Former inmates break ground for museum to remember Topaz camp

DELTA, Utah — On Sept. 11, 1942, in an arid desert area 16 miles northwest of Delta, the Topaz concentration camp opened in the wake of World War II. The Japanese American concentration camp would process 11,000 inmates and hold about 8,300 before closing three years later on Oct. 31, 1945. On Aug. 4, the […]

RABBIT RAMBLINGS: Revisiting Tule Lake

Interest in the 2012 Tule Lake Pilgrimage ran so high this year that the slots for participants were filled within three weeks. I signed up early, and was one of the lucky 400 or so to participate. People from the National Park Service, scholars and students, and any number of interested parties attended the pilgrimage. […]

Hundreds journey back to long-stigmatized Tule Lake Segregation Center

Editor’s Note: This is the second of a two-part series. The 2012 Tule Lake Pilgrimage, held from June 30 through July 3, not only received a huge response of close to 400 attendees, but it also attracted a large number of first timers. Former Tulean Hiroshi Kashiwagi experienced the early Tule Lake Pilgrimage back in […]

Groundbreaking works ‘connect the dots’ of Nikkei experience before, during and after WWII

AFTER CAMP: PORTRAITS IN MIDCENTURY JAPANESE AMERICAN LIFE AND POLITICS By Greg Robinson (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 2012, 328 pp., $27.95, paperback) PACIFIC CITIZENS: LARRY AND GUYO TAJIRI AND JAPANESE AMERICAN JOURNALISM IN THE WORLD WAR II ERA Edited By Greg Robinson (Champaign, Ill.: University of Illinois Press, 2012, 344 pp., $60, cloth) […]

Nikkei stories of survival

FAMILY TORN APART: THE INTERNMENT STORY OF THE OTOKICHI MUIN OZAKI FAMILY Edited By Gail Honda (Honolulu: Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i, 2012, 312 pp., $26, paperback) GO FOR BROKE! ME AND THE WAR By Isami (Mike) Tsuji (Fullerton, Calif.: Nikkei Writers Guild, A Division of Japanese American Living Legacy, 2011, 160 pp., $14, paperback) […]

Sketches of an unusual life

OH! POSTON, WHY DON’T YOU CRY FOR ME?: AND OTHER STOPS ALONG THE WAY By Paul M. Okimoto (Bloomington, Ind.: Xlibris Corporation, 2011, 203 pp., $19.99, paperback) Paul M. Okimoto’s new self-published volume is less an autobiography than a series of sketches from his unusual life path. In fact, if the phrase “Adventures of a […]

Community works to preserve Clarksburg’s Holland Union Gakuen

CLARKSBURG, Calif. — Located across the Sutter Slough stream in Clarksburg, just off Courtland Road and nestled among a small gathering of trees stands the modest-looking and cherished schoolhouse known among those in this rural Japanese American community as the Holland Union Gakuen. Built in 1927, hundreds of Japanese American children learned Japanese and gained […]

Hirabayashi, dean of first ethnic studies school, dies

James Akira Hirabayashi, an emeritus professor of anthropology and ethnic and Asian American studies at San Francisco State University — where he served as the first dean of the first ethnic studies program in the country — passed away peacefully in San Francisco on May 23, 2012. He was 85. “Jim’s passing was going to […]

LA DOR: Human Relations Chief Warns of Dangers in Defense Authorization Act

LOS ANGELES — Robin Toma, the executive director of Los Angeles County’s Human Relations Commission, warned about threats to human rights and civil liberties in the National Defense Authorization Act that President Barack Obama signed into law at the end of last year. Toma sounded the alarm during his keynote speech Feb. 18 at the […]

A TIME TO REMEMBER: The 70th anniversary of Executive Order 9066

On Feb. 19, 1942, then-President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, setting the wheels in motion for one of the largest violations of civil liberties in the country’s history. The forced exclusion of those of Japanese descent from the West Coast — most of whom were American citizens — and their mass incarceration in […]

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