Talk on WWII Japanese American internment camps in Arizona
Many people still come up to me and say that they had no idea that there were two large internment camps in Arizona (at Gila River and Poston) during WWII. These camps in the desert were created as a result of President Franklin Roosevelt signing E.O. 9066 which impacted over 120,000 Japanese Americans, 2/3 of whom were U.S. citizens (like my father, living in Los Angeles). Fortunately my father became a “voluntary evacuee”, as he was not interned, but fled to Chicago, where he attended Loyola University and worked as a postal clerk.
Retired UA East Asian Studies Professor Min Yanagihashi has written a recent paper on this subject, and will give this free talk on April 11 at Himmel Park Library. He is Nisei (2nd generation) from Honolulu, Hawaii. Light Japanese refreshments will be served.
Sponsored by Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition, where Min and I are on the Council. More at www.southernazjapan.org.
I also personally knew Dr. Robert Omata and Larry Iwami, fathers of my friends who were interned at Gila River.
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Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, a life long Democrat, was born & raised in the State of Hawaii, was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye on Capitol Hill, and practiced law for a while. In Tucson she worked as a tribal staff attorney for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and later was the Interim Executive Director of the now defunct Domestic Violence Commission. In 2008 she became a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper, then continued blogging for Tucsoncitizen.com for over four and a half years. Her blogsite was entitled “Carolyn’s Community” about community events and some political news, until Gannett Publishing shut down the site on January 31, 2014. She started with Blog for Arizona on Feb. 11, 2014.
Part time she has been sitting as a Hearing Officer in Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts Small Claims Division since April, 2005. She is married to University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a native of Germany. They have one son, who lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter.
She is also the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition website, www.southernazjapan.org (since Jan. 2013).
If you want to read Dr. Yanagihashi’s article in its entirely, here it is in pdf:
And 2 videotapes of the lecture on April 11, 2018, taken by James Tokishi (freelance volunteer for SAJCC), here are the 2 links to part 1 and 2:
Part 1 (welcome): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mY10aCTpTyY
Part 2 (Q and A): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxtfUCdCkG4
Over 40 people at this talk tonight including seven from our SAJCC Council, some of those who were interned or families of those interned, to hear about the Poston and Gila River camps. Dr. Yanagihashi also spoke of the Honouliuli camp on Oahu and the Gordon Hirabayashi prison camp up on the road to Mt. Lemmon (milepost 7). Interesting questions from the audience about life in those desolate camps, but the internees made do with what they had and improved on it. Our SAJCC volunteer James Tokishi did videotape this talk, so we will post it later on our website, along with a pdf of Min’s paper.
There are people who would like to see this shameful chapter in America’s history recreated.
“Mark Krikorian, the executive director of the immigration restrictionist group Center for Immigration studies, suggested in multiple media appearances last week that President Trump should erect tent cities to house the Central Americans currently traveling in a caravan through Mexico in the hopes of seeking refuge in Mexico or the U.S.
Krikorian made the suggestion in an interview on “Hannity” last Monday and elaborated the next morning in an interview with the Washington, D.C., radio station WMAL.
“This is an opportunity for the president to try to communicate that this is not something we’re going to tolerate,” Krikorian said. “So one thing he might be able to do is set up tent cities where these people, if they come across, they’re detained immediately so they never get more than a mile from the border.””
FYI – Mark Krikorian claims to be a Christian.
Hopefully our US Government does not repeat what happened to our Japanese American community during WWII. This talk is tonight, where I will be doing the welcome for SAJCC and introducing the Min. There will be time for questions/answers after his talk.