for Japanese Americans. A six-time world champion and the only lifter to set world records […]

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