Docuseries offers fresh look at Asian American experience

“Asian Americans,” a five-hour film series chronicling the contributions and challenges of the fastest-growing ethnic group in America, is being shown this month on PBS during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Personal histories and new academic research cast a fresh lens on U.S. history and the role Asian Americans have played in it. Renee Tajima-Peña, […]

Cedrick Shimo, WWII military resister and Honda exec, dies at 100

Cedrick Masaki Shimo, a World War II military resister and an executive at American Honda Motors, USA, passed away peacefully on April 1, 2020. He was 100. Shimo was the only child born to Tamori and Yoshiko Urakami Shimo, both from Okayama, Japan, in Heber, Calif., in the Imperial Valley. At the time, his father […]

Famed judo coach Yosh Uchida to celebrate 100th birthday

Yoshihiro Uchida, the legendary coach who helped make San Jose State University a collegiate powerhouse in judo for decades, will celebrate his 100th birthday on April 1. He had hoped to visit Japan later this year for the Tokyo Olympics, but those plans are uncertain because of the global coronavirus pandemic. Uchida was born in […]

Film uncovers little-known story of music in camp by incarcerated Nikkei

“For Joy,” a film by Julian Saporiti and the No-No Boy project, tells the little-known story of a Nikkei teenager who sang with a jazz band formed in the World War II concentration camp for Japanese Americans at Heart Mountain, Wyo. The story also sheds light on a hidden history — the music played during […]

Japanese American concentration camp survivors call for closure of immigrant detention centers on 78th anniversary of wartime incarceration

Members of San Francisco’s Japanese American community on Feb. 7 spoke about their experiences being incarcerated in camps during World War II, while standing in solidarity with present-day immigrants being detained at the U.S.-Mexico border. Speaking at the National Japanese American Historical Society in San Francisco’s Japantown to commemorate the incarceration of Japanese Americans in […]

WHEN ‘THEN’ MEETS ‘NOW’: Film examines bonds made in Crystal City camp, lessons for today

How is “now” — meaning the Trumpian era where government officials criminalize immigrants and asylum seekers from non-Aryan countries — connected to “then” — the World War II period when people of Japanese descent from the West Coast and Latin American countries were incarcerated in United States-style concentration camps? To find out, join three men […]

DNA results confirm body found near Manzanar concentration camp site was missing Nikkei

INYO COUNTY, Calif. — Remains found Oct. 7, 2019 near the Manzanar concentration camp in California’s Inyo County were determined to be those of Giichi Matsumura, who had gone missing in July of 1945, said a joint news release by the Inyo County Sheriff and the Manzanar Historic Site. On Oct. 7, 2019, two hikers […]

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 […]

On healing the ache of the familiar

There is a particular ache that many Japanese Americans feel when we see images of our World War II mass incarceration, or “camp.” It’s a bittersweet struggle with recognition and connection across barriers of time and space. If the faces and settings are not our relatives, the chilling fact remains that they might be, or […]

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