All posts by Frank Abe

Producer/director of CONSCIENCE AND THE CONSTITUTION, now available as a Two-Disc Collector's Edition DVD with two hours of new bonus features on the largest organized resistance to the WW2 incarceration of Japanese Americans.

Five scripts for staged readings from Frank Chin

Writer and scholar Frank Chin is offering you, as readers of this site, a series of scripts that boldly bring to life issues of Japanese American art and literature, all tied tightly around the questions of loyalty, betrayal and resistance in WW2.

Frank says the scripts can be read or performed in class, and used in conjunction with his recent compilation of oral history, research and original insight, Born in the USA. You can download them here as Adobe Acrobat files [requires free Adobe Reader] and print them out just as they came out of his Powerbook.

The first script serves as an introduction to the series. They are framed as proposals for a conference at the Japanese American National Museum. He suggests using actors for the readings.

[update July 2012: Keep in mind these are imaginative works based on facts, and as I pointed out in my review of Frank’s book, be sure you know which part is fact and which part springs from his imagination. While some sections quote actual documents, articles, and interviews, other selections may not be actual interviews. I just had to warn one writer not to quote from the Chiye Mori monologue as if they were her words from an actual interview; it is not.]

Chin is also drumming up support for publication and distribution of a resisters newsletter. He points out that 2004 is the 60th anniversary of the institution of Selective Service for the Nisei inside the camps, the rise of draft resistance inside 8 of the ten camps, the formation of the Heart Mountain Fair Play Committee, and their arrests, trials, convictions, and the start of their prison terms.

As he puts it, “The object is to prod Japanese America into taking over their history, art, and Japanese American criticism.”

Resisters panel at Organization of American Historians conference

Resisters panel at OAH conference
(left to right) Dean Hashimoto, Cherstin Lyon, Frank Emi, Frank Chin, and Art Hansen at Boston Public Library

About 40 people turned out on March 27 at the Boston Public Library for what sounds like a spirited panel on the resisters, as part of the Organization of American Historians annual conference.

Frank Emi speaking
Frank Emi speaking at Boston Public Library

Click on the images to see enlarged views of the panel and of Frank Emi speaking. Frank Emi’s daughter, Kathleen, provided the photos.

Read the full workshop description or download a printable press release. Thanks to Cherstin Lyon from the University of Arizona for distributing our posters and fliers there and for sending this update:

Frank Chin delivered an animated presentation about the literature and cultural treatment of Japanese in the white press, novels and music before the war setting up pre-war racism. He discussed the early rifts between people like Mike Masaoka and James Omura over how AJAs should respond to the war and proposals for evacuation and internment.

Frank Emi delivered his own personal take on the costs (both economic and personal) of evacuation, and the events and circumstances that led him to resist the draft. He ended with his experiences in prison, mentioned others he met in prison and ended with a bit on the JACL apology, reiterating that the JACL should issue an apology to all AJAs for their role in the entire evacuation process. If the United States government could do it, why not them?

I introduced the lesser known resisters, those who resisted as individuals and posed the question — why both during the war and after did some criticize those who resisted as individuals of just dodging the draft? For wasting their time? For committing acts of lawlessness that would have no great effect at all? I compared the full range of resistance to the abolitionists before the Civil War and related the actions of all who resisted internment — no-no boys, strikers, petitioners, resisters — to the “revolutionary tradition” in America. I ended with stories about the Hopi draft resisters those Nisei resisters from Topaz and Amache and even Gordon Hirabayashi himself met in prison and explained how the Hopis welcomed the resisters into their “family” symbolically with a hair-washing ceremony.

Dean Hashimoto ended with his own personal understanding of internment as a child of a Nisei who had been interned at Amache. A Sansei himself, Hashimoto learned in school that internment was justified and just, which both disturbed and puzzled him. He worked as a law student on the Korematsu case in the 1980s and explained that despite the ruling of a lower court, the Korematsu case is still technically “good” law. He urged the audience that we should never forget that it is like a loaded weapon waiting to be used and related the importance of remembering internment and continuing the conversation to the current political situation with enemy combatants, the USA Patriot Act and the continued survival of Korematsu.

The discussion that followed was engaging and at times heated. Some high school teachers mentioned the importance of teaching the story to their students, a former internee expressed his reluctance about the tone of the panel that seemed to demonize the JACL and suggested that we all be forgiving of wartime misjudgments (this received some fairly heated responses from Chin). One audience member insisted that there were no concentration camps, only benign ” relocation centers” which turned into a shouting match which Art Hansen quickly brought back under control and redirected the conversation. And one student, who was quite taken by the story of the Hopi resisters’ alliance with the Nisei resisters wanted to know on a more personal level how much fluidity there was between those who resisted and those who served in the military which opened up interesting responses and stories where individual families were divided over their decisions and responses to the draft.

Over all, the session was quite productive and the audience stayed a full extra half hour to discuss the issues and finally had to be kicked out of the library as it had already closed.

In memoriam: Fred Hirasuna

Fred Hirasuna appears in our documentary near the end, standing at the Central California District JACL meeting speaking against any apology to the Heart Mountain resisters. Despite our differences, he graciously invited us to his home in Fresno in 1998 where he told us about his attending the very first JACL convention in 1930. We first heard last week from Martha Nakagawa:

I was just informed that Fred Hirasuna passed away last week. Fred was probably the oldest JACL member (he was in his 90s) and was staunchly against national JACL issuing an apology to the Nisei draft resisters. His feeling was that in times of war it was okay for the U.S. government to ignore constitutional rights. I think now Clarence Nishizu may be the oldest JACL member.

The Frank Chin road show evidently continues with word of another panel on the resisters now scheduled for the Boston Public Library on March 27 at the Organization of American Historians annual conference. Read the full workshop description or download a printable press release. Cherstin Lyon from the University of Arizona writes:

The Organization of American Historians has invited Frank Emi, Frank Chin, Art Hansen, Martha Minow and myself to present a roundtable discussion on the Nisei draft resisters and both the limits and possibilities of recent JACL reconciliation attempts.

Art Hansen will preside, and guide the discussion following the presentations. Frank Emi will begin with his perspective on the resistance and constitutional matters during the war as well as some of his thoughts on the limits of reconciliation. I will speak on resistance that took place in other camps, like that of the Tucsonians from Topaz and Amache, and the community of resisters that they formed by holding reunions and developing life long friendships with each other after the war. I will also comment on some of the other wartime prisoners that the Tucsonians met while in prison who had been convicted of other forms of civil disobedience, like Hopi conscientious objectors and Gordon Hirabayashi, whose case against evacuation and curfew went before the Supreme Court.

Frank Chin will be presenting work from his new book, Born in the U.S.A., as well as his thoughts on the roots of the conflict between “Americanized” JACLers and those who developed a strong, complex Nisei identity before the war, many of whom became resisters in one form or another during the war. Martha Minow will comment based on her extensive research on the Holocaust and reconciliation attempts that followed WWII. Minow is an extremely prolific author on the law and social justice, and is Professor of Law at Harvard University. A formal invitation has been extended to Floyd Mori, president of the JACL, to attend the roundtable and respond from the JACL point of view.

Frank Emi receives the key to the city

Frank Emi receives key to the city of Long Beach
Frank Emi with Long Beach Vice-Mayor Frank Colonna

Congratulations to Alan Nishio of the National Conference for Community and Justice, formerly known as the National Conference of Christians and Jews, for arranging for Heart Mountain resistance leader Frank Emi to literally receive the “key to the city” at the Day of Remembrance ceremony in Long Beach.

Read the story, “Former Internee Tells Story of Resistance,” from the Long-Beach Press Telegram, and more details in the news release from the NCCJ.

I was surprised but pleased to hear that clips from our documentary were shown at the event. Thanks to Annette Kashiwa and Martha Nakagawa for providing the photos. Click on the photo for an enlarged view.

Thanks also to Alan for providing  this other online interview with Frank Emi from the War Times, which uses photos and a story from this site.

Day of Remembrance 2004 screenings

Screenings are set this Tuesday, Feb. 3, at the Rockridge Branch Library in Oakland and around Feb. 14 in New York City for their Day of Remembrance ceremony. The Oakland screening is sponsored by the “Not In Our Name” anti-military campaign and accompanied with a group discussion.

Mr. and Mrs. Mits KoshiyamaI want to thank resister Mits Koshiyama and his wife (right) for coming to the funeral of my sister Patricia on Jan. 25 at the Berkeley Buddhist Temple. Pat passed away on Jan. 18 after a lengthy illness. Mits drove up from San Jose to offer comfort, and his presence meant so much to me.

John Streamas writes from Bowling Green that a memorial service has been set for Nisei poet Toyo Suyemoto, “on the early afternoon of Saturday, March 6, probably on the campus of the Ohio State University.”

Details are now online for the Feb. 20-21 symposium hosted by the University of Oregon’s Center for Critical Theory and Transnational Studies. The panel, “Japanese-American Internment and Its Contemporary Implications,” features an opening talk by writer Frank Chin and a panel on camp experiences with Chin, Heart Mountain Fair Play Committee leader Frank Emi, Jim Hirabayashi, younger brother of curfew violator and draft resister Gordon Hirabayashi, Ashland poet Lawson Inada, and Peggy Nagae. Chin writes that he will “be making presentations on the JACL betrayal of civil rights and the resisters who went to court in defense of civil rights.” His newest book, Born in the USA, draws from interviews conducted for Conscience and the Constitution and his other years of extensive research. The book is not carried in bookstores but you can order it online from Amazon.com by using this link. Our review of the book is scheduled for publication in the fall issue of Amerasia Journal. Incidentally, Frank’s landmark play Year of the Dragon has just been issued on DVD; the best price I’ve seen is online is nearly half off list price by using this link to Deep Discount DVD.

In memoriam: Brooks Iwakiri and Toyo Suyemoto

We start the new year by catching up to the passing of one of the earliest supporters of this project.

Brooks Iwakiri passed away on Nov. 6 in the Burbank area at the age of 82. Brooks was among the first private donors to support the initial production of our film. It was his support that, among other things, allowed us to travel to Los Angeles and film a marathon interview session with the Heart Mountain resisters and James Omura. That session in the dance studio of Jeanne Nakano and Dick Obayashi in 1994, in between stops for the planes flying overhead, provided most of the sound cuts that appear in the finished piece. In the case of Omura, Art Emi and Dave Kawamoto, those interviews came just in time.

Brooks believed in us and in the cause of restoring the good name of the Heart Mountain Fair Play Committee. Many of the resisters attended Brooks’ funeral on Nov. 15 at Fukui Mortuary. It’s his name and that of his wife Sumi that appear in the underwriting credits at the top of our show. Brooks always enjoyed a good laugh and we were lucky to keep in touch with him over the years. Our condolences to Sumi, his son Vince, and the rest of his family. He will be missed.

Another passage to report, that of Nisei poet Toyo Suyemoto. John Streamas writes from Bowling Green State University in Ohio:

I have some sad news to pass along. I have received word from friends in Columbus that my dear friend Toyo Suyemoto has died. I don’t know many details, but I know that her health has been failing for years due to a variety of ailments. Last summer when my wife Val and I visited her, she told us that her weight had declined to 80 pounds and her height had shrunk to 4’6″. But still she was sharp and lucid as ever. On January 14 she would have turned 88 years old.

I spoke with her on the phone just last Wednesday.

I know that Lawson Inada and Frank Chin tried for years to persuade her to send them a manuscript of her poems, so that they might get them published as a book. She never managed to do this, and so she never published a book in her lifetime. People will have to take Lawson Inada’s word in the 1995 article in The Nation that Toyo is Japanese America’s poet laureate. Three or four years ago Lawson Inada spent several days in Ohio, visiting with Toyo and interviewing her. I know that Toyo felt affection and respect for them.

Even in her old age, Toyo was a feisty and strong-willed person. When I told her a few years ago that I had been approached by the Dayton chapter of JACL, she went into her anti-JACL lecture mode, denouncing the organization’s wartime politics and swearing she would never join. She saw your film and admired it very much. She also had a great sense of humor and managed to make many artist-friends, including Val.

I wish you could have met her. She was a remarkable person. Val and I will miss her very much.

— John

News updates in 2003

An archive of news updates from our home page in 2003:

Update: Saturday, Jan. 11, 2003
A memorial service will be held later today in Riverside, California for Grant Emi, the son of Heart Mountain Fair Play Committee leader Frank Emi. Grant passed away on Jan. 4th after a battle with stomach cancer.

The photo at right shows Frank with Grant as a baby in camp, just as Frank was learning about the Constitution and Bill of Rights from Kiyoshi Okamoto and helping him develop a group to provide information to the young men who were receiving draft notices inside an American concentration camp. Emi was arrested and tried for conspiracy to counsel draft evasion.

Grant grew up to have four children of his own. He took part in our second ceremonial homecoming for the resisters in 1993, at the Centenary United Methodist Church in L.A.’s Little Tokyo. It was called “The Return of the Fair Play Committee,” and in it Grant was able to honor his father’s wartime stand by re-enacting Frank Emi’s interrogation by Heart Mountain project director Guy Robertson and project attorney Donald Horn.

By phone, Frank says he’s feeling very sad, and our thoughts are with him and his family. Due to the service, Frank will not be attending today’s party for two books on the Heart Mountain resisters at Reikai’s Kitchen, in Little Tokyo Towers. Due to the service, Frank will not be attending today’s booksigning for two books on the Heart Mountain resisters at Reikai’s Kitchen, in Little Tokyo Towers. This is something William Hohri organized after getting turned down by two other Little Tokyo institutions that were reluctant, he says, because the topic of the two books is “controversial.” Read William’s article.

Update: Monday, February 10, 2003

“A scary time for civil liberties.” That’s the headline in today’s Seattle newspapers following yesterday’s Day of Remembrance event, “Civil Liberties Denied: After December 7 and September 11,” sponsored by the Densho Project at Seattle Town Hall. It featured civil rights attorney Dale Minami and a raw personal testimony from a 21-year old Syrian student who told an eerily familiar story of FBI agents bursting into her home to arrest her and her family following September 11th.  Read all about it in today’s Seattle P-I and Seattle Times. In about a week I hope to be able to link to a RealMedia streaming video of the entire event, as presented by King County government access cable TV station that I now manage. As the nation prepares for war, this event as have many others show the parallels between the Japanese American incarceration and Homeland Security today.
KEN LAMBERT / THE SEATTLE TIMES
Nadin Hamoui, 21, a Syrian student, breaks down yesterday while describing how she and her parents were detained after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. She spoke at a program on civil liberties sponsored by Densho: The Japanese American Legacy Project.

