Hawai‘i governor establishes ‘Civil Liberties and the Constitution Day’

HONOLULU — Hawai‘i Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed a bill June 7 establishing Jan. 30 each year as “Civil Liberties and the Constitution Day.” While it’s not a state holiday, “the observance is intended to celebrate, honor and educate the public about these individuals’ commitment to preserving civil liberties,” a statement issued by Abercrombie’s office said. […]

RABBIT RAMBLINGS: Interpreting Tule Lake

I would like to urge all of the readers of the Nichi Bei Weekly to participate in the National Park Service’s plans to create and develop a historical site at the Tule Lake Unit in Newell, Calif. I received a letter from the director, Mike Reynolds, who is superintendent of the Tule Lake Unit of […]

SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT: In memory of Bob Fletcher

Bob Fletcher died on May 23, 2013 at the age of 101 in Sacramento, Calif. In 1942, he was a state agricultural inspector who did not agree with the government ordered evacuation and felt that Japanese farmers had nothing to do with Pearl Harbor. He quit his job and went to work saving farms owned […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: Early play took an unflinching look at the trauma of the wartime incarceration

The form of this week’s column is new for me. Rather than focusing on individual Japanese Americans, it covers (or recovers) the unknown story of a pioneering theatrical drama, by the name of “Tondemonai — Never Happen!” It premiered in Los Angeles in May of 1970, and was the first commercially-produced play to dramatize the […]

JAMsj presentation focuses on ‘digital reconstruction’ of concentration camps

SAN JOSE — Individuals will soon be able to virtually experience the sights and sounds of the wartime American concentration camps, including the barracks and gardens, through mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Elizabeth Lee, the director of operations of the nonprofit organization CyArk, recently discussed the “digital reconstruction” project in her presentation, “CyArk: […]

Bay Area DOR reflects on past and present

The Bay Area Day of Remembrance took place Feb. 17 at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas in San Francisco’s Japantown. The annual gathering commemorates the nearly 120,000 people of Japanese descent who were incarcerated in American concentration camps during World War II. This year’s DOR, the 34th iteration of the San Francisco Bay Area’s ceremony, celebrated […]

STORIES OF RESISTANCE: A centennial of civil liberties and American patriotism

This year is the centennial of a remarkable year for civil liberties in American history. In 1913, Harriet Tubman (the Moses of her people and abolitionist heroine of the Underground Railroad, who led slaves in the south to freedom in the north) died, and Rosa Parks (civil rights activist who challenged the segregated public bus […]

25 YEARS SINCE THE CIVIL LIBERTIES ACT OF 1988: A look back at the historic Japanese American Redress Movement

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the enactment of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, which awarded reparations and an official apology to tens of thousands of Japanese Americans who were held in American concentration camps or whose civil liberties and human rights were violated in other ways by the United States government during […]

2013 Day of Remembrance events

SUNDAY, FEB. 10 In memory of the Nikkei who were detained in Hawai‘i during World War II, the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i will celebrate its Day of Remembrance at 1 p.m. at its Manoa Grand Ballroom, 2454 South Beretania St., Honolulu. The event will explore the lessons of the wartime incarceration of persons of […]

Korematsu Day event honors Asian Pacific American civil rights ‘heroes’

San Francisco celebrated its third annual Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution, the first day named after an Asian American in the United States, on Jan. 27 at Herbst Theater in San Francisco. The event celebrates Fred T. Korematsu, who resisted unconstitutional laws that incarcerated nearly 120,000 people of Japanese decent during […]

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