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 […]

TULE LAKE ICON PASSES: Hiroshi Kashiwagi was a noted poet, playwright, author, actor and symbol of wartime resistance

When Hiroshi Kashiwagi was born in a boarding house in Sacramento, Calif. on Nov. 8, 1922, no one imagined that he would become a successful activist, writer, playwright, actor, and a poet of such regard that he would be known as the “Poet Laureate of Tule Lake.” Although his first book, “Swimming in the American: […]

Isao Tanaka, photographer and ‘No-no,’ dies

Isao Tanaka, a so-called “No-no” who resisted the wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans and took countless community photographs that were featured in various media, passed away peacefully at his San Francisco home on Oct. 27, 2019. He was 93. He was born the eldest of four children of Satsumi and Sasaichi Tanaka in Santa Maria, […]

Remains found may be Manzanar inmate

Skeletal remains discovered by hikers near Mount Williamson on Oct. 7 could be that of a Manzanar, Calif. concentration camp prisoner who disappeared July 29, 1945, while hiking in the nearby Sierra Nevada Mountains, the Associated Press reported. In the closing days of World War II, a man from Manzanar had joined other Japanese American […]

Paul Bannai, first Japanese American to serve in California State Legislature, dies at 99

Former California State Assemblyman Paul Takeo Bannai, the first Japanese American elected to serve in the California State Legislature, peacefully passed away in Los Angeles, Calif. on Sept. 14, 2019. He was 99. Bannai was born on July 4, 1920, 180 miles northeast of Denver, in Delta, Colo. He grew up in other towns in […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: Classical music behind barbed wires

(Editor’s Note: The following was co-written with Jonathan van Harmelen) In the tragic and difficult conditions faced by Japanese Americans confined in the War Relocation Authority camps during World War II, one imposing arena of achievement was in the arts. In recent years, a number of books and exhibits have highlighted not only the extraordinary […]

Exhibit at JANM celebrates emergence of APA consciousness

LOS ANGELES — “At First Light: The Dawning of Asian Pacific America,” a multi-media exhibit celebrating the emergence of a politically defined Asian Pacific American consciousness and identity, is now on display through Oct. 20 at the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo. This co-production of Visual Communications and JANM chronicles the transformation of […]

Hugh Macbeth Jr., advocate of Japanese Americans, dies at 100

Hugh Macbeth Jr, who died Sept. 14, 2019 at the age of 100, was an extraordinary figure, both in who he was and in what he represented. On a personal level, he was a distinguished lawyer and judge — a prime member of a generation of African Americans who achieved mainstream success, despite the formidable […]

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