SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Soaring six stories high in the courtyard, the California State Museum’s Constitution Wall proclaimed in huge words “rights,” “redress,” “without discrimination” and “liberty” to the some 300 well-wishers of the Japanese American World War II veterans honored on May 26. This was the striking backdrop as Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento) presented almost […]

Nisei war veteran donates Congressional Gold Medal to UC Berkeley

BERKELEY, Calif. — Dr. Kenji Sayama is one of University of California, Berkeley’s staunchest supporters. He is forever grateful to the university for taking the extra step in sending his diploma in 1942 to the Santa Anita Assembly Center — despite being a few weeks shy of graduating as a senior. That action, under the […]

‘Secret Weapon’ divulges the feelings and stories behind the MIS’ experience

The courage and sacrifice of Nisei servicemen in World War II is well-known among Japanese Americans. Along with the mass incarceration of West Coast Nikkei during that same period, it’s probably the most famous and defining part of our history. Their story, though, has largely been told in broad strokes. It goes something like this: At a time when America questioned […]

San Francisco Nisei veterans honored

In a brief, emotion-filled ceremony highlighted by words of praise from House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Japanese American veterans who served in World War II were honored at the Congressional Gold Medal Northern California Regional Tribute on April 22 in San Francisco’s Japantown. In all, more than 350 people, some of whom traveled as […]

LETTERS: Effort under way to honor Nisei veterans with a stamp

Dear Editor: I urge all of your readers to write to the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee to support the Japanese American Veterans Association (JAVA) efforts for a proposed commemorative stamp series honoring the World War II military units that received the Congressional Gold Medal. The Nisei soldiers of the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat […]

LETTERS: CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDAL: NorCal Regional Tribute on April 22

Dear Friends, On Nov. 2, 2011, the United States Congress presented the Congressional Gold Medal to the Nikkei veterans of the 100th Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team and the Military Intelligence Service of World War II. The Congressional Gold Medal (CGM) is the highest civilian award presented by Congress. Some 35 veterans from Northern California were […]

Accounts of Nisei veterans’ valor and sacrifices

AMERICANS OF JAPANESE ANCESTRY IN THE KOREAN WAR: STORIES OF THOSE WHO SERVED By Robert M. Wada (Orange, Calif.: The Paragon Agency, Publishers, 2010, 290 pp., $20, paperback) As the nation belatedly recognized Nisei members of 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team and Military Intelligence Service with the Congressional Gold Medal in November of […]

A salute to Nikkei military leaders

NIKKEI GENERALS AND ADMIRALS: UNITED STATES MILITARY By Ansho Mas Uchima and Minoru Shinmoto (Fullerton, Calif.: Nikkei Writers Guild Division of Japanese American Living Legacy, 2010, 134 pp., $30, paperback) This is a highly accessible and celebratory compilation of Nikkei generals and admirals, both active and retired, as well as those who served in the […]

Choice gifts that educate about difficult choices made by Nisei during World War II

World War II brought some difficult choices for Japanese Americans, especially young Nisei men whose citizenship and idea of “America” was called into question. Some felt they had to prove their loyalty in the battlefield, and did so gallantly, and with high honor. Others felt compelled to prove their loyalty in the courts on constitutional […]

Ceremony to honor medal recipients Feb. 2012 in San Jose

SAN JOSE — Community leaders and Congressional leaders are organizing an event to honor veterans, their family members, as well as the widows, who unable to attend the Congressional Gold Medal ceremony that was held in Washington, D.C. The event is being scheduled to take place in San Jose’s Japantown in February of 2012. The […]

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