“Conscience and the Constitution” will screen at another Day of Remembrance observance in New York City on Saturday, March 8, at the Japanese American Association of New York. The screening is being organized by Tsuya Yee, granddaughter of none other than writer/historian William Hohri.

On a lighter note, the film will also be seen at the Spaghetti Junction Urban Film Festival in Atlanta sometime between Feb. 26 and March 1. Festival organizers have chosen to screen “Conscience” as part of a tribute to our celebrated film editor, Lillian Benson, A.C.E., the first African-American woman inducted into the prestigious American Cinema Editors guild. It’s a well-deserved honor and our congratulations to Lillian, who found the emotional core in the reels of video we brought to her, and took what was essentially a book and turned it into a visual experience.

Update: Monday, March 3, 2003

You can now watch a 1-hour, 11-minute RealMedia streaming video of “Civil Liberties Denied: After December 7 and September 11,”, sponsored by the Densho Project at Seattle Town Hall [free RealOne Playerrequired]. See the entire event [71 minutes,free RealOne Playerrequired], or jump directly to Nadin Hamoui’s story

Update: Monday, March 10, 2003
Memorial services are being held later today for Joe Norikane, a good and funny man who resisted the draft from the Amache, Colorado concentration camp and was imprisoned with 44 other Nisei resisters at a federal labor camp northeast of Tucson, Arizona. Friends remember him as a man who spoke from the heart with a great sense of conviction and humor. He came to the Heart Mountain resisters homecoming in Los Angeles in 1993 and handed me an envelope of photos. I took one look and realized they were the only known photos of Fair Play Committee founder Kiyoshi Okamoto, taken just after the war while he, Joe, and the Kubota’s were living at a Wyoming boarding after the war, just after their release from prison. They were the photos we used in the film. The memorial service will be held Monday, March 10, at 2 p.m. at Walnut Grove Buddhist Church, 1405 Pine St. Inurnment will be at Sacramento Memorial Lawn. Thanks to Martha Nakagawa for the photo and Kenji and J.K. for the details.

Japanese American journalists J.K. Yamamoto and Kenji Taguma (left to right) lit some candles at the recent Day of Remembrance ceremony in San Francisco. The Associated Press circulated the photo to the left nationwide. Kenji dedicated his candlelighting to the memory of Nisei journalist James Omura, the number one enemy of the JACL in wartime and the only Nisei journalist to editorialize in support of resisters like Joe.

“Conscience and the Constitution” has just been booked in Honolulu for several showings at the Restaurant Row 9 Theaters art house as part of a series held in connection with a University of Hawaii conference commemorating the 442nd RCT and 100th Battalion from Hawaii, and civil liberties before and after the war.

Update: Wednesday, March 12, 2003
Sounds like the Day of Remembrance observance in New York City last weekend was a great success. Thanks to them for screening our film:

“Thanks for all your help and advertising of our event … Everyone was really moved by the film and the subject matter. Many sansei too were moved (and yonsei like me too). After the film, we had planned on just going right into our potluck and social time, but people really wanted to talk about the film, so we had a group discussion for awhile. It was great!”
— Tsuya Yee (the organizer)

“The DOR event was wonderful thanks to your film. Even old timers were moved by it. There were around 60 people…maybe more and they all wanted more information about it.”
— Julie Izuma (co-chair)

“It was a hit. I was very moved by the stories of the men and their families, both struggling against our government, then the struggle within the community. It’s a great history lesson to show how people fought in other types of battlefields.”
— Stan Honda

Update: Sunday, March 16, 2003
Our posting of the obit for Amache resister Joe Norikane drew the attention of the Contra Costa Times in the San Francisco East Bay Area, which phoned us for a quote which you can read online, “WWII resister humble but strong-willed,” and reprinted the photo below which was taken by Martha Nakagawa.

Update: Friday, April 4, 2003
At the University of Hawaii they’re gathering this weekend for a conference commemorating the 442nd RCT and 100th Battalion from Hawaii, and civil liberties before and after the war. “Conscience” will screen on the dates below at the Restaurant Row 9 Theaters art house as part of a series held in connection the conference. The program is called “On the Home Front” and also on the bill are Bob Nakamura’s “Toyo Miyatake:Infinite Shades of Gray,” and John Esaki’s “Words Weavings & Songs.”

Friday & Saturday, April 4 & 5 at 1:30 p.m.
Monday, April 7 at 7 p.m.
Sunday & Tuesday, April 6 & 8 at 4:30 p.m.
Restaurant Row 9 Theaters
500 Ala Moana Boulevard

Update: Tuesday, April 22, 2003
Well, the war has come and apparently the war has gone and the feared mass backlash against Americans of Mideast descent did not materialize. Does that make our obligatory role as watchdogs of civil liberties any less vital? That’s one of the topics I hope to address in the keynote address next week at the White River Valley JACL scholarship banquet. Just two months ago, following the Feb. 9 Day of Remembrance event in Seattle, you’ll remember the headlines here were “A scary time for civil liberties.” You can watch a RealMedia streaming video of that event, “Civil Liberties Denied: After December 7 and September 11,” sponsored by the Densho Project at Seattle Town Hall [free RealOne Player required], as presented by the King County government cable TV station I now manage.

Update: Monday, June 2, 2003
Answered a few questions for some students in this year’s National History Day competition, and this one came last week from a 10th grader in Pennsylvania.

Dear Mr. Abe,
In your opinion, do you think what happened to the Japanese Americans (internment) can happen today?

Thanks, Julie

To help answer that, I suggested she take a look at my keynote address to the White River Valley JACL banquet held April 30th.

Coming up on June 23 and 24 we will be conducting fourworkshops for instructors in the Prince William County Public Schools in Manassas, Virginia. We will be showing clips from “Conscience…” and leading discussions around the question, “Who writes history?”

Earlier this year we noted the passing of Amache resister Joe Norikane. The family sent along some very nice notes that offer more insight into the character of a good man:

Thank you for your touching tribute to my father. I do not think that he liked all of the attention, but he thoroughly enjoyed talking with people who were interested in the story of the Resisters. Thanks again for remembering him.

Sincerely, Joey Norikane

Thank you very much for having Joe’s obituary and also acknowledging that  he gave you the picture of Mr. Okamoto for your very informative and educational documentary, Conscience and the  Constitution. I really felt warm inside to see  him included in the resisters.com. Ditto for our children. Many people didn’t know he was one of the resisters. I didn’t know  until about 15 years after we were married. When he did tell me I told him I’m glad he protested the draft  because I too believed it was unconstitutional….We miss him every day.

Sincerely, Mrs. Norikane

Update: Wednesday, July 23, 2003
Another summer teachers workshop coming up, this one at Seattle Universityorganized by multicultural leader Mako Nakagawa, with the theme, “Democracy in America: Then and Now.”

Update: Thursday, September 4, 2003
Writer Frank Chin has finally obtained a host for a meeting in his effort to find an audience for his recent book, “Born in the U.S.A.” The date is February 20, 2004, at the University of Oregon at Eugene. Taking part will be Chin, Heart Mountain Fair Play Committee leader Frank Emi, Jim Hirabayashi, younger brother of curfew violator and draft resister Gordon Hirabayashi, and Ashland poet Lawson Inada. Chin writes, “We will be making presentations on the JACL betrayal of civil rights and the resisters who went to court in defense of civil rights.”

An informal poll of likely readers of the book, who own the book, has not yet turned up anyone who has actually read it. Stores also don’t stock the book, so the best way to find out for yourself what’s in it is to order it online through Amazon.com. The book draws from interviews conducted for Conscience and the Constitution and his other years of extensive research. If you’ve read it and have some reactions, by all means please email us.

News updates in 2002

An archive of news updates from our home page in 2002:

Update: Monday, January 2, 2002
Happy New Year. 
The issue of racial profiling is still with us: see yet another quote from me in a recent Sacramento Bee story, “Reality meets rhetoric over race profiling.”

Update: Tuesday, January 22, 2002
Organizers of the JACL public ceremony to present its formal apology for suppressing wartime resistance are still trying to nail down a date and the money to stage it. The latest date mentioned is April 28th but that evidently conflicts with the annual Manzanar Pilgrimage. Read an earlier message from ceremony co-chair Andy Noguchi; Resisters.com is supporting the event at the Silver level.  A number of veterans groups have lined up to attack JACL.  Japanese America remains an interesting place to live.

Our public television presenter, the Independent Television Service, has just revamped its Web site and given us a clean-looking page for our show.  There is now also a link to the PBS.org TALKBACK page where you can leave a comment about our show or ask a question of producer Frank Abe or resisters Yosh Kuromiya and Tak Hoshizaki.  And see a video preview of our program.  I hope to get more resources online soon in response to the many students who have posted questions recently. We do have two short video clips from our film now online in our STUDY CENTER.

ITVS has also just commissioned producer Rob Mikuriya to create by July an interactive Web project that connects the experiences of Japanese Americans in the early 1940s with those of Arab Americans today through a series of personal stories told through audio, photos and Flash animation.  Read the press release.

Update: Thursday, February 7, 2002
Big headline in the Pacific Citizen just received: “JACL Postpones Resisters Ceremony: May is Possible New Date for Event.”  They’re looking for a room, a speaker, and a budget. Read the story.  Also, read the letter and formal resolutionfrom last summer from the Japanese American veterans in Sacramento attacking JACL for its apology ceremony. Someday we’ll have to discuss the logic of their argument.

Students at the University of Illinois in Chicago promise “refreshments and education will be served” at a Feb. 18th Day of Remembrance screening of our film in the Montgomery Ward Gallery.  The JACL has collected a list of Day of Remembrance events nationwide on their site.  I will be present at two other upcoming screenings of our film at the San Diego Public Library on March 3rd, and the Bellevue Art Museum, east of Seattle, on March 14th.

Update: Wednesday, February 13, 2002
In the Seattle area, please tune in this Friday for a half-hour “Day of Remembrance” interview on KBCS-FM:

Friday, Feb. 15, 6:30 p.m. – 7 p.m. on Voices of Diversity, on KBCS-FM, 91.3:
Voices of Diversity has dedicated our entire show to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Executive Order 9066 which unjustly forced thousands of Japanese Americans into internment camps during World War II in 1942. Local director and filmmaker Frank Abe is interviewed about his documentary “Conscience and the Constitution,” which looks at this distrubing episode in American history. Abe’s “Conscience and the Constitution” will screen on March 14 at the Bellevue Art Museum. Voices of Diversity is hosted by Kevin P. Henry.

Update: Friday, February 22, 2002
Launched on Tuesday just in time for this year’s Day of Remembrance is a new online resource for students and teachers, the Densho Educational Website.  Bookmarkwww.densho.org for a digital archive that holds a little more than 110 interviews (over 200 hours of recorded video) and 980 historic photos and documents. Think of it as the Japanese American equivalent of Steven Spielberg’s  Survivors of the Shoah Visual History project.  This launch represents six years of work by Director Tom Ikeda and his talented staff.  I am proud to have made one tiny contribution with the interview of Issei Seattle redress pioneer Shosuke Sasaki.  Congratulations Tom and crew.

The Pacific Citizen now reports a confirmed date for the JACL “Resisters of Conscience” ceremony: Saturday, May 11th, at around 1:30 p.m, at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center.  Keynote speaker is Congressman Mike Honda, and they hope to at least get a video message from Sen. Daniel Inouye, who has spoken on his desire to see respect for those who resisted the draft to protest incarceration.  I am planning to be there.  Read the previous Pacific Citizen story on the various postponements of this program.  If you can support this program with a donation, organizers Andy Noguchi and Patty Wada would be grateful.  Also, read the letter and formal resolution from last summer from the Japanese American veterans in Sacramento attacking JACL for its apology ceremony.

But before that, look for our film at the San Diego Public Library on March 3rd, and theBellevue Art Museum near Seattle on March 14th. Download the San Diego flyer [318K .pdf]outlining a series of internment related programs from now through April. Also, thanks to LeeAnn Kim at San Diego AAJA for posting a notice right on top of the San Diego Asian Film Festival website.

Update: Wednesday, April 17, 2002
Please join us at Mills College in Oakland on Monday, April 22nd at 7 p.m., in Stern Hall, room 100. I’ll be joined at this screening not only by resister Mits Koshiyama, but also by Amjad Obeidat from American Muslims Intent on Learning and Activism. Sponsored by the Ethnic Studies  Department, the Women’s Studies Program, and the Asian Pacific Islander Sisterhood Alliance of Mills College.

Update: Saturday, April 20, 2002
Just received a letter from Frank Emi, the leader of the Heart Mountain Fair Play Committee, responding to yet another newspaper attack in the weeks leading up to the JACL’s public ceremony apologizing for its suppression of Emi and wartime resistance. Check back in a day or two so I can get it scanned and posted, but right now I’m leaving for Oakland.

Update: Monday, April 29, 2002

Just as he did 58 years ago in camp, Frank Emi has gone back to his typewriter to answer a written attack on him and the Heart Mountain Fair Play Committee. The upcoming JACL public ceremony apologizing for its suppression of wartime resistance is meant to bring some measure of reconciliation and healing of divisions in the Japanese American community, and in the long run it may accomplish that, but in the short term it’s certainly prompted the revival of some old myths and misconceptions about the nature of the resistance. Read Sus Satow’s op-ed pieceas published, uncorrected, in the April 11 Rafu Shimpo newspaper, then read Frank Em’s reply sent the next day to the Rafu and Pacific Citizen.

Meanwhile, only two more weeks until the JACL “Resisters of Conscience” ceremony on Saturday, May 11th, at 1:30 p.m, at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center. Here’s the latest update received April 27th from organizer Andy Noguchi:

Thanks for helping to publicize the Resister Recognition & Reconciliation Ceremony on your web site. Plans are finally shaping up well with support building.

We currently have 13 resisters or family representatives planning to attend, with Frank Emi and Yosh Kuromiya slated to speak on behalf of the resisters. We are hoping to have several other resisters and family members attend, also. We’re also including a family representative speaking, Dan Kubo, son of the late Yoshi Kubo, an Amache Resister. Additionally, we have two individual veterans speaking: Marvin Uratsu of the M.I.S. of N. Calif. and Warren Tsuneishi of the J.A.V.A.

Besides yourself, exhibitors will include Emiko Omori (Rabbit in the Moon), Eric Muller’s representative with his book (Free to Die for Their Country), and a representative of William Hohri (Resistance: Challenging America’s Wartime Internment of Japanese Americans).

