THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: Classical music behind barbed wires

(Editor’s Note: The following was co-written with Jonathan van Harmelen) In the tragic and difficult conditions faced by Japanese Americans confined in the War Relocation Authority camps during World War II, one imposing arena of achievement was in the arts. In recent years, a number of books and exhibits have highlighted not only the extraordinary […]

Exhibit at JANM celebrates emergence of APA consciousness

LOS ANGELES — “At First Light: The Dawning of Asian Pacific America,” a multi-media exhibit celebrating the emergence of a politically defined Asian Pacific American consciousness and identity, is now on display through Oct. 20 at the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo. This co-production of Visual Communications and JANM chronicles the transformation of […]

Hugh Macbeth Jr., advocate of Japanese Americans, dies at 100

Hugh Macbeth Jr, who died Sept. 14, 2019 at the age of 100, was an extraordinary figure, both in who he was and in what he represented. On a personal level, he was a distinguished lawyer and judge — a prime member of a generation of African Americans who achieved mainstream success, despite the formidable […]

Glendale, Calif. ‘comfort woman’ statue vandalized again

LOS ANGELES — A controversial statue in Southern California depicting a hanbok-wearing Korean girl who symbolizes the so-called “comfort women” forced to serve in brothels during Japanese colonization has been defaced for the second time this summer, according to police. A suspect vandalized the copper statue using a black marker and knocked over surrounding potted […]

ICE profiteers should not use JA incarceration to justify their work

There is a growing movement in the Japanese American community to stop the Trump administration from incarcerating children and families, led by survivors of the World War II camps who grew up as child prisoners. Many of their descendants — including myself — are working to support them. But not everyone in the JA community […]

AMC’s ‘The Terror: Infamy’ weaves a ‘seductive creepiness’ into the WWII incarceration story

AMC’s supernatural television anthology, titled “The Terror: Infamy,” opens with a Japanese woman putting on make up and then sticking a chopstick into her hair. I groaned. Was this going to be another series where cultural appropriation was the norm, I wondered? We never see white people stick forks or spoons in their hair. Then, […]

Trump’s anti-immigrant campaign castigated: Critics concerned about JA private contractor’s oversight of ICE detention centers

The Trump administration’s anti-immigrant campaign has ignited a firestorm of protests from many concerned Americans, who are horrified by the inhumane treatment of the immigrants — especially children — and concerned over the unsatisfactory inspections of Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention centers by a Nikkei-owned for-profit corporation. Carl Takei, a senior staff attorney for the […]

RABBIT RAMBLINGS: It’s time for ‘active resistance’

Editor’s Note: According to news reports published in late July, plans to imprison migrant children at the Fort Sill military base in Oklahoma have been put on hold. Fort Sill, Oklahoma. I was wondering where that was. When word came that a protest was being planned at that place, I hesitated about participating. But the […]

Then and now

During World War II, the Japanese Americans were detained in incarceration camps just because they looked like the enemy, Japan. Today, immigrant children are being removed from their families and put into detention centers just because President Trump hates immigrants. I’m going to talk about their similarities and why people should not be put in […]

RABBIT RAMBLINGS: Hoping for an apology

By the time this column is published, the 2019 Japanese American Citizens League National Convention will be just underway, so I write this not knowing what happened. I am concerned about the proposed resolution asking the organization to issue an apology to all Japanese Americans who were hurt and injured in various ways by individuals […]

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