In memoriam: Mits Koshiyama

Very sad news. Just picked up a phone message from Mits Koshiyama’s wife, saying that Mits passed away yesterday. Will pass along more details after I talk to her. What’s saddening for me at this moment is that I’ve been living with Mits’ voice and his joy for life in my head for the past several months while editing his outtakes from the film for the bonus features for the forthcoming DVD. I’m grateful we were able to capture and preserve his stories of being a young kid going to trial and getting short haircuts on the advice of their attorney to confuse the court. More later.

As always Kenji Taguma of the Nichi Bei Times is the first with the details. Mits passed at 4:00 p.m. on Friday. He’d been in and out of the hospital. Memorial service is Saturday, Feb. 14, 1:00 p.m., at the Wesley United Methodist Church in San Jose’s Japantown.

To learn more about Mits, read his biography. In his memory tonight I’m posting the column he wrote in 1989 for Ram Pages, the student newspaper at Willow Glen High School where he once worked as a landscape gardener, the article that got him speaking out and telling his story in public after decades of no one wanting to hear about Nisei resistance in WW2. Here is “Is the Constitution Just a Piece of Paper?” – Part one and part two with overlap. Put the two parts together to form one long column.

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