The community is being very generous in making donations to carry out this overdue program. The total is currently over $10,000.

Thanks for all your efforts to educate the public on the importance of the resisters. I’ve been mentioning to resisters and their families your plans to attend and have your video there. Several have said it needs to get out to the public even more.

See you May 11th – Andy

Update: Saturday, May 4, 2002
The upcoming JACL public ceremony apologizing for its suppression of wartime resistance is taking on a life of its own. The Associated Press ran the story nationwide yesterday, under the title, “Japanese Group to Give Draft Apology“. Several San Francisco TV stations and print journalists are planning stories. Organizers have issued an updated flyer [Word doc, 392 KB]. And Bay Area PR professional Keith Kamisugi has just put out a JACL press release and created a special event website, “Nisei Resisters of Conscience of World War II Recognition and Reconciliation Ceremony,” at www.resisters.net with details of the program on May 11 and a map. Several students have e-mailed to ask if they needed an invitation to attend. Well, none is required, but resisters.net does have an online e-vite invitation form for you to accept.

Update: Monday, May 6, 2002
The JACL press release was picked up by PoliticalCircus.com – said to be a popular APA political Web site. The Associated Press ran the story nationwide yesterday, under the title, “Japanese Group to Give Draft Apology,” and Aiko Herzig reports a short brief from it ran in the Washington Post.

Update: Tuesday, May 7, 2002
If you can bear to read them, here is a near-complete list of links to recent opinion columns, letters to the editor, claims and counterclaims provoked by the imminentNisei Resisters of Conscience of World War II Recognition and Reconciliation Ceremony this Saturday in San Francisco. For full details and a map to the event, visit the JACL’s Resisters.net site. The articles below appeared in slightly different forms in the Pacific Citizen, Nichi Bei Times, and Rafu Shimpo newspapers. The key article may be the most recent one, provided by scholar Eric Muller.

An Open Letter to the Draft Resisters, Their Supporters and the National JACL Leadership,” by Loren M. Ishii
Pacific Citizen, March 15- April 4, 2002
Nichi Bei Times, March 16, 2002

Regarding the VFW, the JACL and the Draft Resisters,” by Takasumi Kojima
Nichi Bei Times, March 23, 2002

Who Are The Resisters of Conscience?” by Sus Satow
Pacific Citizen, April 5-18, 2002
Rafu Shimpo, April 11, 2002

Reply to Sus Satow,’
by Frank S. Emi, Member, Heart Mountain Fair Play Committee
Nichi Bei Times, April 12, 2002
Pacific Citizen, April 19-May 2, 2002

The JACL Image and the Resisters of Conscience Ceremony,”
by Fred Oshima, Nichi Bei Times Columnist
Nichi Bei Times, April 12, 2002

Donations Show Support for Resisters Ceremony, Organizers Say,” by Tracy Uba, Pacific Citizen Writer/Reporter
Pacific Citizen, April 19-May 2, 2002

Who are the Resisters? An Answer,” by Mits Koshiyama
Letter to the Editor” by Steven J. Doi
Nichi Bei Times, April 30, 2002

The Final Word From a Nisei Post” by Loren M. Ishii
Commander’s Column,” by Loren M. Ishii
Nichi Bei Times, May 1, 2002

To Resist or to Comply: A Human Dilemma,” by Eric L. Muller
special to the Pacific Citizen, May 3-16, 2002
Nichi Bei Times, May 2, 2002

Update: Friday, May 10, 2002, 5 p.m.
KRON-TV, Channel 4 in San Francisco, has put its story on the JACL apology online with a video clip. Read the story here, then follow the link to the video clip. You’ll see video from our film that we furnished them, including a clip from the Central California JACL meeting that rejected the apology in 1999, and reporter Vic Lee consulted our script to make his point about the resisters who served in the Korean War. KGO’s Heather Ishimaru says her story on the resisters is set to air on Channel 7 at about 6:11 p.m. tonight. Thanks Keith for getting our B-roll to them. See you all tomorrow in the City.

I gave an interview that’s now online at the Asian Diversity Web site. And overnight or early Saturday check the Voice of America site for a link to a radio interview with myself, Paul Tsuneishi, and some of the resisters. 

Update: Saturday, May 11, 11 p.m.
Twelve years ago it would have been unthinkable to see the Heart Mountain Fair Play Committee admitted as a group to a JACL meeting, much less be the center of honor and attention, but that’s just what happened earlier today. More than 300 people, many of them family and friends of the Nisei WW2 draft resisters, filled the gym at the San Francisco Japanese American Community and Cultural Center. Come back after 9 a.m. Sunday morning and I hope to have more details on Frank Emi and Yosh Kuromiya’s extraordinary statements.  Come back in about two weeks and I hope to be able to post some streaming video clips shot by filmmaking veteran Curtis Choy.

Update: Sunday, May 12, 9 a.m. (with updated links to news coverage)
Our film ends with the on-screen tag, “In July 2000, the national Japanese American Citizens League voted to apologize for its suppression of wartime resistance. Several JACL old-timers walked out in protest.”  On Saturday, about 300 people, many of them family and friends of the resisters, filled the gym at the San Francisco Japanese American Community and Cultural Center for the Nisei Resisters of Conscience of World War II Recognition and Reconciliation Ceremony. The event was remarkable for a number of reasons:

  • The event captured the imagination of the media locally, nationally, and even worldwide. Effective outreach by Keith Kamisugi and his Resisters.net site caught the attention of editors who framed this as another WW2 “sixty years later” reconciliation story. Japanese NHK-TV was there, as was the Wall Street Journal and many local broadcast and print media.
  • The event succeeded in drawing out 21 draft resisters from Heart Mountain, Amache and even the lone resister from Jerome, Joe Yamakido, who told me he just wanted to see it but didn’t want to be introduced. We got his name to the organizers, and after he came up to receive his ceremonial gift and returned to his seat high in the bleachers, his daughter gave him a big hug and wiped away her own tears. It was also a shock to finally get to meet George Kurasaki, Halley Minoura, Bob Nagahara, and other Heart Mountain resisters who are in the courtroom photo but never wanted to come out in public until now.
  • JACL National President Floyd Mori and Executive Director John Tateishi demonstrated tremendous grace and leadership in following through with a very visible public ceremony. Within the roles they play in the community they took a great risk in fulfilling the membership’s mandate to hold a public ceremony, when they could have just gone through the motions with a few words at the next convention, or at the resisters symposium in Wyoming last spring. Twelve years ago it would have been unthinkable to see the Heart Mountain Fair Play Committee admitted as a group to a JACL meeting, much less be the center of honor and attention. Even when Frank Emi and Mits Koshiyama spoke at the 1994 JACL convention in Salt Lake City, there was an uneasy air about the invitation and a local white scholar was brought in to mediate the proceedings. In the 20th century a convention resolution deemed ill-advised by the Nisei old guard would have simply been redirected or undermined by JACL leadership. By following their own consciences, and the mandate of their members, Mori and Tateishi have elevated the JACL of today to a new level of credibility as the civil rights organization it has strived to be since resettlement.

Resistance leader Frank Emi and draft resister Yosh Kuromiya graciously acknowledged the reconciliation.  But what may have been lost in the good feelings of the moment, which several journalists did not miss, was that Emi and Yosh raised the stakes by calling on JACL to consider apologizing to the entire community for its policy of compliance with expulsion and initial waiver of civil rights for an entire people. Come back by mid-week and I will scan and post Emi’s entire statement, but here is his closing:

“I wish to extend my appreciation to the JACL for sponsoring this ceremony. As a civil rights organization, I believe it is a step in the right direction.

Having said that, I think it would be entirely appropriate for JACL to go one step further and hold a similar program directed towards the Japanese American community for the excesses committed by wartime JACL leaders, such as acting as informants for the government causing many innocent people to suffer, as recorded in the Lim Report.

I believe such action would finally put to rest, JACL’s unholy ghosts of the past and would be a worthy way to start the 21st century.

The United States government apologized for their wartime excesses.  Can JACL do less?”

That was unexpected, but on reflection it is typical Frank Emi. Never afraid to take a stand. It is his image, by the way, at the top of this page. Come back in several weeks and I hope to be up and running with a few streaming video clips shot by filmmaking veteran Curtis Choy.

These links to the news coverage that is available online were updated on May 22:

Update: Tuesday, May 22, 2002
See and hear Sen. Daniel Inouye speak on behalf of reconciliation with the Nisei draft resisters, in exclusive comments to this Web site [4.7 MB] in Seattle on May 5, a week before his videotaped statement with the same message was delivered to the JACL apology ceremony. This video clip was fittingly shot by Phil Sturholm, the videographer on our film. Click on the image to play a RealMedia file, which requires the free RealOne player(Due to our current lack of a RealMedia server, the entire file will download first, so this is not recommended for dial-up users.)

We depend on the Nikkei vernaculars for the real story, and now  Martha Nakagawa of the Pacific Citizen and Kenji Taguma of the Nichi Bei Times have written the most knowledgeable reports yet on the JACL reconciliation ceremony. Read the PC’s “Historic Apology Marks First Step in Reconciliation Between JACL and Resisters of Conscience” and the Nichi Bei’s “Historic JACL Ceremony Recognizing WWII Resisters Called a “First Step” in Reconciliation.” The Associated Press sent award-winning news photographer Paul Sakuma to the ceremony, and you can see four of his photos online.

And now an unusual offer has come our way. In the wake of the JACL reconciliation ceremony, writer Frank Chin is offering visitors to Resisters.com a preview of his forthcoming book on the Heart Mountain resisters and the JACL. It comes with a challenge to Japanese American writers and journalists:

I think you can use your website as a temporary magazine to encourage the emergence of a body of Japanese American critics and historians — to tell things form the Japanese American or Asian American point of view, in plain language

I want to give the flavor of the book. Your readers have the facts. I’m trying to open them up to the art of — for lack of a better phrase — The Great Japanese American Novel. You can use James Omura, the section of talking about the great JA novel with Larry Tajiri, as intro.

We are presenting here an exclusive 48 page excerpt from the 444-page copyrighted book, Born in the USA: A Story of Japanese America 1889-1947, by Frank Chin. It is an epic vision modeled on John Dos Passos’ The USA Trilogy and consists of four “books:” “Japanese America — The Issei,” “The Nisei Dream,” “Dec. 7, 1941/The Closing Papers,” and “Them And Us.” The work is largely drawn from original documentary sources, but the opinions expressed in Mr. Chin’s work are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of this Web site or its owner. The excerpt will only be online for a limited time, to be replaced by other chapters. The link has now been removed.

Update: Friday, June 7, 2002
Just when you thought the dust had settled from the May 11 JACL ceremony to reconcile with its WW2 suppression of camp resistance, we have one more round of letters to the editor in the Pacific Citizen, including a special note from one of the resisters:

Also, Rich Wada tipped us off to one radio piece that is still online, a personal commentary by Kenji Taguma, English editor of the Nichi Bei Times and son of an Amache resister.  He spoke on KQED-FM’s Pacific Time broadcast on May 16.  Scroll down to the fifth story.

Update: Saturday, June 28, 2002
“Conscience” will be screened on July 4th at the 2002 Tule Lake Pilgrimage during the long ride to camp on each of the ten buses departing from Washington, Oregon and California.  Pilgrims will have another chance to view it during “rest” times and optional activities. The theme for this year’s pilgrimage is, appropriately enough, “Patriotism and Loyalty Revisited.” The film is also screening again in Seattle during “Afest: Through the Lens,” the first film festival sponsored by the Northwest Asian American Theater, sometime in July.

Update: Monday, July 29, 2002
Another pair of Seattle screenings is set for early August. “A-Fest: Through the Lens,” is a showcase for local filmmakers, and the first film festival sponsored by the Northwest Asian American Theatre. Screenings are at Theatre Off-Jackson on Sunday, August 4th at 1:30 p.m. and Thursday, August 8th at 7:30 p.m.

Update: Wednesday, August 21, 2002
Interest remains high in the so-called “Lim Report,” the Research Report prepared for the Presidential Select Committee on JACL Resolution #7, submitted in 1990 byDeborah K. Lim. I wrote in 1990 about how the Japanese American Citizens League commissioned the report, then tried to bury it when they saw the direction it was taking (“Report Says Wartime JACL Leaders Collaborated“). Heart Mountain resistance leader Frank Emi called on JACL to address the issues raised in that report, even as JACL was apologizing to Emi and others last May for its suppression of wartime resistance. So in response to several requests, we’ve added a special link to the full text of the unexpurgated report and the introduction written by William Hohri.

Update: Thursday, August 29, 2002
This Web site has been one of the two places on the Internet where you can download an uncensored copy of the so-called “Lim Report,” the Research Report prepared for the Presidential Select Committee on JACL Resolution #7, submitted in 1990 by Deborah K. Lim. Now, with no fanfare, you can obtain in book form, free of charge, the report that details the JACL’s role of cooperation and collaboration with government exclusion orders in 1942. It’s all somewhat mysterious, but the Lim Report has been self-published with the author’s permission. I received my copy Tuesday. No publisher is named anywhere, but thanks to whoever was responsible for alerting readers to the online version here at Resisters.com. William Hohri outlines the history of this book in his latest Rambler’s Nemesis column published yesterday in the Rafu Shimpo newspaper.

Update: Saturday, August 31, 2002
We can finally present you with a 70-secondQuickTime video clip of Heart Mountain resistance leader Frank Emi’s remarks on May 11, 2002, challenging the Japanese American Citizens League to address the question of its wartime collaboration with incarceration, even as the group was apologizing to Emi and others for its suppression of wartime resistance. Click on the image on the right, you will need to download the free Quicktime Player.

In this first clip, Emi makes reference to what’s commonly known as “The Lim Report.”

Update: Monday, Dec. 2, 2002
In his latest Rambler’s Nemesis column in the Nov. 30th Rafu Shimpo newspaper, writer William Hohri reports the social ostracism against the Heart Mountain resisters continues in Southern California and Little Tokyo. It’s the kind of nonsense that makes me glad I live in Seattle. William says he did succeed in organizing a party for two books on the Heart Mountain resisters at Reikai’s Kitchen, in Little Tokyo Towers at 455 E. Third Street, on Saturday, January 11, 2003, 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

See our new page devoted to the story of the JACL apology to the Heart Mountain resisters.

Update: Saturday, Dec. 7, 2002
Thanks for visiting if you saw our ad [pdf: 414 KB] Friday in the Nichibei Times or Rafu Shimpo newspapers. A new shipment of tapes just arrived and we can send them to arrive before Christmas.

