A stirring memoir of adolescent Manzanar stories weaved with senior hiking adventures

MANZANAR TO MOUNT WHITNEY: The Life and Times of a Lost Hiker By Hank Umemoto (Berkeley, Calif.: Heyday, Books 2013, 224 pp., $16.95, paperback) My first trip of many to the World War II Manzanar concentration camp site occurred in the spring of 1972. On that occasion I accompanied my California State University, Fullerton, Nisei […]

The importance of Japanese American baseball

Nikkei Baseball: Japanese American Players from Immigration and Internment to the Major Leagues By Samuel O. Regalado (Champaign, Ill.: University of Illinois Press, 2013, 208 pp., $80, cloth, $25, paperback) From its roots in Meiji era Japan, history professor Samuel O. Regalado traces Nikkei baseball’s journey from Japan to Hawai‘i, and then to the Pacific […]

NPS Grants $1.3 Million to preserve, interpret Japanese American Confinement Sites

WASHINGTON — National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis announced in a U.S. Department of the Interior statement issued July 11 more than $1.3 million in grants to help preserve and interpret the sites where some 120,000 persons of Japanese descent — two-thirds of them U.S. citizens — were imprisoned during World War II. “Our […]

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 […]

Kyplex Cloud Security Seal - Click for Verification