Oral History Of Pastor, Activist, Rev. Paul T. Nakamura Released – VIDEO

Rev. Paul T. Nakamura
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Mark Kirchner/Manzanar Committee

During the 46th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage on April 25, 2015, we honored the Reverend Paul T. Nakamura, pastor of Lutheran Oriental Church in Torrance, California as the recipient of the 2015 Sue Kunitomi Embrey Legacy Award.

The award was named after the late chair of the Manzanar Committee who was also one of the founders of the annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, and was the driving force behind the creation of the Manzanar National Historic Site.

Rev. Paul, as he is known to his parishioners and just about everyone else who knows him, is a seminal figure in the Southern California Japanese American community, most notably for his involvement with the Manzanar Committee and the Manzanar Pilgrimage since its earliest days. He was also involved with the struggle for redress and reparations for the survivors of the World War II American concentration camps in which over 110,000 Japanese Americans and their immigrant parents were unjustly incarcerated, also from its earliest days.

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Los Angeles Day of Remembrance 2015: E.O. 9066 and the [In]Justice System Today

LOS ANGELES — The 2015 Los Angeles Day of Remembrance (DOR) program will be held on Saturday, February 21, at the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) from 2:00 – 4:00 PM.

The DOR continues to be dedicated to commemorating the impact of E.O. 9066 on the Issei, Nisei and subsequent generations of Japanese Americans. It also seeks to demonstrate how the government’s World War II violations of civil liberties and human rights toward one ethnic group- based solely on race, relates to today’s political and social milieu.

The 2015 program’s theme, E.O. 9066 and the [In]Justice System Today, was inspired by both the traditional commemorative nature of the DOR and the current critical issues of how the United States justice system continues to harm communities of color with unaccountable police violence, profiling and mass incarceration.

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Manzanar Committee Mourns The Passing Of Long-Time Activist Yuri Kochiyama

LOS ANGELES — The Manzanar Committee expresses its deepest sympathies to the family of Yuri Kochiyama, a long-time civil rights and community activist in the African American, Latino, Native American and Asian American communities, who passed away on June 1, at the age of 93.

On June 2, the Kochiyama family released the following statement:

Life-long activist Yuri Kochiyama passed away peacefully in her sleep in Berkeley, California on the morning of Sunday, June 1, at the age of 93. Over a span of more than fifty years, Yuri worked tirelessly for social and political change through her activism in support of social justice and civil and human rights movements.

Yuri was born on May 19, 1921, in San Pedro, California, and spent two years in a concentration camp in Jerome, Arkansas during World War II. After the war, she moved to New York City and married Bill Kochiyama, a decorated veteran of the all-Japanese American 442nd combat unit of the U.S. Army.

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Call For Proposals: Research And Write A Comprehensive Administrative History of Manzanar National Historic Site

The following is a press release from the Organization of American Historians.


BLOOMINGTON, IN — The Organization of American Historians (OAH) and the National Park Service (NPS) have worked collaboratively for nearly 20 years on a variety of projects that aim to make the presentation of American History at NPS sites and programs as current, nuanced, and effective as possible. The OAH and NPS presently seek a qualified scholar to research and write a comprehensive Administrative History of Manzanar National Historic Site located in Independence, California.

Congress established Manzanar NHS in 1992 after decades of grass-roots efforts and lobbying by Japanese Americans and others, and despite considerable opposition. This project will develop a comprehensive review of more than four decades of highly emotional, political, and controversial efforts to preserve Manzanar as a physical site, as well as a place in memory and history.

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