American nightmare turned into American Dream

“Moving Walls” by Sharon Yamato recounts the Japanese American experience at the Heart Mountain, Wyo. concentration camp during World War II, and also discloses what happened after the war to the 457 barracks that had housed more than 10,700 ethnic Japanese from 1942-45. The film describes how young veterans (including one Nisei, Tak Ogawa) seeking […]

Film examines little-known history of incarceration on Hawai‘i Island

Filmmaker Ryan Kawamoto continues his exploration of Hawai‘i’s hidden history with “Voices From Behind Barbed Wire: Stories From Hawai‘i Island,” a follow-up to his 2012 film “The Untold Story: Internment of Japanese Americans in Hawai‘i.” The short film examines the little-known history of the incarceration of the Japanese population on the Big Island of Hawai‘i […]

‘Never Give Up!’ focuses on civil rights icon Minoru Yasui’s legacy

“Never Give Up! Minoru Yasui and the Fight for Justice,” by Holly Yasui and Will Doolittle, highlights the life of Minoru Yasui, who during World War II intentionally violated Executive Order 9066, the presidential orders that resulted in the incarceration of more than 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry in United States concentration camps. Minoru Yasui, […]

Addressing the silence

Following World War II, Japanese Americans returned home to the West Coast from various concentration camps. The experience, traumatic and humiliating for many former inmates, became a taboo subject for numerous families. Often times, their children would not learn about their incarceration until years later. Marlene Shigekawa, a filmmaker based in Lafayette, Calif., explores that […]

RABBIT RAMBLINGS: Time of remembrance

Last year, we commemorated the 75th anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066, the order that authorized the incarceration of more than 110,000 American Japanese during World War II. This year, it is the 30th anniversary of the passing of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, the legislation that mandated the issuing of a […]

And then they stood up for them

Japanese Americans held a candlelight vigil in San Francisco’s Japantown in November 2016, following the election of President Donald Trump. Abby Ginzberg’s “And Then They Came For Us” opens with this scene as Asian Americans and the Muslim community expressed solidarity following a presidential campaign fraught with xenophobia, homophobia and Islamophobia. The year-long campaign by […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: Sueo and Ikuo Serisawa’s lifelong dedication to the arts

In my Jan. 1, 2018 Nichi Bei Weekly article on prewar Nisei films, I discussed the 1935 film “Nisei Parade,” produced by the brothers Ikuo and Sueo Serisawa. Publication of the article has brought on the question of what happened afterward to the young filmmakers, notably to Sueo Serisawa. In fact, Serisawa’s work on the […]

‘New Asahi’ celebrate legacy of Japanese Canadian baseball legends

VANCOUVER, B.C. (Kyodo) — Koichi Kaminishi, the last living member of a storied Japanese Canadian baseball team active from 1914 until Canada’s mass incarceration of Japanese during World War II, reflected on the team and his wartime experiences at a celebration of his 96th birthday this month near Vancouver. The gathering, put on by a new […]

Little Tokyo senbei and arare maker Umeya closes business

LOS ANGELES — There will be no more senbei and arare from Umeya. The longtime manufacturer and distributor of Japanese rice cakes and cookies closed down its operations on Dec. 31, 2017. Umeya was founded in Los Angeles by Yasuo Hamano, who was born in 1902 and immigrated to the United States in 1918 from […]

SEEKING PERSONAL JUSTICE: The little-known role of Aiko and Jack Herzig after the Redress Bill was passed

Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga is best known for her work during the Japanese American Redress Movement on the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians; the class action lawsuit filed by the National Council on Japanese American Redress; and the coram nobis cases of Gordon Hirabayashi, Fred Korematsu and Minoru Yasui. Lesser known is the critical […]

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