Day of Remembrance: An invented tradition for the community

The Day of Remembrance was created in Seattle, at the Puyallup Fairgrounds, on Thanksgiving weekend of 1978. Days of Remembrance have now become a tradition to mark the anniversary of Executive Order 9066 on Feb. 19, but it is an invented tradition, observed wherever Japanese Americans live. The leadership in 1978 came from the Evacuation […]

A classroom favorite and must-have for families

Hello Maggie! Revised 2nd Edition By Shigeru Yabu, illustrated by Willie Ito (Camarillo, Calif.: Yabitoon Books, 2021, 42 pp., $19.95, paperback) “Hello Maggie!” is the true childhood story of author Shig Yabu and his best friend, a magpie named Maggie. It is also a chronicle of Shig and his family’s forced removal from their life […]

Finding hope behind bars

LOVE IN THE LIBRARY By Maggie Tokuda-Hall, illustrated by Yas Imamura (Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press, 2022, 40 pp, $18.99, hardcover) To many of us, the wartime incarceration is an impossible story. We thought we were free. We are American citizens with all the privileges that holds. So we find it impossible to believe that our […]

How Hawai‘i avoided incarcerating Japanese Americans en masse

INCLUSION: HOW HAWAI‘I PROTECTED JAPANESE AMERICANS FROM MASS INTERNMENT, TRANSFORMED ITSELF, AND CHANGED AMERICA By Tom Coffman (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2021, 384 pp., $24.99, paperback) Tom Coffman is a prolific scholar, journalist and filmmaker whose books “Nation Within” and “The Island Edge of America: A Political History of Hawai‘i” have shaped scholarly discourse […]

‘Composite history’ falls short

ENEMIES AMONG US: THE RELOCATION, INTERNMENT, AND REPATRIATION OF GERMAN, ITALIAN, AND JAPANESE AMERICANS DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR By John E. Schmitz (Lincoln, Neb.: University of Nebraska Press, 2021, 430 pp., $65, hardcover) Author John Schmitz sets himself the daunting task of putting together a composite history of the wartime internment and incarceration of […]

Kenji Akahoshi on his retirement as a Buddhist minister and why gratitude plays an important role in his life

The Shin Buddhist minister preaches gratitude even as he leaves his post as a minister at the Buddhist Temple of San Diego Editor’s Note: The following article originally appeared in The San Diego Union-Tribune. Kenji Akahoshi had been thinking about becoming a minister most of his life. But it was never the right time. He […]

Long-lost monument brings up a painful legacy for Utah concentration camp descendants

Last year, two archaeologists found a monument at a Utah concentration camp that imprisoned Japanese Americans. The prisoners there built it for a man killed by a guard. But earlier this year, the Topaz Museum — built to educate the public about the camp — removed the monument with a forklift. There were no archaeologists […]

Report from Topaz

On November 30 and December 1, 2021, an expert National Park Service team was in Delta, Utah at the invitation of the Topaz Museum to conduct a condition evaluation of the Wakasa monument and site. This is a report of that evaluation and concurrent ceremonies conducted by the Wakasa Memorial Committee (WMC), as seen through the […]

Love and compassion

 As I read about the circumstances about the unearthing of the Wakasa monument, I am saddened by some of the inflammatory language of the past four months surrounding the event and the innuendo demeaning the character of Jane Beckwith and the Topaz Museum Board. For nearly four decades, these are individuals who have been the […]

Bill Nishimura, vocal Tule Lake resister, dies at 101

Toru “Bill” Nishimura, a former Tule Lake civil rights fighter, passed away on Oct. 19, 2021 at the age of 101. Nishimura was born in Compton, Calif., when the area was still farmland. He was the middle child of Tomio and Sada Ito Nishimura, both from Japan’s Yamaguchi Prefecture. When Pearl Harbor was attacked, the […]

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