Another Pearl Harbor anniversary has also arrived, but it’s no longer the day that Japanese Americans go into hiding thanks to redress and the reversal of lingering stereotypes that began with the first Day of Remembrance. A Day of Remembrance committee in New York City is planning a screening of our film on Saturday, March 8, 2003, organized by Tsuya Yee, who happens to be the granddaughter of none other than writer/historian William Hohri. Details to come.

Just added is a 73-second QuickTime clip of the actual words of apology from National JACL President Floyd Mori. The image is muddy and due to an error in editing there is distracting double audio in places, but it will be awhile before we can recut it.

Update: Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2002
I was wondering what holiday message I could possibly post, when along comes this from writer Frank Chin:

What, the JACL made a statement defending civil rights? (Tateishi: “JACL Calls for Lott Resignation,” December 19, 2002) They’re against the Bush administrations chipping away at the rights of Arab Americans and Islamists? Don’t trust the JACL.

The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) is an organization of hypocrites. On Xmas Eve of 1947 they vilified  263 prisoners of concentration camps who had resisted the draft and the campaign of JACL backing the government camps and racist policies.

In 1942 Mike Masaoka, the JACL leader, announced, “The National JACL stands unalterably opposed to test cases to determine the constitutionality of the military regulations at this time. We have reached this decision unanimously after examining all the facts in light of our national policy of ‘the greatest good for the greatest number.'” [read the full original document online at PBS.org — ed.]  No mention is made of the resisters’ heroic stand against the camps and JACL stand against the resistance and their support of the camps as places where the Japanese Americans could “re-earn their citizenship.” In the words of their leader, Mike Masaoka, “Moreover, no group of Americans ever had their liberties handed to them on a silver platter. They had to work, to sacrifice, to suffer for them. And, because of that work, that sacrifice, that suffering, citizenship means more to them today than ever before.”

Norman Mineta had his brother-in-law’s words emblazoned on the Monument to the Nisei of WWII in Washington. Not those words, but heavily edited words that thank the government for the camps. The JACL has never repudiated Mike Masaoka’s stand against Japanese American civil rights and has never repudiated their stand in favor of the camps and the racist policies against the Japanese Americans. They are obviously the same organization they were in 1942.  They still aspire to lure their people longing to secure their civil rights, into their web, where they will betray them.

The JACL’s objections to the government’s current flirtations with racism is a rip off of the resisters stand during camp, in a bid to prove themselves a civil rights organization. But they were not a civil rights organization, they were a government agent in a civil rights disguise. And they still are.

Of course they can change. Simply admit Mike Masaoka was a government shill and repudiate him. Dump their policies of 1942 to 2002. Change their name.

Merry Xmas. — Frank Chin

To talk back, use our message board on the Internet Movie Database. Want to read more like this? He’s not for everyone, but Chin’s new book on the Heart Mountain resisters and what he likes to call the JACL betrayal of Japanese America has just been published and is now on sale online through Amazon.com. It’s a thick book, 432 pages, and draws from interviews conducted for Conscience and the Constitution and much other work. Send your comments if you’ve read it.

News updates in 2001

An archive of news updates from our home page in 2001:

Update: Thursday, January 4, 2001
Cleveland, Ohio PBS station WVIZ has scheduled us for Thursday, January 18th at 11:00 p.m. WGBH/Boston has scheduled our show to air on Sunday, February 18th on Channel 44, with a preview screening at the station the day before, Feb. 17th from 2 to 4 pm. It includes a discussion sponsored by NewEngland JACL, the Asian American Resource Workshop and WGBH. Thanks to Margie Yamamoto of WGBH.  See the complete broadcast schedule for the station nearest you.  Your local PBS affiliate may be holding it for later broadcast, in which case please contact them to let them know of your interest.  Find your local PBS station here.

Update: Monday, January 22, 2001
We can now share the good news that Heart Mountain resistance leader Frank Emi has finally been released from the hospital after a stay of several weeks due to pains caused by sublexation of his back and neck.

We may not have qualified for the Academy Awards, but our film has just been nominated for the “Oscarz” as Best Feature at the Ohio Independent Film Festival.  Mark Dawidziak at The Cleveland Plain Dealer was nice enough to write a preview for our WVIZ broadcast last week, mentioning this honor and my own Cleveland roots.  Sharon Maeda at the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church just alerted us to a thoughtful review she posted on their Web site last November.  And also catching up to the review that filmmaker Greg Pak posted on his AsianAmericanFilm.com site.

Update: Monday, February 12, 2001
We are now accepting on-line credit card orders for our video through the PayPal system made popular by eBay and other e-commerce sites.

For the Day of Remembrance we will be in the Bay Area for several  events: a screening and talk with the students at my alma mater, the University of California, Santa Cruz, on Tuesday evening, Feb. 20th, at Stevenson Dining Hall.  It’s sponsored by the Japanese American Students Association.  We’ll also be at all three screenings in Sacramento, San Francisco, and Marin of John Korty and Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston’s FAREWELL TO MANZANAR for the 25th anniversary cast and crew reunion. It’s apt in that Jeanne was my housing officer at Cowell College when I was studying theater there, years before her book was published, and it was while researching my “JACL leader” part in that film (mostly by reading Prof. Art Hansen’s great article about the Manzanar Riot in Amerasia Journal, and talking with Edison Uno) that I first learned of the anti-JACL feeling inside camp.

Looking ahead, the Singapore Film Festival has accepted CONSCIENCE AND THE CONSTITUTION for its Fringe Festival, from April 11 to 28.  We’ve also been invited to screen and speak at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon on March 7th and Washington State University in Pullman on April 10th. Also working with the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles for an August 25th screening and panel with the resisters.

Update: Monday, February 26, 2001
The Big Muddy Film Festival in Carbondale, Illinois has selected CONSCIENCE AND THE CONSTITUTION as a candidate for their John Michaels Memorial Award this coming Wednesday, February 28th, at 7:00pm at the Interfaith Center.  The award recognizes films that promote human rights, peace and justice topics or environmental issues.

Update: Monday, March 5, 2001
Thanks for your calls and emails of concern.  This production is based in Seattle and yes we survived Wednesday’s earthquake all right.  As I told the Pacific Citizen and the Nichibei Times, I was on the 8th floor of a new earthquake-safe building so I dove under my desk and as the shaking continued and grew more violent I just prayed the building would hold together.  Our building was designed to flex so it felt like being below decks in a ship tossed at sea, and I momentarily felt seasick.  Then I looked down to the street and saw the bricks fallen away from the Fenix Cafe, where Tom Brokaw would later stand to anchor the news, and for a moment thought it was the Big One. I spent the next 3 days on round the clock public information duty for King County.  We were lucky.

And this just as I had placed our first newspaper ad for our home video in the March 2nd edition of the Pacific Citizen, which you can see here in a 170 KB Acrobat file, again designed by Robert Kato of San Francisco.  Also preparing to screen and speak at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon this Wednesday, at 7:00 p.m  at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art Auditorium.

Update: Tuesday, March 13, 2001
Thanks for the orders coming in from our first newspaper ad for our home video in the March 2nd edition of the Pacific Citizen, which you can see here in a 170 KB Acrobat file, again designed by Robert Kato of San Francisco.

The daughter of Heart Mountain resister Yosh Kuromiya is organizing a screening at Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena.  Miya Kuromiya is planning it for late April or early May. TheSingapore Film Festival has accepted the film for its Fringe Festival, from April 11 to 28.  We’ve also been invited to screen and speak at Washington State University in Pullman on April 10th. Also working with the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles for a tentative October 27th screening and panel with the resisters.

Update: Tuesday, March 20, 2001
It was an audibly despondent ITVS staff member who called to inform us of the passing of former ITVS executive director James T. Yee, at the age of 53, after a long bout with cancer.  This program would never have made it to PBS, and you would not have seen it, without Jim’s belief in this project and his personal support to provide us with finishing funds to hire our film editor and co-producer.  His name does not appear in our broadcast credits because he insisted either all ITVS staff gets named or no one does, including himself.  In his honor we are giving Jim the proper credit as our executive producer on our Emmy Award entry form.  Read the tributes to him, and leave a message of your own on the ITVS Web site.  Our condolences to his family at home and his friends at ITVS and NAATA.

Update: Thursday, March 29, 2001
The Athens International Film & Video Festival is screening us in their upcoming fest April 27 – May 5.  Their theme this year: “Film Is Dead, Long Live Film.”  It’s a project of the College of Fine Arts, at Ohio University, a “week-long celebration of independent, “outsider” cinema, video, and digital/multi-media.”  You can see us listed in the schedule for the Singapore Film Festival in a very international mix of films, our Fringe Festival screening on Sunday, April 8th, at 4:00 p.m. at the Geothe Institute… just in case you’re in the neighborhood.  I can’t go..  instead look for Laureen Mar and I to be speaking and screening at Washington State University at Pullman on Tuesday, April 10th, thanks to Alex Kuo.

Update: Monday, April 9, 2001
In Eastern Washington please come to our screening and talk at Washington State University in Pullman, titled “Who Writes History?,” Tuesday, April 10th, 3:00-5:00 p.m. at Todd Hall, Room 130.  Our visit is sponsored by the Comparative American Cultures Dept. at the invitation of Prof. Alex Kuo.  Then stick around for an evening reading by my wife, Laureen Mar, at 7:30 p.m. in the Bundy Reading Room on campus.

Update: Wednesday, April 18, 2001
New airdates just in…. must be Asian Pacific Heritage Month coming up.
May 6, 2001 12:00:00 PM MT KRMA DENVER CO 018
May 6, 2001 12:00:00 PM MT KRMJ GRAND JUNCTION-MONTROSE CO 186
May 6, 2001 5:00:00 PM PT KCET LOS ANGELES CA 002
May 11, 2001 8:00:00 PM ET WGBX BOSTON MA 006
May 14, 2001 12:00:00 AM ET WGBX BOSTON MA 006
May 25, 2001 11:00:00 PM ET WETA WASHINGTON DC 008
May 25, 2001 11:00:00 PM ET WCVE RICHMOND- PETERSBURG VA 060
May 25, 2001 11:00:00 PM ET WHTJ CHARLOTTESVILLE VA 193
May 27, 2001 10:30:00 PM ET WNED BUFFALO NY 044
June 1, 2001 11:00:00 PM ET WETA WASHINGTON DC 008

If you can help us spread the word in any of these cities, please do so and let us know!

Update: Wednesday, April 25, 2001
I’ll be in Chicago to speak at the 8th Annual Chicago Asian American Film Festival, Thursday April 26th, 7:00 p.m. at Loyola University’s Crown Center Auditorium, Lake Shore Campus, 6525 North Sheridan.  I’ll be joined by the always-colorful Heart Mountain resister and retired longshoreman Jack Tono.

The Athens International Film & Video Festival is also screening us in Athens, Ohio at Ridges Auditorium, described as “located on the campus of a now defunct state mental health facility… the perfect place for presenting movies that challenge and inspire.”  The date is Saturday, April 28th at 5:00 p.m.

The daughter of Heart Mountain resister Yosh Kuromiya is organizing a screening at Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena.  Miya Kuromiya is planning it for May 12.

Update: Wednesday, May 2, 2001
Our show will finally air in Los Angeles this coming Sunday, May 6th, at 5:00 p.m. on KCET, and that same day at noon on KRMA in Denver and KRMJ in Grand Junction, Colo.  There was no time to mail postcards or do much publicity, so please spread the word. Oh, I see KCET scheduled us in front of Terri de Bono’s film on the 442nd, BEYOND BARBED WIRE.  That should be an interesting transition for viewers. In Denver we lead into Loni Ding’s ANCESTORS IN THE AMERICAS.

The Pacific Oaks College screening has been moved back to the college, at 5 Westmoreland Place. The time is still Saturday, May 12th, 1:00 p.m. Miya Kuromiya is organizing this screening, and her father, Heart Mountain resister Yosh Kuromiya will be there for the post-screening discussion. Parking is available at two adjacent churches, but not in front of the Gamble house.

Thanks to Dr. Yvonne Lau for bringing me out to the Chicago Asian American Film Festival at Loyola University Lakeside campus in Chicago last week. We got good reviews in the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Reader.  I also taped two half hour interviews with her for her public access cable show called “ConversAsians.” Will post airdates when I get them.

Also, congratulations to William Hohri on the publication of his book on the resisters, called RESISTANCE.  We received it in the mail today.  Copies can be purchased at two locations:

Update: Thursday, May 10, 2001
A Phoenix screening is set for Tuesday, May 29th. The Asian American Journalists Association of Arizona and the Arizona Asian American Bar Association have invited us to speak and screen.  it will be at 7:00 p.m. at the Burton Barr Central Library auditorium, 1221 N. Central Avenue in Phoenix.  For more details contact Lisa Chiu at the Arizona Republic.

Update: Wednesday, May 16, 2001
We’ve just learned our Japanese premiere will be at the Fukuoka Asian Film Festival from July 7th to the 15th. This is one we are most pleased with since both sides of my family come from Shinbaru; my mother went to Koga High School near Fukuoka, and my father’s brother still lives there.

We’ve also placed the show with a cablecaster in Canada. Historiais “a new French-language specialty television channel that offers a compelling and engaging blend of documentaries and original Canadian programming.” Historia is available to more than 1.8 million Quebec cable homes and nationally by satellite from Star Choice and ExpressVu. Les Chaînes Télé Astral and ALLIANCE ATLANTIS are equal partners in Historia.

Update: Thursday, May 24, 2001
“There are only two questions that Japanese American audiences have going into a screening of the new Disney movie, PEARL HARBOR: Am I going to get punched in the face by kids coming out of the theater looking for revenge? And are Japanese Americans once again going to be blamed for conspiring in the attack?” Read the rest of my review of PEARL HARBOR, and what I have to say about Mako’s thoughtful performance,

And listen to the segment on National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” from Thursday, May 24th  with myself, JACL Executive Director John Tateishi and Karen Narasaki of the National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium.  To hear the report scroll down to the bottom of theirMay 24th page and click on the links [requires the RealAudio Player].  Or simply read the transcript. John worked to fix the script with producer Jerry Bruckheimer as reported in the Los Angeles Times, and Reuters.

Update: Friday, May 25, 2001
Late news: Look for me on a live cable TV interview on ” MSNBC Live,” the day after Memorial Day, Tuesday, May 29th at 10:30 a.m. EDT / 7:30 PDT, and live again at 1:30 p.m EDT / 10:30 a.m PDT, reacting to the Disney PEARL HARBOR movie along with a Pearl Harbor survivor.  Read my review of the film.  Check MSNBC website to see if your local cable operator carries it.

