Sun and stardom kissed Omar Kaihatsu’s early life in California.
Mr. Kaihatsu, who died Feb. 13 at Glenview Terrace nursing center at 88, was a gifted boxer and a member of the Sheiks, the football team at Hollywood High School. Mr. Kaihatsu’s immigrant father Masajiro Kaihatsu had a thriving acting career in the days of silent films with titles including “Hari Kari” and “Japanese Nightingale.” He hobnobbed with the likes of Shirley Temple and Sessue Hayakawa, who went on to fame as the cruel POW camp commander in David Lean’s 1957 movie “The Bridge on the River Kwai.”
Second-generation Japanese-Americans interned at the Heart Mountain “Relocation Center” in Wyoming used this form letter to protest the government’s demand that they register with Selective Service. The letter was entered as evidence in a court case brought against seven organizers of draft resistance at Heart Mountain.
There are no buildings, signs or markers to indicate what happened at the site 70 years ago, but researchers sifting through the dirt have found broken porcelain, old medicine bottles and lost artwork identifying the location of the first internment camp where the U.S. government used people of Japanese ancestry as a workforce during World War II.
Today, a team of researchers from the University of Idaho wants to make sure the Kooskia Internment Camp isn’t forgotten to history.
WASHINGTON — Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii) on Thursday announced the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii will be receiving $111,557 from the National Park Service to help educate the public about the Honouliuli Internment Camp on Oahu, where Japanese Americans were detained during World War II.
The grant will go towards a multimedia and virtual tour project of the camp.
For Homer Yasui, life at the Tule Lake internment camp as a teenager in 1942 provided more good times than bad.
“I played a lot of baseball, went to a lot of camp dances,” the 88-year-old Portland resident said. “For me it was great fun.”
Yasui’s memories differ from the experiences of many others who passed through the notorious camp about 30 miles south of the Oregon border. It is all of these stories — the good, the bad and the ordinary — that leaders of the National Park Service want to hear when they visit Portland and Hood River this week.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) — Heart Mountain is a spectacular and beautiful backdrop to a story of triumph and tragedy. Seventy years ago, an internment camp filled with 10,000 Japanese Americans sat in the shadow of the mountain.
It was just a few miles outside Cody, Wyoming, where the land is rugged and the weather is brutal. It’s where American citizens were imprisoned behind barbed wire and guard towers for no other reason than because of their heritage. Eight out of 10 were from Los Angeles.
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