In memoriam: Noboru Taguma

I’m very saddened to learn of the passing last week of Noboru “Elmer” Taguma of the Sacramento area. Noboru was one of the early resisters from the American concentration camp at Amache, Colorado, aka the Grenada Relocation Center. He’s also the father of Nichi Bei Weekly editor Kenji Taguma, to whom we send our deepest condolences.

Noboru was a great guy, quick to laugh and always with a sly smile on his face. He provides an impish comment that caps one of the bonus features on our forthcoming DVD. I don’t want to spoil the moment, you will soon be able to see for youself.

Kenji posted more details about his father, along with the photo of him that appears near the end of our film:

TAGUMA, NOBORU, 87, passed away peacefully at his home in West Sacramento, Calif. on March 11, 2011. A native of Broderick, Calif. who was born on April 3, 1923, he retired in the early 1990s after farming tomatoes for 45 years, mostly for Campbell’s Soup, around Clarksburg, Yolo County, Calif.

During World War II, he was one of only 300 young Nisei to resist a military draft imposed behind barbed wire, based upon constitutional principle. He stated he would gladly fight for his country if his family was released from the wartime concentration camps and his citizenship rights were restored. Once shunned by so-called “community leaders,” the resisters today are heralded for the civil rights stand they took….

He is survived by his beloved wife of nearly 53 years, Sakaye (Yoshizawa) Taguma; daughter Masako Carol Yasue of Nagoya, Japan; son Makoto Mark (Alice) Taguma of Mountain View, Calif.; daughters Mariko Sharon (Benjamin Kam) Taguma of Union City, Calif. and Machiko Gail (Andy) Irie of Torrance, Calif.; and son Kenji Glenn Taguma of San Francisco. …

Final Viewing will be held on Thursday, April 7, 6 to 8 p.m., at Sacramento Memorial Lawn, 6100 Stockton Blvd. in Sacramento.

A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, April 9, 1:30 p.m., at Sacramento Memorial Lawn, with burial to immediately follow. Reception afterwards at the Tenrikyo Sacramento Church, 6361 25th Street (at 47th Avenue) in Sacramento.

In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory can be made to the Nichi Bei Foundation, P.O. Box 15693, San Francisco, CA 94115.

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