In Portland, listen for a live phone interview at 8:08 a.m. on KPAM Radio, Saturday morning, May 26th.

Update: Thursday, June 7, 2001
See the Village Voice article on the political implications of Disney’s PEARL HARBOR, for which I provided a quote. 

Our Phoenix screening Tuesday night was one of our best ever.  The sound system in the Phoenix Public Library screening room stunned me by its ability to draw THX Dolby Digital Surround Sound out of a Hi-Fi VHS tape.  The audience raised some of the most thoughtful questions we’ve heard.  Thanks to the Asian American Journalists Association of Arizona, the Arizona Asian American Bar Association, and the Phoenix Public Library for arranging the event at the Burton Barr Central Library.

Update: Tuesday, June 12, 2001
I’ve accepted an invitation to take part in an Educational Forum at the JACL’s Bi-District Conference on Saturday, July 14, 2001, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m, at the Best Western Executive Inn, 200 Taylor Ave. S., Seattle.  I will join Heart Mountain resister Mits Koshiyama, JACL historian Bill Hosokawa, and 442nd veteran Fred Shiosaki of Spokane.  The video will be screened for JACL delegates on the Thursday and Friday before the forum.

Update: Tuesday, June 19, 2001
I’ll be in Cheyenne, Wyoming June 20-24 to help kick off a 3-day teacher training workshop titled “Protest and Resistance: An American Tradition.”  The workshop will train teachers in classroom use of the story of the Fair Play Committee and draft resisters from Heart Mountain. The workshop takes place in the same city where the resisters were tried in U.S. District Court in 1944, and I’ll be looking around for traces of the past there and in Laramie.

See the Los Angeles Times article that mentions the overflow crowd for our screening last November at the Bruggemeyer Memorial Library in Monterey Park.

Update: Sunday, June 24, 2001
Greetings from the Little America Conference Center in Cheyenne.  Read the story from Thursday’s Wyoming Tribune-Eagle, and the related sidebar, previewing our successful screening in Cheyenne which kicked off an equally successful 3-day teacher training workshop titled “Protest and Resistance: An American Tradition.”For me the highlight was taking Frank Emi, Yosh Kuromiya, and Mits Koshiyama to the site where they were tried in Federal Court in 1944 (now a bank), and driving Gloria and Grace Kubota to nearby Laramie to search for the Japanese-owned boarding house where they stayed while waiting for Guntaro to come out of prison (now a minimart and gas station).  But just being in the same spot was a powerful experience for us, and I’m glad we went.

Update: Monday, July 9, 2001
Look for us at Educational Forum at the JACL’s Bi-District Conference on Saturday, July 14thfrom 9:30 to 11:30 a.m, at the Best Western Executive Inn, 200 Taylor Ave. S., Seattle.  I will join Heart Mountain resister Mits Koshiyama, JACL historian Bill Hosokawa, and 442nd veteran Fred Shiosaki of Spokane.  The video will be screened for JACL delegates on the Thursday and Friday before the forum.

Update: Monday, July 23, 2001
Boy, I’ve really fallen behind, so here goes. CONSCIENCE AND THE CONSTITUTION was honored last week with the American Scene Award from the Seattle local of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, my old AFTRA local from my radio news days.  The award recognizes productions that further advance the cause of diversity in the media. We now compete for a national award.

A number of new screenings are being scheduled, including the Nihonmachi Outreach Committee on Sunday, Sept. 30th; the Sunnyvale Public Library sometime in September; and the Japanese American National Museum on October 27th.

And here’s the Pacific Citizen article on the resisters panel at last weekend’s JACL Bi-District Council meeting here in Seattle, with Mr. Bill Hosokawa, Mits Koshiyama, and myself.


Update: Friday, July 27, 2001
We’ve just learned that CONSCIENCE AND THE CONSTITUTION has been voted the National American Scene Award from the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, to be presented at the AFTRA national convention in St. Paul, Minnesota on August 4th.  It was only last week we received the local award from the Seattle AFTRA office, my old AFTRA local from my radio news days. This is a national competition recognizing excellence in the employment and portrayal of women, ethnic minorities, seniors and people with disabilities on television, radio, videotape and new media. See a photo of co-producer Shannon Gee and I wondering what to do with the plaque.

Update: Friday, August 3, 2001
A full house of 1,000 journalists and media managers were present at the Asian American Journalists Association convention as we received a National Journalism Award for Unlimited Subject Matter – Television.  The 40-second intro of the doc was played at the awards luncheon at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco in Embarcadero Center.  See the full news release. From here we fly to St. Paul, Minnesota tomorrow to accept the National American Scene Award from the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists at their national convention.

Update: Monday, August 6, 2001
It’s been quite a week as the nation’s television and radio performers and the Asian American Journalists Association separately announced top honors for CONSCIENCE AND THE CONSTITUTION.  On Saturday the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) presented its national American Scene Award to us at its biennial convention at the Radisson Riverfront in St. Paul, Minnesota. The award recognizes excellence in the employment and portrayal of ethnic minorities and seniors, among others, on television, radio, videotape and new media.  The documentary shared the first place award in television with KRON-TV of San Francisco, which was recognized for the overall diversity in its news programming. The crystal obelisk was presented to us by San Francisco broadcast veteran Belva Davis, who praised our program as a “landmark film.”

In San Francisco on Thursday, judges at the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) gave CONSCIENCE AND THE CONSTITUTION their National Journalism Award for Unlimited Subject Matter in Television. A short clip of the program was played before a full house of nearly 1,000 journalists and media managers at a luncheon at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco. See the news release on both awards.

The AAJA award follows by more than a decade the presentation of its first Lifetime Achievement Award to James Omura, the prewar editor of the San Francisco Nisei magazineCurrent Life and the wartime editor of the Rocky Shimpo newspaper. Omura was indicted but later acquitted for publishing news reports about the Nisei draft resisters at the camp at Heart Mountain, Wyoming, and writing columns that offered them support and editorial guidance. I actually got the inspiration for doing the documentary after seeing the reception Jimmie received at the AAJA convention in 1989.  I remember it showed me what a responsibility we had to go out there and tell authentic stories about the Japanese American experience for national TV audiences, because if we didn’t, who would?

We won top honors at several film festivals and competitions when the doc was first released last fall, but these are the first to come from national organizations.

Update: Thursday, August 9, 2001
AFTRA has posted its own news release on the American Scene Award, with a photo from the ceremony.

Update: Tuesday, September 4, 2001
A number of new screenings are being scheduled, including theNihonmachi Outreach Committee on Sunday, Sept. 30th; the Sunnyvale Public Library on Monday, October 1st at 7:00 p.m., and the Japanese American National Museum on October 27th.

Update: Tuesday, September 11, 2001
Well, they say today is another day that will live in infamy. Today’s terrorist attack on the World Trade Center evoked memories of Pearl Harbor, but unlike 1942 at least one public official came out hard against any thought of retaliation against local residents based on their ethnicity.  Nothing yet has happened here in Seattle, but we received some worried phone calls about the possibility. I happen to work for King County Executive Ron Sims, and took pains to put his comments online.  You can read his comments here, or see a RealPlayer video clip.

EXECUTIVE SIMS: “We made calls this morning to the various mosques that are here asking them what their concerns would be. Our position will be that anybody who attempts in this county to retaliate against a person because of their faith, we will go after them aggressively. We will arrest them. Threats are inappropriate here because of one’s belief.

“These were terrorists. People here of Islamic faith are not terrorists. They go to work here, they’re our neighbors, they’re friends and they’re citizens, and we will not tolerate in any way, anyone, at any time, retaliating against a person because of their faith or their perceived ethnic or cultural background. It’s unacceptable to us.

“A person who does that is no better than the person who flew those planes into those towers this morning. They’re no better. We don’t want anyone to stoop to that level. This is a grand region with people who strive to get along with their neighbors, to respect the faith and cultural background of their neighbors, and that’s what we’re going to ask for.

“We’re not going to ask for people to engage in stereotypes and demagoguery. It’s inappropriate here. It makes us uncivilized. We are a civilized democratic nation, and we’re going to ask the citizens here to live up to that high creed. We’re an extraordinary place to live, and we want to remain an extraordinary place to live.

“So if anyone decides to retaliate against a person because they’re Islamic, I can assure you that the resources of this government will be used to find them and track them down, arrest them and prosecute them.”

Update: Thursday, September 27, 2001
Please join us this Sunday in San Jose and Monday in Sunnyvale, CA, to see our film and talk about the changes in our world and the parallels between Pearl Harbor in 1941 and the terrorist attacks of September 11th.  I was sanguine about the idea that an Arab American/Islamic internment would not and could not happen here for a number of reasons:

It was politicians and the press that helped push us into camp in 1942, but this time, with only isolated exceptions, I see our local and national leaders doing the right thing.  They are wrapping the protection of law enforcement and their own bully pulpit around our friends and neighbors of Arab-American descent and Islamic faith. That is opposite of what happened a week after Pearl Harbor, afyer Navy Secretary Frank Knox surveyed the catastrophe and made the unfounded statement that the most effective Fifth Column work of the war had been done in Hawaii.  The President was silent on Japanese Americans up until the time the Army decided it wanted to accept Japanese American volunteers into a segregated unit in January 1943.  Then and only then was FDR persuaded to issue his statement that “Americanism is and has always been a matter of the mind and heart, never one of race or ancestry.”  But of course by then he had us in camps for more than a half year.

The fact that everyone is now talking about the Japanese American internment — there were seven stories in the New York Times that mentioned it in just the past week — shows that our campaign to win redress from the government for the camps, and all our videos, books and workshops, worked.  Everyone seems to know that it happeend.  President Bush knows about the precedent.  The President’s own father made the first redress payments to Japanese Americans in 1990, so he personally knows that this government is committed not to do such a thing.

Plus, we now have so many Asian American journalists in the industry who clearly see the parallels, and who have the clout to deter any media demagoguery of the kind that put us into camp in 1942.

The country was ready for war back then, the draft was already more than one year old, everyone expected war, so that Nisei like Dave Kawamoto and Ben Kuroki could rush down to their recruiting office and try to sign up the day after.  This terror attack came as a surprise.  And the mood now is “America returns to normal,” as if returning to our routines were a patriotic act of defiance.

But those feelings that it won’t happen again changed after a number of friends emailed the Siena College Research Institute poll that claims one third of New Yorkers favor establishing internment camps for “individuals who authorities identify as being sympathetic to terrorist causes,” and the Fox/Opinion Dynamics poll that contends one in three Americans favors more severe measures such as putting Arabs living in this country under special surveillance, or allowing the U.S. government to take legal immigrants from unfriendly countries to internment camps.

And I’ve been interviewed by two reporters about racial profiling of Arab-appearing people. More on that to come.

Update: Friday, October 5, 2001
I forgot to post notice of a repeat screening of CONSCIENCE at the Bruggemeyer Memorial Library in Monterey Park, CA this coming Saturday, Oct. 6th, at 1:00 p.m.  Resisters Frank Emi and Yosh Kuromiya will answer questions after the showing, and William Hohri, who declined the credit he was due as a historical consultant on the film, will promote his new book, RESISTANCE.  See the news release.

Then next week we begin our fall outreach to secondary school teachers with two teacher training workshops funded by the Washington Civil Liberties Public Education Program. In back to back presentations to Washington State library media specialists and social studies teachers, KCTS Curriculum Developer Ti Locke and Producer/Director Frank Abe will preview excerpts from the award-winning documentary CONSCIENCE AND THE CONSTITUTION, and show how teachers can use a new Classroom Guide along with photographs and primary documents on PBS Online to teach the untold story of organized resistance to wartime incarceration as another useful example of civil disobedience in the American twentieth century. We met yesterday to begin updating the Classroom Guide to include a teaching unit relating the new suspicion of Arab Americans with the wartime exclusion of Japanese Americans.  We are looking for secondary school and college instructors to test the entire classroom unit.  Please contact us if interested.

Update: Wednesday, October 17, 2001
Heading to St. Louis to present a panel Friday morning at 8:30 a.m. for the Oral History Association with Alice Ito of the Densho: Japanese American Legacy Project.  Our workshop is entitled, “We Hereby Refuse: Recovering and Presenting Stories of Japanese American Resistance During WWII, Using Media and Digital Technology.”  See the conference schedule.

Then join us at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles on Saturday, October 27th at 1:30 p.m., for a screening and panel with resisters Frank Emi, Yosh Kuromiya, and Tak Hoshizaki, and Prof. Eric Muller, author of the newly published, “Free to Die for their Country: The Story of the Japanese American Draft Resisters in World War II” (University of Chicago Press, August 2001). Read a sample chapter.  Eric and I will be signing our respective works.

Thanks to the 46 library media specialists and social studies instructors who came to our two teacher training workshops funded by the Washington Civil Liberties Public Education Program.  KCTS Curriculum Developer Ti Locke and I really appreciated your enthusiasm for using CONSCIENCE AND THE CONSTITUTION in the classroom, to teach as an example of civil disobedience in the American 20th century.  Several of you said the video will fit right in with the Constitutional unit you are about to teach in November, and the topic of balancing national security with civil liberties couldn’t be more timely, could it?  As we said, Ti and I are happy to answer your questions about how to use the video and the newly-updated Classroom Guide (download the 328 KB Word document now), and please share your experience in using the resources in the classroom with us.

Update: Wednesday, October 24, 2001
A new screening has been added for March 14, 2002 at the Bellevue Art Musuem, east of Seattle.

Update: Friday, November 2, 2001
If on the East Coast, please join us in Philadelphia for a screening/lecture at Swarthmore College, on November 15th at 4:30 p.m. in the Kohlberg Building, Scheuer Room.   Resister Tak Hoshizaki and Producer/Director Frank Abe will screen the film and speak on how what happened in 1942 should inform the actions we take today to secure our nation while protecting our civil liberties.  See theevent listing.  We will then join the Swarthmore Asian Organization for an informal dinner dialogue session.

Update: Tuesday, November 13, 2001
A new Seattle-area magazine, Colors NW, interviewed us for an issue devoted to a look “Behind the Backlash” against Arab Americans.  The article I am quoted in, on the parallels between December 7th and September 11th, is not online, but the cover story is, with a photo of me shot in David Ishii’s bookstore.

