Honoring The Powerful, Immeasurable Legacy Left By Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga

Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga (left) with Manzanar Committee member Gann Matsuda at the
annual Day of Remembrance program in
Los Angeles on February 17, 2018.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Alisa Lynch

I’ve been “forced” to recall how I got started as a community activist quite a bit lately.

Indeed, back in June, when NCRR (Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress; originally the National Coalition for Redress and Reparations) held their event to launch their new book about their incredible, highly impactful history, it reminded me of all the activists who came before me who have been mentors and teachers for my own community activism.

On the morning of July 19, I received word that Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga passed away the night before. She was just a little over a month away from celebrating her 93rd birthday.

Aiko is well-known in the Japanese American, Asian American, and broader civil rights communities for her tireless work for social justice since her time in New York after she was one of the 120,000 Japanese/Japanese Americans who were unjustly incarcerated in American concentration camps and other confinement sites during World War II.

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Manzanar Committee Mourns The Loss of Legendary Community Activist Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga

Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga, shown here during the 48th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, April 28. 2017.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/Manzanar Committee.

LOS ANGELES — The Manzanar Committee extends its deepest sympathies to the family, friends, and colleagues of Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga, who passed away on July 18 in Torrance, California at the age of 92.

Herzig-Yoshinaga, who was one of the 120,000 Japanese/Japanese Americans who were unjustly incarcerated in American concentration camps during World War II, is best known for her painstaking research in the National Archives where she discovered the original edition of Western Defense Command General John DeWitt’s Final Report, Japanese Evacuation from the West Coast, 1942, which clearly indicated that racism, not national security concerns or military necessity, was the primary motivating factor in the forced removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans from the West Coast some 76 years ago.

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Interactive 3D Model Could Revolutionize Real and Virtual Visitor Experience For Manzanar

Editor’s Note: All photographs and video clips below represent the status of the project detailed in the story as of the publication date. They are not intended to represent the final product. As such, they could contain errors, inaccuracies or omissions that will be addressed as work on the project continues. All images and video in this story are © 2012 CyArk. All rights reserved.

A view of the barracks at Manzanar, as it looked in July 1944, in a 3D computerized model.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo courtesy CyArk

LOS ANGELES — The Manzanar National Historic Site’s virtual museum, accessible via their web site, is a treasure trove of information that can be used to learn about Manzanar through the use of text, images, video, slide shows and more.

Those who make the trek to Manzanar, located Read more of this post

Cast in Bronze: Terminology Symposium in San Francisco, October 22, 2011

By Soji Kashiwagi

The main reason for holding a day-long symposium on terminology and the use of U.S. government euphemisms during World War II was not, according to event organizers, to take on the role of the “word police” and tell members of the Japanese American community what they should or should not say regarding what happened some 69 years ago.

In fact, Mako Nakagawa, the Seattle-based author of the Power of Words Resolution which was passed by the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) National Council in 2010, said that those who lived through the experience “…have earned the right to call it whatever they want.”

Instead, the event’s focus turned toward educating those in public institutions and museums who cast words in bronze that, as Lane Hirabayashi describes, “…are not strictly or historically accurate like ‘internment,’ or ‘relocation,’ on plaques, memorials, exhibits, and installations in Interpretive Learning Centers.” Read more of this post