In their Saturday, November 22, 2008 edition, the Los Angeles Times published a story by Chris Foster about Jack Yoshihara, who was a sophomore reserve for the Oregon State University football team which went to the Rose Bowl in 1942 and is currently the odds-on favorite to play in this season’s Rose Bowl against Penn State on January 1, 2009. Yoshihara was not allowed to play in the game because of the racism and hysteria that immediately followed the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Empire of Japan. Soon after, over 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry on the West Coast were forcibly removed from their homes, with over 110,000 being imprisoned in American concentration camps, many for the duration of World War II.
In the story (Sports section), Foster reported that Yoshihara was taken off the practice field one day, presumably by two FBI agents.
Yoshihara was first imprisoned at the Livestock Pavilion assembly center near Portland, Oregon before winding up behind barbed wire at the Minidoka concentration camp.
Foster, a staff writer for the Times sports section, learned about Yoshihara by chance.
“I was just looking at press releases from Oregon State and they had information about Yoshihara,” he explained.
Just like that, a story was born. Foster added that he has received a significant amount of e-mail praising his work on the story and that he received one e-mail criticizing the story, [incorrectly] claiming that the internment was justified because Japanese Americans were responsible for the actions of the Empire of Japan.
“I told him that there were several community colleges where he could take a history course and get educated,” said Foster.
You can read the article here: War And The Roses For Oregon State. It is recommended reading.
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