Going back to ‘Ground Zero’ called Topaz

This past August, Ken Yoshida went back to Topaz, Utah, where, in 1944, an Federal Bureau of Investigation agent picked him up. “The FBI agent came inside our barrack because it was windy and dusty outside. But it was windy and dusty inside, too,” recalled Yoshida, who was, at that time, going to be taken […]

Bill establishes Jan. 30 as Fred Korematsu Day

Sacramento — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Sept. 23 signed Assembly Bill 1775, which establishes Jan. 30 as Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution. The bill uses the wrongful conviction of Fred Korematsu during World War II to emphasize the importance of preserving civil liberties and the Constitution. “Fred Korematsu was an ordinary […]

Japanese American WWII students at City College of SF sought for diploma project

The California Nisei College Diploma Project (CA Nisei Project) is seeking to locate those Japanese Americans whose studies at the City College of San Francisco (CCSF) were halted due to the signing of Executive Order 9066 during World War II. California Assembly Bill 37 (AB37) calls for honorary degrees to be presented to more than […]

Nisei hibakusha reflects upon wartime experience during Topaz pilgrimage

To recognize the 65th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Jack Dairiki, a Nisei hibakusha on the Topaz pilgrimage bus, shared his experiences. When Dairiki was in the 5th grade, the Sacramento-born Nisei accompanied his father to Hiroshima in 1941 to visit his ailing grandfather. They boarded the Tatsuta Maru in July […]

Journey Back to Topaz – Former inmates take pilgrimage to former Central Utah concentration camp

The 2010 Topaz/Central Utah Pilgrimage attracted participants as far away as Tom Kurihara from Virginia, to local Utahns, but the majority came from California via Toru Saito’s Topaz Bus. Former Topaz inmate Saito has been organizing pilgrimage busses for years. “The reason I do this Topaz bus thing,” said Saito, “is because I kind of […]

LETTERS: Support Muslim Americans’ effort to build a community center near Ground Zero

Dear Editor: As Japanese Americans whose families were targeted by the hysteria over national security during World War II, we are deeply disturbed by the irrational fear and opposition toward the Muslim Americans who plan to build a community center near Ground Zero. America was founded on the principle of religious freedom. Muslim Americans have […]

New film portrays 442 with honor, dignity

World War II is the defining period of Japanese American history. There’s the concentration camps, the resisters, the no-no boys and, of course, the 442nd and 100th infantries. Anyone with an interest in Nikkei culture and history should be familiar with the story of the all-Japanese American combat units — they were so important to […]

Legislature sends Korematsu Day bill to governor’s desk

SACRAMENTO — The California state Legislature on Aug. 24 passed Assembly Bill 1775, which would establish Jan. 30 as Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution. The bill is headed to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s desk for his signature. The bill uses the wrongful conviction of Fred Korematsu during World War II to emphasize […]

Commentary: Three generations visit former Granada camp

Recently in July I visited the Amache (formally known as Granada) internment camp in Granada, Colo., along with 12 other family members. We represented three generations (Sansei, Yonsei and Gosei) coming from multiple cities (Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco). Three people in our group were former internees — including both my parents and my […]

‘The Harimaya Bridge’ spans generations, cultures and the Pacific

Through most of the film “The Harimaya Bridge,” protagonist Daniel Holder wears a sullen, stone-faced stare, communicating profound distaste for his surroundings. He simmers with hostility while tromping around Japan, and understandably so — this is the land where first his father and then his son perished. Daniel (played by veteran actor Ben Guillory) has […]

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