Lane Hirabayashi, scholar of Japanese American history, dies

Lane Ryo Hirabayashi, a prolific scholar whose work expanded the research of the Japanese American experience, died earlier this month in Southern California after a bout with cancer. He was 67. His lifelong commitment to Japanese American history followed “in the footsteps of his uncle Gordon Hirabayashi who defied curfew and evacuations orders during World […]

The ins and outs of redress

REDRESS: THE INSIDE STORY OF THE SUCCESSFUL CAMPAIGN FOR JAPANESE AMERICAN REPARATIONS By John Tateishi (Berkeley, Calif.: Heyday, 2020, 384 pp., $28, hard cover) The topic of the Japanese American Redress Movement has been abundantly rewarded by its parade of prominent chroniclers. Those authored or edited volumes which I have been privileged to read, and […]

Nisei is propelled to share firsthand accounts of camp

BLINDSIDED: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF SAM MIHARA By Sam Mihara, as told to Alexander Villarreal (Self-published, 2019, 2nd Ed., 121 pp., $20, paperback) In 2019, Paramount released the biopic feature film on British rock singer Elton John entitled “Rocketman.” Sam Mihara’s slender and well-written autobiographical book, “Blindsided,” also showcases the life of a rocket […]

Film uncovers little-known story of music in camp by incarcerated Nikkei

“For Joy,” a film by Julian Saporiti and the No-No Boy project, tells the little-known story of a Nikkei teenager who sang with a jazz band formed in the World War II concentration camp for Japanese Americans at Heart Mountain, Wyo. The story also sheds light on a hidden history — the music played during […]

Japanese American concentration camp survivors call for closure of immigrant detention centers on 78th anniversary of wartime incarceration

Members of San Francisco’s Japanese American community on Feb. 7 spoke about their experiences being incarcerated in camps during World War II, while standing in solidarity with present-day immigrants being detained at the U.S.-Mexico border. Speaking at the National Japanese American Historical Society in San Francisco’s Japantown to commemorate the incarceration of Japanese Americans in […]

WHEN ‘THEN’ MEETS ‘NOW’: Film examines bonds made in Crystal City camp, lessons for today

How is “now” — meaning the Trumpian era where government officials criminalize immigrants and asylum seekers from non-Aryan countries — connected to “then” — the World War II period when people of Japanese descent from the West Coast and Latin American countries were incarcerated in United States-style concentration camps? To find out, join three men […]

DNA results confirm body found near Manzanar concentration camp site was missing Nikkei

INYO COUNTY, Calif. — Remains found Oct. 7, 2019 near the Manzanar concentration camp in California’s Inyo County were determined to be those of Giichi Matsumura, who had gone missing in July of 1945, said a joint news release by the Inyo County Sheriff and the Manzanar Historic Site. On Oct. 7, 2019, two hikers […]

Rabbit Ramblings: Renewing the call to action in 2020

The year 2020 promises to be very eventful. Our community will be extra busy with many pilgrimages and activities planned, including a gathering in Washington, D.C. in June organized by Tsuru For Solidarity. Our goal is to get as many of us — American Japanese, camp survivors and descendants of camp inmates, plus anyone else […]

Let’s Talk … About Tsuru for Solidarity

In the fall of 2018, a small group of Nikkei in the Bay Area gathered to begin planning for a preliminary pilgrimage to Crystal City, Texas, a former Department of Justice camp where several of us had been held as children separated from our fathers during World War II. With the increasingly hostile and racist […]

Canadian architect says Japanese roots shaped his aesthetic

TOKYO — For Raymond Moriyama, an award-winning Canadian architect of Japanese descent, the lessons of culture and community he takes from his ancestry formed the foundation of his aesthetics and architectural designs. He often sought inspiration and solutions from childhood memories, including his days spent at an incarceration camp during World War II, when he […]

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