Film details Monterey citizens’ wartime support of Japanese American neighbors

Located in a dusty filing cabinet in an old Japanese American Citizens League building in Monterey, Calif., a local historian made a remarkable discovery in 2013: A 16mm film from 1938 showing local Issei and Nisei having fun at the wharf and playing baseball, and a large stack of signed petitions demanding the restoration of […]

Community honors Issei, dives into family histories, at 5th Nikkei Angel Island Pilgrimage

With the beat of drums by PJ Hirabayashi and the TaikoPeace Ambassadors, Nichi Bei Foundation’s fifth Nikkei Angel Island Pilgrimage commenced at the Angel Island Immigration Station Oct. 1. Overlooking China Cove, where immigrants first set foot on U.S. soil before heading to the mainland, the pilgrimage honored the Issei immigrants who first set foot […]

Arboga Assembly Center memorial site re-dedicated in Yuba County

MARYSVILLE, Calif. — A crowd of more than 200 people, including local officials, two survivors of the former concentration camp, and noted writer and speaker on the Japanese American wartime incarceration John Tateishi, observed the re-dedication Oct. 22 of the completed Arboga Assembly Center Memorial Site in Yuba County. Calvin Asoo, 82, of El Dorado, […]

Book, Website gives visibility to more than 125,000 former incarcerees

LOS ANGELES — As taiko drummers beat in sync, dozens of formerly-incarcerated people and their loved ones marched in formation out of the Go For Broke National Education Center and into the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles. Multiple marchers held up fence panels, each dawning the name of one of the 75 former […]

Hiroshima bombing recalled in Oregon ‘peace trees’ campaign

SALEM, Ore. — Hideko Tamura Snider was a 10-year-old girl in Hiroshima, Japan, when the United States detonated an atomic bomb over the city on Aug. 6, 1945, during World War II. On Sept. 21, she described the horrors of that day as the guest of honor in a ceremony marking the culmination of a […]

Topaz Museum board announces leadership change at town hall

The Japanese American Memorial Pilgrimages hosted a town hall discussing the Wakasa memorial stone Sept. 9 at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California in San Francisco’s Japantown. The meeting included a statement from the Topaz Museum board announcing future plans and a leadership change for the Delta, Utah-based organization. The in-person meeting, […]

Executive director change at Densho signals new generation of JA leadership

When Tom Ikeda got together with a small group of volunteers in 1996 to start Densho, he was considered a young upstart within the Japanese American community. Now, 26 years on, he is passing on the reigns of an organization that has become one of the most authoritative resources of Japanese American wartime history. The […]

Tanforan Memorial looks to past and future

SAN BRUNO, Calif. — With a jet plane roaring over head, members of the Tanforan Assembly Center Memorial Committee, along with survivors of the World War II detention camp, unveiled the centerpiece bronze statue by sculptor Sandra Shaw in the memorial Aug. 27. The Tanforan Memorial, located between the San Bruno Bay Area Rapid Transit […]

On memorializing James Wakasa

Mr. Wakasa was shot by a guard while walking his dog along the perimeter of the fence at the Topaz, Utah concentration camp.  Other prisoners created a half-ton, five-foot high, concrete monument to honor Mr. Wakasa and commemorate his death. I assume they created the monument by making a mould in the ground and filling […]

LETTERS: A call for building trust and grieving

Dear Nichi Bei Weekly, It is heartbreaking to read of the continued hurt and controversy over Mr. Wakasa’s memorial stone. Especially painful are the continued invalidating messages that only add to the trauma. Forgiveness can only come as a consequence of healing, a conscious choice that cannot be forced, and as an expansion of compassion. […]

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