How The Japanese American Community Should Commemorate the 76th Anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor

The Soul Consoling Tower marks the cemetery at the
Manzanar National Historic Site.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: National Park Service

LOS ANGELES — On this day, the 76th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, many Japanese Americans will grit their teeth, expecting to see anti-Japanese comments, not to mention the racial slurs and racist comments that our community has had to endure for our entire history, and given the current political and social climate following the 2016 Presidential election, hate-based attacks are far more frequent and violent.

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Manzanar Committee Statement On 2016 Presidential Election and its Aftermath

LOS ANGELES — The 2016 Presidential election has unleashed thoughts, feelings and acts that are antithetical to our democracy. Blatant racism and xenophobia are on the rise, including a dramatic increase in anti-Asian racism, and hundreds of hateful incidents, along with unconstitutional calls to ban or deport immigrants and Muslims—all of this grips our country. At the same time, an emboldened alt-right, neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan, among many other hate-based organizations, threaten our society and our democratic traditions.

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The Pain Of Unjust Incarceration Transcends Generations, Ethnicity

UCSD Nikkei Student Union member Rena Ogino (left) and
Susanne Norton La Faver, shown here during the open mic
portion of the 2015 Manzanar At Dusk program.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/Manzanar Committee

by Rena Ogino

The 46th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage on April 25, 2015, was my third Pilgrimage and my first with the UCSD Nikkei Student Union as a second year student. As a shin-Nisei (second generation Japanese American, the children of recent Japanese immigrants), I initially felt like a black sheep amongst Japanese American youth that are mostly Yonsei and Gosei (fourth and fifth generation Japanese Americans, respectively). But at UCSD NSU, I was able to change my perspective on our community, learn to appreciate the differences, and identify with Japanese American youth from a different, unique, and necessary viewpoint.

None of my relatives were sent to the camps in which over 110,000 Japanese Americans and their immigrant parents were unjustly incarcerated during World War II. But I understand the fear of something similar happening again to American citizens who have goals and aspirations they have every right to fulfill. Returning to Manzanar and helping to organize the 2015 Manzanar At Dusk program reminded me of how our community is currently healing and learning from the Japanese American Incarceration. The monument, the terrible weather, and the beautifully daunting Sierra Nevada Mountains have not changed since I last went, but every time I return my experience is different due to my growing involvement with the Japanese American community.

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2012 Day of Remembrance In Los Angeles: 70 Years After E.O. 9066: Defending Our Civil Liberties – February 18, 2012

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

The following is a press release from Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress, the Pacific Southwest District of the Japanese American Citizens League, the Japanese American National Museum, and the Manzanar Committee.


LOS ANGELES — The 2012 Day of Remembrance (DOR), 70 Years After E.O. 9066: Defending Our Civil Liberties, will include a special salute to the late Gordon Hirabayashi, who resisted the U.S. Government’s unfair curfew and forced exclusion of people of Japanese ancestry during World War II, as part of the community program set for Saturday, February 18, at 2:00 PM. at the Japanese American National Museum (JANM). The program, which is organized by Nikkei for Civil Rights & Redress (NCRR), the Pacific Southwest District of the Japanese American Citizens League (PSW-JACL), the Manzanar Committee and JANM, is free, but the Museum is asking attendees to “pay what you can” to help defray logistics costs. Read more of this post