This Thursday in Seattle make a point to go hear Professor Eric Muller speak at Elliott Bay Book Company on Free to Die for their Country: The Story of the Japanese American Draft Resisters in World War II (University of Chicago Press). I guarantee he will tell you two amazing stories you’ve never heard before about the trials of the resisters from Tule Lake and Minidoka, that is, not if you haven’t yet read his book or his sample chapter.  Read Elliott Bay’ssynopsis.

Update: Friday, November 16, 2001
Resister Tak Hoshizaki and I thoroughly enjoyed talking with students at Swarthmore College near Philadelphia last night, looking for ways we can learn from WW2 camp history in light of today’s war on terrorism.  We met some remarkably focused people, and their company at the dinner dialogue at the Intercultural Center was a pleasure. Thanks to Meghna Baghat, Sheila Gonzales, and Cathy Ta of the Asian Students Union for their hospitality and support.  Concern was raised over President Bush’s signing this week of a new Executive Order calling for military tribunals, and not criminal trials, for aliens accused of terrorism.  Military tribunals may infringe on Constitutional protections for non-citizens, but they still represent a form of due process, one that was denied us in WW2.  Japanese Americans and the JACL sought individual trials or hearings boards in 1942, and lack of due process was one reason the camps were unconstitutional.

Update: Friday, December 7, 2001
Before redress, today was a day that Japanese Americans went into hiding.  Now, it’s a time when the news media comes for a quote.  Read “Pearl Harbor parallels haunt new era,” by Kie Relyea in the Bellingham Herald.  (The link is outdated now but we are trying to get an update).

Update: Wednesday, December 26, 2001
So where did the year go?  We’ve been through Pearl Harbor the movie in May, what was called the “second Pearl Harbor” on September 11th, and the real Pearl Harbor 60th anniversary.  Had enough of that.

The year 2002 should be about the JACL and the resisters apology.  Sorry we’ve missed so many updates: we missed the JACL announcing a public ceremony for February 10th to present its formal apology for suppressing wartime resistance.  Now comes word that due to lack of funding the ceremony must be postponed to later in the spring.  Read the message from ceremony co-chair Andy Noguchi.  They need to raise money, and Resisters.com is supporting the event at the Silver level.  Now a number of veterans groups have just lined up to attack JACL.  Japanese America remains an interesting place to live.

Thanks to Lynn Whitehouse for inviting us to screen and speak on March 3rd in San Diego, related to the  “Locked In, Locked Out” high school art and essay contest they are co-sponsoring with the National Japanese American Historical Society and the ACLU of Northern California.

The Pacific Citizen Holiday Issue is out so here is our review of “Tales of Tule Lake”by Barney Shallit, the first publication in the Michi Nishiura and Walter Weglyn Multicultural Publication Series from Prof. Art Hansen and the Oral History Program at California State University, Fullerton.

News updates in 2000

An archive of news updates from our home page in 2000:

Update: Sunday, January 23, 2000
As some of you may know, the one person most responsible for recovering the story of the Heart Mountain Fair Play Committee, Frank Chin, suffered a stroke on December 16th.  After hospitalization in San Francisco, he has now returned home to Los Angeles to continue his fight to recover.  His wife Dana says he is improving every day, and that most of his progress will occur over the next 9 months to a year.

Frank Emi, the wartime leader of the Fair Play Committe, once again showed his leadership by taking up a collection to help defray Frank Chin’s extra expenses.  Last week he took the proceeds to Frank and his report reads, in part:

January 17, 2000

To: FPC resisters and friends

Ref: Frank Chin

Frank is now back home in L. A. Paul Tsuneishi, Brian Tatsuno and I went to see him at his home last Thursday. He is much better, but he still does not have full use of his right leg and arm. His speech is also not up to par yet. It frustrates him to be unable to articulate the words he wants out, but I believe that in time he will regain most of his functions. We are all hoping for his 100 percent recovery … He was extremely touched by this gesture of support from all of us…

Cordially,
Frank Emi

We will be happy to forward any messages of encouragement to Frank Chin, or if you already know how to contact him, please drop him a card or a call.

On the documentary front, we will be locked up in the final on-line editing this week at Flying Spot video in Seattle.  Editor Lillian Benson is flying up from Los Angeles to supervise the on-line.  This is the phase where the pictures, graphics, titles, and of course the interviews are laid onto the final tape.  All that remains next month is the recording of the final narration and additional voiceovers, the music composition, and the final sound mixing.

Update: Monday, January 31, 2000
The new splash image at the top of this page is a still frame from what will be a moving background underneath the underwriter credits for our show. The entire package was created last week by our on-line graphics designer, Tarrer Pace at the studios of Flying Spot in Seattle. No longer does CPB want the blue background behind their logo, now they want a “dynamic image.” If you have the time and the bandwidth to download a 3.1 MB QuickTime movie, you can see how the whole thing moves. With a 28.8 modem it could take 15 minutes; with a T-1 line, 3 minutes. See if you can name the floating images. More details soon.

Update: Wednesday, February 16, 2000
I’ve just returned from Sacramento and our first music spotting session with our new composer, Alan Koshiyama. Alan is creating a remarkable orchestral underscore for our show, 27 cues that make up more than half an hour of original music. Alan’s credits include the original score for the feature film, “Dead Dogs,” which won the “Best American Independent Award” at the 1999 Seattle International Film Festival. Variety Magazine called Koshiyama’s work, “…evocative.” Millions have heard Koshiyama’s music in “Teenage Confidential,” an ABC-TV original movie, “Alaska’s Bush Pilots” for Turner Original Productions, and numerous commercials, movie trailers, video games, short films, and even a theme park attraction on Catalina.

Alan was classically trained on piano and clarinet at a very early age, it wasn’t until he “fell in love and later became obsessed” with the art of jazz when he began to branch out into other forms of commercial music. His talent has taken him to such venues as the Pacific Basin International Music Festival in Hawaii, to the National Concert Hall in Dublin Ireland, to sought after jazz performances at the prestigious Monterey Jazz Festival. Yet the orchestra, what he calls a “canvas for emotion,” remains his prominent choice of colors. Koshiyama studied piano, composition, and orchestration at California State University Sacramento and film scoring at UCLA extension. He is an affiliate of BMI.

We found Alan after a nationwide search. Only then did we discover that he is the nephew of Heart Mountain resister Mits Koshiyama, a key character in our show.

Update: Wednesday, March 15, 2000
We are pleased to announce the appointment ofMonarch Films, Inc. as the sales representative for our international broadcast rights.   We chose Monarch based on Mr. Art Skopinsky’s belief in the performance of our show in the marketplace, his outstanding references, and his relentless pursuit to sign us up early!  The result is that Art is taking the latest cut of our video to France for private screenings at the international marketplace for film buyers known as MIP-TV and MIP-DOC, at the Cannes Palais des Festivals from April 8th to 15th.

The controversy over the inscriptions for the national Japanese American memorial monument in Washington, D.C. has reached the boiling point.  Here is some balanced coverage from correspondent Sam Chu Lin as printed in the Nichi Bei Times and Rafu Shimpo.  Also some old business: this feature article on our role in creating the first Day of Remembrance from Martha Nakagawa at the Pacific Citizen.

Update: Friday, March 17, 2000
We’ve issued our first news release, at the request of the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program, which will be sendng it soon to the Nikkei vernaculars in California.  We may be previewing a clip as part of the CCLPEP panel at the “Nikkei 2000” conference in San Francisco on April 27th.

Update: Monday, March 20, 2000
Today’s San Francisco Examiner carries a front page article on Japanese American opposition to the Mike Masaoka inscription on the national Japanese American monument in Washington, D.C.  It’s titled “Inscription Debate Opens Old Wounds.” (Must every other news story about the JACL or the resisters use the same cliches?) The Examiner website also carries this misconstrued subtitle,

“Some Japanese Americans blame Mike Masaoka for leaking information that led to the incarceration of innocent people during WWII.”

That’s a new one! Anyway, Kenji Taguma of the Nichi Bei Times provides this background.

The story is basically a re-write of the Dec. 17 I had her freelance for the Nichi Bei Times. Given that we are unable to pay a whole lot for freelance stories—and to bring the issue out to a larger forum—I agreed to let her (writer Yuriko Nagano) shop the story around to non-competing markets. Anyways, the story gets a larger forum.

Three NJAMF-related articles can be found on our Website at:www.nichibeitimes.com.

Update: Friday, March 24, 2000

The world premiere… now there’s a phrase I’ve waited 8 years to say…  the world premiere for our show now appears set.  We’ve received word of acceptance of “Conscience and the Constitution” by VC FilmFest 2000, the 15th Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film and Video Festival put on by Visual Communications from May 18th through the 25th.

We’re in the last week of sound mixing at the studios of Pure Audio in Seattle, and all I can say is I can’t wait for you to hear the original music score by Alan Koshiyama.  As Alan so modestly says, he has added hundreds of thousands of dollars to our production value with his orchestrations and the live trumpet line we recorded earlier this month in his living room, performed by Gary Dilworth of Cal State Sacramento.

I also can’t wait for you to hear the Fair Play Committee bulletin read by none other than actor George Takei.  George was gracious enough to say that he was honored to be part of this production, but really it’s George who is honoring us with his vivid read of the key line where Frank Emi pushed the FPC steering committee to cross the line from protest to resistance, and change Japanese American history.  Check out George’s website where he  shares a monthly diary with fans.  Thanks to the folks at Buzzy’s Worldwideon Melrose Avenue in LA for the remote recording session and the inspired idea of how to feed the sound back to George’s headphones to get a special effect I won’t disclose here.

Update: Tuesday, April 11, 2000
We’ve just learned the date for our world premiere at the VC FilmFest 2000 in LA is Tuesday, May 23rd, at 7:00 p.m. at East/West Players theater.

Update: Sunday, April 23, 2000
A quick update on screenings:

  • Thursday, April 27th, at 9:00 a.m. we will show a 10 minute excerpt at the Nikkei 2000 conference in San Francisco, at the Radisson Miyako Hotel.
  • Saturday, May 6th, at 7:30 p.m. Seattle-area residents can attend a sneak preview of the full show at the University of Washington HUB Auditorium.
  • Tuesday, May 23rd at 7:00 p.m. is our world premiere at the VC FilmFest 2000 in LA, which has just posted our synopsis and ticket information on their website.  We are known as Program 27.  We are also working on a post-screening reception and wil post any details when we get them.

As these are pre-broadcast previews, we are asking that no reviews be published or broadcast at this time; there will be time for that later.

William Hohri is offering for publication an op-ed piece on the continuing controversy over the legacy of wartime JACL leader Mike Masaoka and whether his “JACL Creed” should be carved into the national Japanese American monument in Washington, D.C.

Update: Monday, May 15, 2000
Please join us for our world premiere on Tuesday, May 23rd at 7:00 p.m. at the David Henry Hwang Theater in the Union Center for the Arts in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo.

The screening is part of the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film & Video Festival, sponsored by Visual Communications.  Click here for ticket information, directions, and parking, and here for the on-line festival synopsis.  Check the upcoming issue ofLos Angeles Magazine for mention of our screening in the “L.A. Buzz” section.

TICKET INFORMATION ADMISSION:
$8.50 General; $6.50 Students (with I.D.), Seniors, Friends of Visual Communications/DGA/JACCC members (with I.D.).
ADVANCED TICKET PURCHASE: Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Japan America Theater Box Office Monday through Friday from 12-5pm throughout the entire Festival. For phone or credit card orders, call the JAT Box Office at (213) 680-3700.

The screening will be preceded by another half-hour film. After our one-hour showing there will be a short Q and A session with resisters Frank Emi, Yosh Kuromiya, Tak Hoshizaki and myself, followed by an informal reception in the outdoor foyer adjoining the theater.

The lead resisters in the LA area — Frank, Yosh and Tak  — are treating this as a kind of coming-out party and are using it as an opportunity to invite more than a dozen other surviving resisters to “come in from the cold” and accept recognition for their principled stand.  It will be interesting to see how many accept the invitation.

The new graphic at the top of the home page is a prototype poster design created in just a few days last week by Robert Kato Design of San Francisco.  Robert does all the postcard graphics for ITVS and NAATA programming and we’re honored to have him work on ours.  Click here for a full-page view (78KB) or a high-resolution download (576KB).

Thanks to all who had such kind words for us at the screenings at “Nikkei 2000” in San Francisco and “The Nikkei Experience in the Pacific Northwest” conference in Seattle.  To our surprise, after we left San Francisco the interfaith group that met on April 30th passed a resolution that apologized to the resisters and called on JACL to do the same at its upcoming national convention in Monterey.  Here is the text of the resolution and stories that appeared in the Pacific Citizen and the Nichi Bei Times.

And the Japanese American monument controversy continues to boil.  Opponents of the Mike Masaoka “JACL Creed” inscription now have a website called Japanese American Voice and nearly 200 signatures on a resolution calling on the National Park Service to remove the inscription.

Update: Thursday, May 25, 2000
Hi. Thanks for clicking to our site from the link on the Associated Press story that ran this week. For news media seeking interviews, I can be reached by e-mail. To see the AP story, click hereWe are collecting clippings from across the nation, so please e-mail me if the story ran in your local paper and I will reply with an address to which you can mail the clipping.

Our thanks to the organizers of VC FilmFest 2000 and the crowd that came to our world premiere May 23rd at the Union Center for the Arts in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo. The screening was part of the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film & Video Festival, sponsored by Visual Communications. More details soon. It was an emotional night for many, including myself.

The new graphic at the top of the page is a prototype poster design created in just a few days last week by Robert Kato Design of San Francisco.  Robert does all the postcard graphics for ITVS and NAATA programming and we’re honored to have him work on ours.  Click here for afull-page view (78KB) or a high-resolution download (576KB).

Thanks to all who had such kind words for us at the screenings at “Nikkei 2000” in San Francisco and “The Nikkei Experience in the Pacific Northwest” conference in Seattle.  To our surprise, after we left San Francisco the interfaith group that met on April 30th passed a resolution that apologized to the resisters and called on JACL to do the same at its upcoming national convention in Monterey.  Here is the text of the resolution and stories that appeared in the Pacific Citizen and the Nichi Bei Times.

And the Japanese American monument controversy continues to boil.  Opponents of the Mike Masaoka “JACL Creed” inscription now have a website called Japanese American Voice and nearly 200 signatures on a resolution calling on the National Park Service to remove the inscription.

Update: Wednesday, May 31, 2000
Thanks to the audience for voting us the Best Feature-Length Film of VC FilmFest 2000. Here’s the news release and the festival synopsis. This is an incredible honor and a great way to kick off our year-long promotion of the film leading up to broadcast early next year.

