Manzanar National Historic Site: Special Program Schedule Set For Summer 2011

The following is a press release from the National Park Service.

INDEPENDENCE, CA — Since 2004, the National Park Service has invited special guest speakers to the Manzanar Interpretive Center, to share their unique experiences and perspectives with visitors. This summer’s programs are roughly 45 minutes, and offer opportunities for visitors to interact with presenters before and after their programs.

To download a printable flyer,
click on the image above.

June 18, 19: Tom Takano Gives Talks at 11:00 AM and 1:30 PM

Educator Tom Takano will use both images and stories to discuss Manzanar as an icon of American history, and consider its place in our fast-changing world. Tom’s parents were confined at Gila River, Arizona. He will explore some of the important factors that led to World War II internment of Japanese Americans, as well as some of the reasons Manzanar remains relevant today.

July 3, 4: Arthur Ogami Gives Talks at 11:00 AM and 1:30 PM

Join Arthur and hear his wartime memories of Manzanar, Montana, Tule Lake, North Dakota, and Japan. Arthur arrived at Manzanar days after his twentieth birthday. He worked as an orderly at the Manzanar Hospital, and helped build some of the Manzanar gardens. He later transferred to the Segregation Center at Tule Lake with his family, and expatriated to Japan in 1945. Read more of this post

National Park Service Awards $3 Million For 2010 Japanese American Confinement Sites Grants

The following is a press release from the National Park Service.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Park Service (NPS) has awarded 23 grants totaling: $2.9 million to help preserve and interpret historic locations where Japanese Americans were detained during World War II. Read more of this post

Honorary Degree To Fresno State Alumnus Interned In WW II

The following was originally published by the Office of University Communications, California State University, Fresno. It is reprinted here with permission. Original story: Honorary Degree to Fresno State Alumnus Interned In WW II.

SELMA, CA — John Hiroshi Otomo, a San Joaquin Valley native, was awarded an honorary bachelor’s degree from California State University, Fresno two-thirds of a century after his college career was interrupted by his family’s internment at Gila River, Arizona.

Otomo, who is 87, received his diploma from University President John D. Welty on Thursday, December 24, 2009 at City Hall in Selma, the Fresno County community where Otomo was born.

“It’s an honor,” Otomo said before the ceremony. “Having a degree after 67 years is something.” Read more of this post

Words Can Lie Or Clarify Criticizes Euphemistic Language Used To Describe WWII Camps Used To Imprison Japanese Americans

Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga, was seventeen years old when she was imprisoned at Manzanar and later, at Jerome and Rohwer, Arkansas.

After camp, she became a community and political activist, but is best-known for poring over tons of documents in the National Archives, discovering evidence that the United States Government perjured itself before the United States Supreme Court in the 1944 cases Korematsu v. United States, Hirabayashi v. United States, and Yasui v. United States which challenged the constitutionality of the imprisonment of Japanese Americans during World War II.

Aiko Herzig Yoshinaga
Photo: Discover Nikkei

Herzig-Yoshinaga’s research uncovered evidence that the government had presented falsified evidence to the Court, destroyed evidence, and had withheld other vital information. This evidence provided the legal basis Japanese Americans needed to seek redress and reparations for their wartime imprisonment in American concentration camps.

Recently, she wrote a paper on the use of euphemistic language to describe these camps. Indeed, the US Government officially called them “relocation centers” during World War II. To this day, the debate rages on regarding what they should be called. Read more of this post