Alan Nishio: More Than 40 Years of Activism, Leadership and Mentorship

The following is an expanded version of a story about 2017 Sue Kunitomi Embrey Legacy Award recipient Alan Nishio that will appear in the printed program for the 48th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, April 29, 2017.


Alan Nishio
(click above to view larger image)
Photo courtesy Alan Nishio

LOS ANGELES — When one thinks of the most effective activists within the Japanese American community, of its best leaders and its top mentors, Alan Nishio has to be among the names atop the list.

For his more than 40 years of service to the community, Nishio has been named as the recipient of the Manzanar Committee’s 2017 Sue Kunitomi Embrey Legacy Award.

The award, named after the late chair of the Manzanar Committee who was one of the founders of the annual Manzanar Pilgrimage and was the driving force behind the creation of the Manzanar National Historic Site, will be presented at the 48th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage on Saturday, April 29, 2017, at the Manzanar National Historic Site.

Before his family settled in the Venice/Mar Vista area of Los Angeles, Nishio, 71, was born on August 9, 1945, at the Manzanar concentration camp, one of the 11,070 Japanese and Japanese Americans who were unjustly incarcerated there during World War II—more than 110,000 were incarcerated in ten American concentration camps and other confinement sites, usually for more than three years.

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Rev. Paul Nakamura: “A Ministry Bound With The Quest For Justice And Civil Rights For All” – Part 2

The following is the final installment of a two-part series on Reverend Paul Nakamura, who will be the 2015 recipient of the Sue Kunitomi Embrey Legacy Award. An abbreviated version of this story appears in the printed program for the 46th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, scheduled for April 25, 2015. Be sure to read the first installment, Rev. Paul Nakamura: A Ministry Bound With The Quest For Justice And Civil Rights For All – Part 1.


Rev. Paul T. Nakamura (left), shown here during the interfaith service at the Manzanar cemetery during the
34th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, April 24, 2004.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Tom Walker/Manzanar Committee

LOS ANGELES — Reverend Takeichi “Paul” Nakamura, 88, pastor of Lutheran Oriental Church in Torrance, California, who has been an integral part of the Manzanar Committee since its earliest years, has blended activism and faith in ways that few religious leaders have done before.

Rev. Paul, as he is known to his parishioners and so many others, will be honored by the Manzanar Committee at the 46th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage on April 25, 2015, as the recipient of the 2015 Sue Kunitomi Embrey Legacy Award, 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.

As much as Rev. Paul has done with the Manzanar Committee, his activism and contributions to the community, as noted in the first installment of this series, extends far beyond the boundaries of the Manzanar cemetery, where the interfaith service is held during each Pilgrimage, or the pulpit of his Torrance church.

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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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Film Excerpts To Be Screened in Little Tokyo To Commemorate 25th Anniversary of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988

The following is from Nikkei for Civil Rights & Redress. The Manzanar Committee is a co-sponsor of this event.


Assistant Attorney General James Turner presents two Issei women
a Presidential apology and reparations of $20,000 for their wartime
incarceration. Photo taken at the Little Tokyo Towers in Los Angeles, 1990.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Janice Iwanaga Yen/NCRR

LOS ANGELES — To celebrate the landmark passage of the Civil Liberties Act by the United States Congress in 1988, Nikkei for Civil Rights & Redress (NCRR), along with community co-sponsors, invites the public to a free viewing of excerpts from six films on August 10, 2013. These films recall the profound impact that racism, incarceration, displacement and disruption had on Japanese Americans during World War II and the work that still needs to be done today.

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