Arboga Assembly Center memorial site re-dedicated in Yuba County

MARYSVILLE, Calif. — A crowd of more than 200 people, including local officials, two survivors of the former concentration camp, and noted writer and speaker on the Japanese American wartime incarceration John Tateishi, observed the re-dedication Oct. 22 of the completed Arboga Assembly Center Memorial Site in Yuba County. Calvin Asoo, 82, of El Dorado, […]

Book, Website gives visibility to more than 125,000 former incarcerees

LOS ANGELES — As taiko drummers beat in sync, dozens of formerly-incarcerated people and their loved ones marched in formation out of the Go For Broke National Education Center and into the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles. Multiple marchers held up fence panels, each dawning the name of one of the 75 former […]

Topaz Museum board announces leadership change at town hall

The Japanese American Memorial Pilgrimages hosted a town hall discussing the Wakasa memorial stone Sept. 9 at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California in San Francisco’s Japantown. The meeting included a statement from the Topaz Museum board announcing future plans and a leadership change for the Delta, Utah-based organization. The in-person meeting, […]

Executive director change at Densho signals new generation of JA leadership

When Tom Ikeda got together with a small group of volunteers in 1996 to start Densho, he was considered a young upstart within the Japanese American community. Now, 26 years on, he is passing on the reigns of an organization that has become one of the most authoritative resources of Japanese American wartime history. The […]

On memorializing James Wakasa

Mr. Wakasa was shot by a guard while walking his dog along the perimeter of the fence at the Topaz, Utah concentration camp.  Other prisoners created a half-ton, five-foot high, concrete monument to honor Mr. Wakasa and commemorate his death. I assume they created the monument by making a mould in the ground and filling […]

Sansei granddaughters create incarceration artwork

Kathy Fujii-Oka’s “The Legacy of Fujii Nursery” depicts her grandfather and his brother, owners of the Fujii Nursery in the 1920s in Berkeley, Calif., behind bars in acrylic. In the background of the artwork is a photo of her grandfather and his brother surrounded by military trucks with plants headed to Fort Ord in Monterey, […]

Topaz survivors, descendants rankled by Topaz Museum Board’s outreach efforts

  While the Topaz Museum board and its supporters would love nothing more than to move forward after a haphazard excavation of what some consider one of the most significant archaeological discoveries in Japanese American history, a vocal contingent of activists, academics and survivors are continuing to demand an ongoing dialogue on their terms. The […]

The untold story of a South Dakota Nisei veteran

A Place for Harvest: The Story of Kenny Higashi By Lauren R. Harris, illustrated by Felicia Hoshino (Pierre, S.D.: South Dakota Historical Society Press, 2022, 32 pp., $19.95, hard cover) Many of us are familiar with Executive Order 9066. More than 100,000 persons of Japanese ancestry on the West Coast were forced to leave their […]

Interrogating the memoir of a resister

BEYOND THE BETRAYAL: The Memoir of a World War II Japanese American Draft Resister of Conscience By Yoshito Kuromiya, edited by Arthur A. Hansen (Louisville, Colo.: University Press of Colorado, 2022, 234 pp. $34.95 hard cover) Be sure to read the Endnotes to Yosh Kuromiya’s new posthumous memoir. They’re half the fun of reading this […]

Life in the Tule Lake Stockade

TULE LAKE STOCKADE DIARY: NOVEMBER 13, 1943-FEBRUARY 14, 1944 By Tatsuo Ryusei Inouye (Los Angeles: Nancy Oda Publishing, 2020, 256 pp., $40, hard cover) There now exists a richly diverse number of publications devoted to the World War II concentration camp for Japanese Americans generically called Tule Lake. This penal facility was initially known as […]

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