About 200 attended our screening at the restored Union Church in Little Tokyo, making it one of the best attended of the festival.  Resisters James Kado, Toru Ino, and Ike Matsumoto turned out at the invitation of the Fair Play Committee.  From San Jose came Mits Koshiyama, Mrs. David Kawamoto, and Grace and Gloria Kubota.  And organizing things in L.A. were Frank Emi, Yosh Kuromiya, and Tak Hoshizaki.  Two of our crew were there, editor Lillian Benson and location manager Brian Tatsuno.  So it really felt like a reunion and a celebration.  Several of us took the stage after the screening to answer questions.  Grace delighted the crowd with her story of meeting the late Mike Masaoka, who, once he recognized her name, recalled that he admonished her father that “they would never win.”

Afterwards, the Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress (NCRR) hosted a reception in the open-air patio outside the Union Church. Thanks to David Kim at Anheuser-Busch for the cases of, let’s see, Budweiser, Bud Light, Michelob, Michelob Light, O’Doul’s and O’Doul’s Amber… we had plenty of liquid refreshments. Chivas Regal was the “Official Spirit” of the FilmFest. By the end of the week I was mainlining the stuff.

Grace later sent this message:

It was an outstanding premier! After all these years, you must feel a great deal of satisfaction at your accomplishment. On behalf of my mother and all of those involved, we thank you. Your unwavering determination to tell this story is a tribute to all Americans of Japanese ancestry.

And this from Frank Emi’s grown daughter, Kathleen, who I feel I’ve come to know so well from her childhood photos inside camp!

The video was wonderful.  You managed to cover so much in such a short amount of time.  Yet it flowed so smoothly.  I really enjoyed the music, it enhanced the video so much.  You spent so much time on this project, and it shows.  Thanks again for presenting us with such a thought provoking and powerful message.

Thanks to the hard-working staff at Visual Communications for another successful film festival, and to our co-presenters, NCRR, the Japanese American National Museum, and yes, the Japanese American Citizens League – Pacific Southwest District/Civil Rights Caucus, for bringing out the audience and organizing the post-screening reception.

The next month will be devoted to … lots of paperwork in support of the broadcast, but also to upgrading this website as an on-line study guide in support of the documentary.  Look for more documents and timelines to be posted as we move to a new design and architecture for this site.   Please check back soon.

Update: Wednesday, June 6, 2000
A new link appears at the top of our navigation box above to provide access to our newElectronic Press Kit, in response to media requests that are starting to come in. Here you will soon find downloadable news releases, bios, publicity and archival photos, and our work-in-progress poster design that has already been used as artwork to accompany a story in this week’s Northwest Asian Weekly in Seattle.

Update: Friday, June 9, 2000
George Toshio Johnston, one-time editor of the Pacific Citizen, now writes for the Hollywood Reporter and the Rafu Shimpo.  He shares his reaction to our Los Angeles screening in his latest Rafu column, ‘Conscience’ Also Tells a Worthy Story.  One point to clarify that’s often misunderstood: the resisters have never asked anyone for any apology.  I have heard them say they would accept one if offered, but they never sought one. Update: Friday, June 16, 2000
A New York City screening is now confirmed for Saturday, August 26th, at 11:45 a.m. at the Asian American Journalists Association conventionat the Marriott Marquis Hotel on Times Square.  It’s for AAJA members to preview the work and hopefully write about it when it airs sometime next year.  Thanks to actress/photographer Lia Chang for setting it up.  We’re not sure yet whether members of the public will be allowed, but that may not be an issue as our East Coast premiere may take place in late July or early August at one of two possible New York City venues to be announced.

We also got a call today about a possible Washington, D.C. screening around October 20th.  That would put us in the public eye in the nation’s capital three weeks before the dedication of the National Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism.  See our quote in yesterday’s Seattle Times article, “Creed proves stirring — of a protest.”  Watch this space for a posting of our 1988 interview with the late Mike Masaoka, part of the development of our forthcoming on-line study guide.  Also watch for a surprising, long-awaited announcement next week on Japanese American Voice.

Update: Saturday, June 24, 2000
A floppy disk arrived in the mail Thursday.  In the interest of free and open access to information, and with the permission of the author, we are posting for the first time the complete and unexpurgated “Research Report prepared for Presidential Select Committee on JACL Resolution # 7, aka The Lim Report, submitted in 1990 by Deborah K. Lim.  This is a 96-page fact-finding document, commissioned by the Japanese American Citizens League itself to investigate all allegations concerned the wartime behavior of the JACL.  In it you will find reference to the documentation that went into production of our film.  Also posted today are two 1990 news articles profiling Deborah Lim and revealing the JACL’s rejection and rewriting of the report, which prompted a decade of rumor and speculation.  This publication fulfills a years-long mission of historian William Hohri, who manually rekeyed the manuscript and inserted internal hyperlinks to the footnotes.

But the historical inquiry does not stop here.  Next week we will announce the signing of a contract to produce an on-line Learning Center in support of our documentary that will present the ENTIRE text of many documents that we researched in development of our script.

A San Diego screening has now been confirmed for Saturday, August 12th, at the Asian Film Festival at the University of San Diego.  Thanks to news anchor Lee Ann Kim at KGTV and all the organizers of the San Diego Asian Film Festival.

Update: Sunday, July 9, 2000
Last Saturday the JACL at its 2000 national convention in Monterey voted 64-32, a perfect 2-1 margin, to formally apologize to the Heart Mountain resisters and other so-called “resisters of conscience” for the JACL’s wartime suppression.  Here is the fact sheet developed by Florin JACL president Andy Noguchi (who appears in our documentary) and distributed to convention delegates.  We can now share the stories that appeared Friday in the Pacific Citizen by Martha Nakagawa, and in the Rafu Shimpo and Asian Week by Sam Chu Lin.

In a related development, the board of the National Japanese American Memorial Foundation is meeting this weekend in San Francisco, and we were quoted in Friday’s San Francisco Examiner story, “Furor Over Memorial to Japanese Americans: Critics Fight to Remove Name of Man Hailed as Rights Leader,” by Annie Nakao.

We also learned Friday that our New York City premiere will take place sometime August 2-6 as part of the UrbanWorld Film Festival, billed as “the first internationally competitive film festival solely dedicated to redefining and enhancing the role of minority films in contemporary cinema.This five day festival will feature the works of both emerging and established directors from around the world.”  I hear we get to rub elbows with Spike Lee on closing night. They’re working on the schedule this weekend so come back to learn the exact date and place.

Update: Wednesday, July 19, 2000
We now have a date for our New York City premiere and it’s coming up fast: Thursday, August 3rd, at 4:00 p.m. at the Cineplex Odeon Worldwide Plaza, 340 West 50th Street (between 8th & 9th Avenues).  Tickets are $7 as part of the UrbanWorld Film Fesitval, which is making a special outreach this year to Asian American works.  Please alert friends in the Big Apple.

Robert Ito has published an excellent article on the recent VC FilmFest 2000, the Los Angeles Asian American Film & Video Festival, at which we won the Audience Award for Best Feature.  It’s in the July/August issue of International Documentary, the magazine of the International Documentary Association.  Not on-line, unfortunately.

Our posting of the notorious “Lim Report” made news in the Nichi Bei Times.  See the July 1st story, “Groundbreaking Lim Report Available Online.”

Update: Thursday, August 10, 2000
Please join us in San Diego this weekend for two screenings of our film as part of the San Diego Asian Film Festival on Saturday, August 12th.  Tickets are on sale online for only $4 for our two screenings at 
5:00 p.m – Manchester Theater (includes post-film discussion)
6:00 p.m. – Hahn Video Room (includes post-film discussion) 

The film fest website has posted our program synopsis. This is our only currently scheduled screening in Southern California so please catch it while you can on campus at the University of San Diego. Thanks to Susan Ruddy and David Kim of the Anheuser-Busch Companies for underwriting our screenings.

Update: Tuesday, August 15, 2000
In partnership with ITVS, we are pleased to announce that our program has been accepted for the National Program Schedule of the Public Broadcasting System, with a firm airdate of Thursday, November 30, 2000, at 10:00 p.m.  In the hierarchy of public television, this gives us the same network distribution as Ken Burns, Sesame Street, and coverage of the Presidential election.  Yet specific broadcast dates and times still depend on the judgment of your local PBS affiliate.  We will soon be asking you to call your local PBS station and tell them that you want to see CONSCIENCE AND THE CONSTITUTION in your area.  It’s what we’ve worked for this past decade, and it’s finally going to happen.

ITVS today hired Kimberly Ina as our national outreach campaign coordinator to bring the show to targeted audience groups.  It has also hired a publicist, Cara White, who will soon be getting in contact with the news and entertainment media to arrange for interviews and features.  Last week we hired Ti Locke from KCTS Learning Services to create a 4 to 6 page viewer’s guide for distribution before the show.  Finally, Steve Chin and the aMedia, Inc. empire have signed on to upgrade our website in time for broadcast.

Videocassettes licensed for educational and non-profit institutional use will be on sale by mid-September.  Please e-mail us now to reserve your copy.

And she is tired of hearing this from all the filmmakers who attended, but “thanks to LeeAnn Kim” and all the staff and volunteers from the San Diego AAJA for making the first San Diego Asian Film Festival an overwhelming success.  We all had a great time and made a lot of new friends. Thanks to all who came to our two screenings and asked such perceptive questions, including Dave and Carol Kawamoto and Vernon Yoshioka from the San Diego JACL.

Update: Monday, August 21, 2000
Look for us again in New York City at the Asian American Journalists Association national convention this coming Saturday, August 26th, at 11:45 a.m. at the Marriott Marquis Hotel on Times Square, in the Odets & Wilder Room, 4th floor.  I’ll be there to show the film and answer questions.  It’s part of an Asian American Film Festival (scroll to bottom of the link) organized by actress/photographer Lia Chang and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.  We are third on the schedule; for those of you at the convention it starts just as the Job Fair closes so drag yourself over and sit down in a nice seat in the dark.

The Film Fest schedule is also posted on Lia’s AOL homepage and on Greg Pak’s hotAsianAmericanFilm.com website, with a nice comment from Greg. Thanks you two!  And I hear that part of Robert Kato’s eye-catching poster above is part of the graphic mix on the convention program booklet.  I will be traveling this week, but can be reached Thursday through Sunday at the New York Marriott Marquis at (212) 398-1900 or via e-mail.

Update: Friday, September 1, 2000
Due to many requests we have accepted an invitation to return to Los Angeles to screen on Saturday, September 23rd at 11:00 a.m. at the Laemmle Theaters Monica 4 Plex in Santa Monica, 1332 Second Street near Santa Monica Boulevard and Arizona. Laemmle Theaters bill themselves as “the premiere art house chain in Los Angeles.”  The screening is part of the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival traveling exhibition to L.A.  This is a chance to see the film on a big screen and fully appreciate Alan Koshiyama’s original music score and Lillian Benson’s sensitive editing.  Please bring your friends.  Tickets are $10 each and help support the rental of the nice theater.  Come meet Lillian, Alan, co-producer Shannon Gee and myself for a post-screening Q and A.

Update: Saturday, September 9, 2000
Nothing like getting a message that starts with the word “aloha.”

Aloha Frank, Greetings from Hawaii. It is a great pleasure to extend this formal invitation to CONSCIENCE AND THE CONSTITUTION. We wish to present the film at the 20th annual Hawaii International Film Festival. If possible, we would also like to screen the film for our patrons on the Neighbor islands between November 14th and 19th, 2000.

20th HAWAII INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
NOVEMBER 3 – 12 IN HONOLULU ON OAHU
NOVEMBER 14 – 19 ON MAUI, KAUAI, THE BIG ISLAND OF HAWAII, MOLOKAI AND LANAI

We’re working with the programmers now on a date.

Update, Thursday, September 14, 2000
Sounds like folks are going to revive the Seattle Asian American Film Festival next month and have asked us to screen, tentatively, Friday night, October 27th, at a location being negotiated in Belltown.  More to come.  We’re also working on getting a screening going in San Francisco, as we haven’t been seen anywhere in Northern California yet. But first we spent the past two weeks working with Ti Locke and Pam Calvert on our ITVS Viewers Guide, working with Kim Ina and Pam on an outreach letter that will be soon be going out, working with Cara Wilson on media contacts, and adding a new update tag at the end of our show that will make its debut at the Laemmle Theater screening next week in Santa Monica.  Thanks to all of you who have said you’ll come down to say hi.

Congratulations to Emiko and Chizuko Omori on winning a national Emmy for their “Rabbit in the Moon.”  Saw Chizu on the street this week and she was still floating on air.

Update: Wednesday, September 27, 2000
PBS stations are starting to report what’s called carriage of our program.  Here’s the very first weekly report, which will be updated every Tuesday.  I confess, this is pretty exciting to see actual cities and dates.  Most stations will start reporting about a month before our November 30th feed date.  We won’t have completely accurate information until November 14th.

11/16/2000 9:00 PM CT WKNO MEMPHIS TN
11/30/2000 9:00 PM CT WKNO MEMPHIS TN
11/30/2000 10:00 PM ET WNET NEW YORK NY
12/1/2000 2:00 AM ET WPTD DAYTON OH
12/1/2000 5:00 AM ET WPTD DAYTON OH
12/1/2000 8:00 PM MT KAID BOISE ID
12/1/2000 8:00 PM MT KIPT TWIN FALLS ID
12/1/2000 8:00 PM MT KCDT COUER D’ALENE ID
12/1/2000 8:00 PM MT KUID MOSCOW ID
12/1/2000 8:00 PM MT KISU IDAHO FALLS- POCATELLO ID

Thank you New York City for taking us live off the National Program Schedule.  If you live in Dayton, just set your VCR’s I guess.  Or go to Cleveland for our screening at the Ohio Independent Film Festival.  Check our new SCREENINGS link above to check for new festival  showings near you. We are working around the clock right now on our forthcoming PBS.ORG website.  Our sneak preview page will be posted there within days; PBS Online has set November 20th as the date for our new site to go live.  Kim Ina and I are working on campus preview screenings in mid-November in San Francisco, San Jose, and other cities.  And watch your mail for a tune-in postcard and an outreach packet from ITVS.  If you don’t receive one and would like one, email us.

Update: Sunday, October 1, 2000
Just got a phone message that we won first place, documentary category, in the George Sidney Independent Film Competition at the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival.  They screen Oct. 26 through Nov. 5th.  More details when we speak to them.

