Honorary Degrees Only For Living Japanese Americans Forced To Leave USC During WWII Not Enough

COMMENTARY: USC must change course and award honorary degrees, not just to living Japanese American students who were forced to leave the campus during World War II, but also to those who have since passed away. USC should also apologize for its racist, unjust treatment of its Nisei students in 1942.


Unlike crosstown rival UCLA, USC has unjustly refused to award honorary
degrees posthumously to their former Japanese American students
who were forced to leave the campus during World War II.
Photo: Darrell Kunitomi

LOS ANGELES — Over the many years that the crosstown rivalry has existed, students and alumni of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and those at the University of Southern California (USC), have always gloated about their athletic teams (usually football and basketball), or which school is better.

Of course, much of the boasting is based solely on emotion-laden loyalties, without basis in fact, not that there’s anything wrong with that. After all, loyalty to your school is a good thing.

Read more of this post

Grateful Crane’s Soji Kashiwagi Weighs In On Use Of “Concentration Camp”

Another voice in the debate on the use of euphemistic terms to describe the Japanese American Internment experience is that of playwright Soji Kashiwagi, Executive Producer of the Grateful Crane Ensemble.

Responding to Rafu Shimpo columnist George Yoshinaga, who has, for many years, argued that concentration camp is not an appropriate term to describe the camps that Americans of Japanese ancestry and their immigrant parents were imprisoned in during World War II, Kashiwagi criticized Yoshinaga’s stance in a piece submitted to the Rafu Shimpo and to the Manzanar Committee blog. Read more of this post

More From Okazaki On Use of “Concentration Camp;” Refutes Rafu Shimpo Columnist George Yoshinaga

On September 8, 2010, Rafu Shimpo columnist George Yoshinaga once again railed against the use of concentration camp to describe the camps that Americans of Japanese ancestry and their immigrant parents were imprisoned in during World War II.

In Yoshinaga’s column, “Horse’s Mouth: Raku, A Japanese Restaurant” (Yoshinaga’s comments were also included in a separate column, “Horse’s Mouth: The Richest Countries In The World,” September 14, 2010), he claimed that the ten camps were not concentration camps because, “those who wanted to leave camp had no problem, contrary to her statements.”

Joyce Okazaki (second from right) during a meeting with
Manzanar National Historic Site staff, April 26, 2009.
Photo: Gann Matsuda

Yoshinaga went on to describe his exploits outside the barbed wire, more than implying that he and all other Japanese Americans at the Heart Mountain camp had complete freedom and could come and go as they pleased. Read more of this post

41st Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage: A Letter To Obaa-chan

by Jaymie Takeshita

Jaymie Takeshita
Photo: Gann Matsuda

Dear Grandma,

Every time I talk to you on the phone, I tell you about all the things I do with the UCLA Nikkei Student Union (NSU), right? I have yet another NSU story for you. Yesterday, a bunch of us from UCLA went on the 41st Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage. My friends who have been on the Pilgrimage before told me that it would be a great experience; I didn’t expect it to be as amazing as it actually was.

I don’t think I ever told you this before, but when I was in elementary school, every time you talked about “camp” with your friends, or the other grandmothers, or the strangers at Marukai, I always thought that you were talking about summer camp. You would always tell stories about classes and playing with friends. Read more of this post

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 145 other followers