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Jul 30, 2014
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The Art Made by Japanese Americans in Internment Camps

Bellevue Arts Museum Exhibits Objects Made from Scraps by People Enduring the Unendurable

Under Executive Order 9066, Rose Sueoka could not get her clothes clean enough. After she scrubbed them in the shared, makeshift latrine of her hastily erected prison, the clothes would be mostly clean. Nobody would notice the difference. But that was not the point. She turned to her husband, Shigeru, knowing he had nothing to his name, like her, and asked him to do the impossible: make her a washboard. They were chicken farmers from Petaluma, California, and he didn’t know how to make a washboard. But Shigeru scoured their concentration camp.

Jul 4, 2014
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From Internment to Advocacy, One Family’s Journey

I remember my 94-year-old grandmother, Mary Masako Kanase, standing with tears in her eyes, reading the inscription on the stone memorial at the Japanese-American internment camp in Jerome, Arkansas this past October. She held my hand and said to me, “I’m so glad people remember.”

Jun 25, 2014
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Grayce Uyehara, fought for interned Japanese-Americans

Grayce Uyehara, 94, who as a retired Philadelphia-area social worker helped lead the national redress movement for Japanese Americans interned during World War II, died Sunday at Virtua Memorial hospital in Mount Holly.

Her calm, persistent presence and truth telling helped push the federal government to formally apologize and to offer a $20,000-per-person reparation. During a decadelong campaign, she insisted that the war-era imprisonment was not only a Japanese issue but an American one, threatening the rights of all.

Graduation heals World War II internment wounds


 

NEWPORT BEACH, California (AP) — A California man who missed his 1942 high school graduation because he was locked in an internment camp for Japanese-Americans finally walked in a cap and gown last week, more than seven decades after he was pulled out of class just a month shy of his big day.

Don Miyada, now 89, joined Newport Harbor High School’s 2014 graduating class on stage and received a standing ovation when he was hailed as an inaugural member of the school’s hall of fame, the Los Angeles Times reported on Sunday.

May 21, 2014
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National Park Service: Honouliuli Internment Camp Is Nationally Significant Site

In a report released Thursday, the National Park Service found that the former Honouliuli Internment Camp in Waipahu is a nationally significant historic site, a big step toward designating the area as a national monument. 

The draft study evaluated 17 sites in Hawaii to determine what should be included in the national park system, and concluded that both the Honouliuli Internment Camp and the U.S. Immigration Station qualified as nationally significant. 

May 10, 2014

David Ono’s Witness: The Legacy of Heart Mountain (Part 1)

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.

Apr 2, 2014
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Held in Japanese-American internment camp, fought for U.S. as part of famed 442nd Army combat team

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.”

Mar 29, 2014
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New exhibit sheds light on Japanese American experiences of World War II

NEW ORLEANS — After Japan’s naval and air forces attacked Pearl Harbor and the Philippines in December 1941, life for 7-year-old Lily Imahara and her family changed forever.

They were among hundreds of thousands of Japanese-Americans who were forcibly moved from their homes on the West Coast to internment camps by the U.S. government.

Mar 20, 2014
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Documentary aims to tell ‘American story’ of internment camps

SANTA ANA — Executive producer Ecar Oden said the story of Japnese American internment camps operating in the U.S. during World War II is an American story.

Oden, writers and producers Jeff Redd and Denis Donovan, and director Brad Hagen, of Video Resources Inc., based in Santa Ana, are currently working on a documentary film to tell that story.

The idea for the film, “Three Lenses,” began with Oden’s interest in landscape photographer Ansel Adams.

Dec 9, 2013
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A WWII-Era Protest Letter, Sent By Japanese-American Internees Resisting the Draft

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.

Nov 25, 2013

Chilling reminder of shattered lives in a Seattle hotel basement

It’s an old building, built in 1910, designed by a Japanese American architect, Sabro Ozasa.

There is a green neon sign hanging in front, the kind you don’t see much anymore.

On the front door, in old-fashioned gold leaf lettering, the words Panama Hotel are written.

There’s a coffee shop on the first floor, with old photos of the building on the wall, and past the coffee counter and the pastry shelf, down in the middle of the polished hardwood floor, is a window.

Strangely, the window looks down into the basement.

Jul 29, 2013
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Kooskia Internment Camp Discovered In Mountains Of Idaho

-- Deep in the mountains of northern Idaho, miles from the nearest town, lies evidence of a little-known portion of a shameful chapter of American history.

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.

Jul 18, 2013
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JCCH to receive $111k for Honouliuli internment camp project

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

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.

Jul 2, 2013
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Tule Lake internment camp’s story gets new life as national monument

What remains of Tule Lake will soon be restored and preserved, thanks to a $278,000 grant to the Tule Lake Committee

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.

Jun 18, 2013
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Witness: The Legacy of Heart Mountain

A special documentary - hosted by David Ono - on the history behind the camp that sets the scene for Allegiance

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.

Jun 7, 2013
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Bob Fletcher, who helped Japanese Americans interned during the war, Dies at 101

Former California agriculture inspector quit his job in the middle of World War II to manage the fruit farms of Japanese families forced to live in internment camps.

Bob Fletcher, a former California agriculture inspector who, ignoring the resentment of neighbors, quit his job in the middle of World War II to manage the fruit farms of Japanese families forced to live in internment camps, died on May 23 in Sacramento. He was 101.

His death was confirmed by Doris Taketa, who was 12 when Mr. Fletcher agreed to run her family’s farm in 1942, the year she and her extended family were relocated to the Jerome War Relocation Center in Arkansas.

“He saved us,” Ms. Taketa said.

Apr 11, 2013
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George Takei to Speak at Dedication of Rohwer/Jerome Museum

The McGehee Industrial Foundation announces the opening of the WWII Japanese American Internment Museum on Tuesday, April 16, with actor/activist George Takei as special guest.

MCGEHEE, Ark. — The McGehee Industrial Foundation announces the opening of the WWII Japanese American Internment Museum on Tuesday, April 16, with actor/activist George Takei as special guest.

It will house the exhibit “Against Their Will,” interpreting the history during World War II when the Japanese American population was moved from the West Coast to ten internment camps across the country, forced to leave behind their homes and jobs.

Two of those camps, Jerome and Rohwer, were located in southeast Arkansas. They were home to more than 17,000 Japanese Americans.