A HIDDEN ACHIEVEMENT: Margaret Masuoka’s education interrupted

Margaret Masuoka was meant to graduate with a degree in botany from Santa Ana College in 1942. Masuoka, 89, studied the subject until she was ordered to the Poston, Ariz. concentration camp. The Nikkei was set to graduate that June. Masuoka received a letter from her favorite professor, J. Russell Bruff, telling her to meet […]

A student’s perspective on her first pilgrimage to Manzanar

When I heard about the Manzanar Pilgrimage, I immediately perked up from my seat in Professor Wayne Maeda’s “Intro to Ethnics” class. I knew that I had to go on this trip as soon as possible because my grandparents were incarcerated in such concentration camps during World War II. I was nervous when I arrived […]

Intricate bonds behind Taiwan’s donations to Japan

TAIPEI — Taiwan, a country of 23 million people, has to date pledged approximately NT$5.9 billion (about $205 million) in relief funds following the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck northeastern Japan on March 11. By comparison, South Korea’s 49 million people have raised 55 billion won (about $50 million), while the United States, a […]

Fundraising campaign to host celebration for honorees of Congressional Gold Medal

The National Veterans Network (NVN) has begun a fundraising campaign to support a two-day celebration event in Washington, D.C. in late fall to commemorate the awarding of the Congressional Gold Medal to the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and Military Intelligence Service members from World War II (WWII) — three groups composed entirely […]

Desperately seeking LGBT memories of World War II incarceration

Two years ago, I was invited to participate in E.G. Crichton’s project “Lineage: Matchmaking in the Archive” in which artists, writers and musicians were asked to respond to personal collections in the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society archive. I was “matched” with Jiro Onuma, a gay Issei who moved to the U.S. from Iwate […]

Muslim, Japanese American youth empowered by history

LOS ANGELES — “Have you ever been called a racist name?” Mustafah Hawari, 17, asks Yuka Ogino, 23, a Japanese American coordinator at the Bridging Communities Program. “Yes, I have,” she tells Hawari and the small group of students sitting on the floor at a mosque in Anaheim, Calif. The students, most of them Muslim […]

‘Snow Falling on Cedars’ skillfully explores wartime prejudice

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — The Japanese American concentration camps of World War II provide a compelling backdrop for the excellent theatrical production of “Snow Falling on Cedars.” Based on David Guterson’s 1994 best-selling novel, the play offers a potent mix of romance and whodunit, as well as an exploration of the issue of prejudice against […]

Weeping for Baachan

My mom’s been gone nearly two years now but over the past two weeks, I’ve been grateful that she wasn’t alive to have her heart broken every day. To see the devastation and suffering in the Japanese country of her birth would have slowly killed her. Although I sense her presence daily, it has been […]

NJAHS honors those who made ‘transformative’ contributions

The National Japanese American Historical Society’s (NJAHS) mission statement has changed since it began in 1981. In celebrating its 30th anniversary, NJAHS honored both the people it says have transformed the Japanese American cultural landscape, as well as the transformations the organization itself has experienced during the last three decades. NJAHS originated with a mission […]

‘Mourning Breath’: On Historical Amnesia, D.O.R., Love & Revolution

Just a little over two weeks ago, I celebrated the 25th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday becoming a national holiday. I did so by accompanying a group of high school youth to Youth Speaks’ “Bringin’ the Noise for Dr. King,” event in San Francisco, California. The clarity with which the young poets (ranging […]

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