Update: Wednesday, October 4, 2000
Portland is now added to our film festival list, and thanks to Kim Ina community screenings are now taking shape in San Francisco, San Jose and Sacramento/Florin for the week of November 15-19.  The Hawaii Film Festival has set two dates, the second of which is penciled in for Nov. 10th depending on whether I can make it out there.  San Luis Obispo has set their date for Nov. 4th, the day they present us with the George Sidney Independent Film Competition award for Best Documentary.  Check out all the Screenings and Community Previews.

The PBS carriage report is still very preliminary, but it shows that KQED in San Francisco will carry us at 11:00 p.m. on November 30th.  And thanks to Professor Eric Muller for helping line up the PBS stations in Wyoming and in North Carolina, his hometown, and persuading both outlets to consider using him on a local program to follow the national broadcast.  If you would like to help advance your own group’s goals and outreach, partnering with your local PBS station on our broadcast is a great way to get some visibility in your community.

Watch your mail for a tune-in postcard and an outreach packet from ITVS.  If you don’t receive one and would like one, email us.

Update: Sunday, October 8, 2000
Thanks to Kim Ina and various film festival directors, a pre-broadcast press and outreach tour is shaping up for us.

Nov. 4         San Luis Obispo, CA (San Luis Obispo International Film Festival)
Nov. 5         Portland, OR (Northwest Film and Video Festival)
Nov. 8         Cleveland, OH (Ohio Independent Film Festival, with Cleveland JACL panel to follow)
Nov. 10       Honolulu, HI (Hawaii International Film Festival)
Nov. 15       San Jose, CA (San Jose State University) – tentative
Nov. 16       San Francisco, CA (National Japanese American Historical Society and San
Francisco State University) – tentative
Nov. 19       Sacramento, CA (Florin JACL) – tentative
Nov.  24-26  Bainbridge, Bellingham, Bremerton, Olympia, Spokane, WA (Northwest Coalition for Human Dignity) -tentative

Download the Acrobat .PDF flyer created by Johnny Wu for the Cleveland JACL panel to follow our Ohio Film Fest screening.  Their chapter president is Gary Yano, who grew up with me throughout the 1950’s on East 81st Street in the Hough District, next to the Cleveland Buddhist Church.

Update: Wednesday, October 11, 2000
Glad to see that the latest PBS carriage report shows that our hometown PBS station, KCTS, will carry our show on Dec. 12th.  Stations in Arkansas, once home to the Rohwer and Jerome concentration camps, have also come on board.

Update: Saturday, October 14, 2000
We now have details for you on HOW TO ORDER A TAPE licensed for use by educational institutions and nonprofit organizations.  They are now available for purchase at $265 each.  Shipping is waived on all orders placed on or before November 30th.   Please make out checks to   “C & C Video” and send with your mailing address to:

Resisters.com Productions
3811 S. Horton St.
Seattle, WA 98144

Home video editions will be available starting December 1st.   Check back for more information.For information about international broadcast rights, please contact Art Skopinsky at Monarch Films, 1-888-229-4260.

The 20th annual Hawaii International Film Festival has just announced they have nominated CONSCIENCE AND THE CONSTITUTION for the Golden Maile Award for Best Documentary Film. The Jury this year is composed of Paul Yi, Temuera Morrison, Yuka Sakano, Gayle Lake and Freida Lee Mock. The Jury screening is scheduled to be at the Hawaii Convention Centre on November 5th, 2000 at 12:15pm.

Update: Wednesday, October 18, 2000
Quite a few new stations to report.  See our PBS carriage report.  Also more dates and festival synopses posted on our Screenings page.  Thanks Seattle Mariners for a great season, kept me occupied all summer while working on this site.

Update: Friday, October 20, 2000
Almost as a footnote, the New York International Independent Film & Video Festival called today to say we won BEST DOCUMENTARY at the recent September 2000 festival in Santa Monica.

Update: Friday, November 10, 2000
Aloha from Waikiki where we’ve been nominated for Best Documentary at the Hawaiian International Film Festival and will be speaking tomorrow at a reception tomorrow co-sponsored by Hawaii JACL, AAJA and many others. The community outreach campaign is well underway now, especially in the Pacific Northwest, thanks to the Northwest Coalition for Human Dignity; in Wyoming, thanks to the Heart Mountain, Wyoming Foundation, in North Carolina, thanks to Prof. Eric Muller, and in Northern California, thanks to many groups as seen on our SCREENINGS page.

In Hawaii, please join us on Saturday, Nov. 11, at 2 p.m. for: “Patriotism, Loyalty and Dissent,” co-sponsored by the Japanese American Citizens League of Honolulu, the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii, Asian American Journalists Association-Hawaii, University of Hawaii Ethnic Studies Department and the Office of Multicultural Services at UH.  It’s at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii.

In Wyoming, organized by Ann Noble of the Heart Mountain, Wyoming Foundation:
1) Sheridan. November 19, 2000 10:00 a.m. at Mohns Center, Sheridan College. Sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.
2) Casper. November 17, 2000 7:00 p.m. at Leik Auditorium, Health ScienceBuilding, Casper College, Casper. Sponsored by the Natrona County Grassroots Project and Casper College Multi-Cultural Film Festival.
3) Powell. November 21, 2000 7:00 p.m. at the Homesteader Museum. Sponsored by the Homesteader Museum and the Heart Mountain, Wyoming Foundation.
4) Pinedale. November 28, 2000 10:00 a.m. Pinedale High School Auditorium.  Sponsored by the Museum of the Mountain Man and the Heart Mountain, Wyoming Foundation.

In North Carolina, organized by Eric Muller:
1) Duke Law School, 11/16 (sponsored by the Asian Law Students Association);
2) University of North Carolina Law School, 11/15 (co-sponsored by the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association and the University of North Carolina Law Review);
3) University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, 12/6 (sponsored by the Program in Asian Studies at UNC-CH); and
4) a screening at Duke at a time in November still to be determined, to be sponsored by the Asian/Pacific Studies Institute at Duke University).

And one more chance to see us in New York City. The NewFilmmakers Anthology series has booked us for Wednesday, November 15, 2000, 8:00 p.m. We’re the feature presentation for the NewDocFilmmakers series, “our bi-monthly focus on today’s most compelling and most innovative documentary films.”  Thanks to Vivian Huang at Asian CineVision for recommending us.  The program starts with NewFilmmakers Yoga class at 5:00 p.m.!  They’re located at 32 Second Avenue at 2nd Street.

Click through to our Screenings and Community Previews page for time, place and other details.

Nov. 10-11     Honolulu, HI (Hawaii International Film Festival)*
Nov. 15     San Jose, CA (San Jose State University)*
Nov. 16     San Francisco, CA (National Japanese American Historical Society and San
Francisco State University Performing Arts Center)*
Nov. 17     Denver, CO (University of Colorado/Making Waves)
Nov. 19     Sacramento, CA (Florin JACL)*

Add to the above these dates set up by Kate Boyd of the Northwest Coalition for Human Dignity, representing the merger of the Northwest Coalition Against Malicious Harrassment and the Coalition for Human Dignity.

BELLINGHAM, WA – Wednesday, November 15, 2000
Whatcom Human Rights Task Force, with panelists:

  • Professor Midori Takagi will speak about the continuing cultural impact of internment on west-coast Japanese-Americans
  • Professor Dan First-Scout Rowe, a Vietnam Vet and longtime pacifist will discuss the similar and different experiences among Native Americans and Japanese Americans in the military (and interned, whether in camps or reservations) during WW2 and Vietnam
  • Charles Swett, a local activist, will reflect on his incarceration as a C.O. during WW2, and relate that experience to his lifelong commitment to civil rights and social change.
  • David Hunter will address questions of constitutional law and the draft.  Mr. Hunter spent years during the Vietnam war counseling and defending Draft resisters in the Northwest..

The event, which is free, includes a reception, a screening of the film, and a panel presentation and question period. 7pm, Nov 15th. Science Lecture Hall 130, WWU Campus. Free Parking in lot 14G.

BREMERTON, WA – Thursday, November 16, 2000
Kitsap Human Rights Network, with panelists Fumi Hayashida and co-producer Shannon Gee.
VANCOUVER, WA – Thursday, November 16, 2000
Coalition Against Hate
WYOMING – Friday, November 17, 2000
Wyoming Grassroots Project
SPOKANE, WA – November 15, 17, 22, 2000
Spokane Human Rights Commission
ST. MARY’S, ID – Friday, November 24, 2000
MOSCOW, ID – Wednesday, November 29, 2000

Latah Human Rights Task Force

Update: Saturday, November 25, 2000
The one-week countdown has started to our national PBS broadcast, to be seen in these major markets on Thursday, November 30th:

at 9:00 PM
KDTN DALLAS- FORT WORTH, TX 
KAWB MINNEAPOLIS- ST. PAUL, MN 


at 10:00 PM 
WNET NEW YORK, NY
KVCR SAN BERNARDINO, CA serving Riverside, Pasadena, Long Beach, Pomona
KHET HONOLULU, HI
KAET PHOENIX, AZ 

at 11:00 PM
KQED SAN FRANCISCO- OAKLAND- SAN JOSE, CA
KVIE SACRAMENTO-STOCKTON-MODESTO, CA 

Stations in Washington and Oregon states, and in Atlanta, have scheduled the show for December 11th and 12th.  Washington, DC is on December 23rd.  See the complete broadcast schedule for the station nearest you.  If your city does not appear, your local PBS affiliate may be holding it for later broadcast, in which case please contact them to let them know of your interest.  Find your local PBS station here.  Here’s how we’re described in the new PBS email newsletter:

CONSCIENCE AND THE CONSTITUTION Thursday, November 30, 2000 (10-11:00 pm) This award-winning and controversial documentary reveals the untold story of the largest organized resistance to the wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans, and the suppression of that resistance by Japanese-American leaders. (CC, Stereo)

ITVS has created a new 30-second Quickime Preview for our broadcast that will air on PBS stations.  It was cut by producer Carl Jacobs of Minneapolis, using the original soundtrack theme composed by Alan Koshiyama.  For those who haven’t seen us yet, this is your first chance to hear Alan’s terrific music.

Our new PBS Online website has just gone live atwww.pbs.org/conscience.  Please check it out and send a comment, compliment or complaint via the Talkback page.  The focus of thisResisters.com site will now shift to a two-fold mission: to support the PBS Online site with additional documentation and updates on news, reviews and upcoming screenings and appearances, and to take orders for videocassettes.

Our home videos are now available through this website.  Here is the look of the 4-color VHS sleeve, created by Robert Kato Design of San Francisco, which we just managed to finish in the hour before the San Francisco community premiere.  Click on the image for a close-up view (729 KB).

And our final wall poster is now being produced by Ted Tomita at West Coast Printers in Seattle.  Thanks to David Kim at Anheuser-Busch for supporting this printing.  Click on the image for a close-up view (870 KB).

Some recent interviews:

And yes, thanks, it was nice to finally get some sleep this holiday weekend.  But that won’t last when the new week starts.

The University of Chicago Press has just posted a sample chapter and other pre-publication information on Professor Eric Muller’s forthcoming book, Free to Die for their Country: The Story of the Japanese American Draft Resisters in World War II by Eric Muller (forthcoming from University of Chicago Press in August 2001).  Our deep thanks to Eric for arranging screenings in North Carolina and Duke, and coverage on Wyoming Public Radio.

AWARDS:
BEST FEATURE FILM: VC FilmFest 2000, Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film & Video Festival
BEST DOCUMENTARY: San Luis Obispo International Film Festival
BEST DOCUMENTARY: New York International Independent Film & Video Festival
BEST OF FESTIVAL: Vermont International Film Festival (War and Peace category)
BEST MUSIC SCORE: Emerald City Awards, Seattle

Update: Friday, December 1, 2000
Thanks for tuning in last night for our PBS broadcast premiere in selected markets. 
And thanks for visiting if you were directed here by ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, KCTS Connects, the San Jose Mercury-News or other media outlets.  To hear our interview with Robert Siegel on National Public Radio’s ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, make sure you have the Real Player plug-in andclick here.  The first reviews are in.  Please send us links to other reviews in your local paper:

Update: Tuesday, December 5, 2000
The broadcast of our show, as I had hoped, is helping us find other resisters we’d been looking for.  That was the case while waiting at the Honolulu Star-Bulletin last month, and editor Craig Gima started researching leads for Eddie Yanagisako, one of the two authors of the “Song of Cheyenne” in our show.  I was able to contact his daughter just before catching a flight home, and turned over the number to a reporter who was able to go talk to Mr. Yanagisako for this front-page story, The Resisters,” by Treena Shapiro, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, November 30th.  

We’ve just learned WGBH/Boston has scheduled our show for February 18, 2001, on Channel 44, with a community screening a few weeks before.  Thanks to Margie Yamamoto of WGBH.

We’ve clarified the prices of tapes for high schools and public libraries on our Orderspage.  Also new today is a Frequently Asked Questions page, with the real questions you want answered… like why weren’t we seen in LA and Chicago, and where can I get a copy of the courtroom photo?

Update: Friday, December 8, 2000
Seattle’s newspaper guild may be on strike, but thanks to the Post-Intelligencer’s striking TV critic, John Levesque, for reviewing us in the guild’s Seattle Union Record, “Documentary explodes myth about Japanese-American internment.”  If you’re in Seattle, listen for us on KUOW-FM today at 2:00 p.m., and tomorrow on KCMU-FM live at 7:30 a.m. and on my old alma mater, KIRO Newsradio 710, on Bob Pittman’s “Legal Line” from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Update: Tuesday, December 12, 2000
Today’s the day for our hometown broadcast premiere in Seattle.  Listen for us live at 6:35 a.m. this morning on KIRO Newradio 710, interviewed by an old colleague, Gregg Hersholt.

Update: Monday, December 18, 2000
Due to several requests we’ve made our home videos available through select retail outlets: in San Francisco at the National Japanese American Historical Society; in Los Angeles at the Japanese American National Museum Store; and in Seattle at the Channel 9 Store at Rainier Square, and at David Ishii Bookseller, 212 First Avenue S. in Pioneer Square.  If you come to David’s store you might even find me there having lunch.  The primary outlet is calling Transit Media at 1-800-343-5540, or by direct mail available through this website.  Our 4-color VHS sleeve was created by Robert Kato Design of San Francisco; click on the image for a close-up view (729 KB).

Chicago PBS station WTTW has just scheduled us for January 2nd at 10:00 p.m. CST. Thanks for those who have called the station to request it.  See the complete broadcast schedule for the station nearest you.  If your city does not appear, your local PBS affiliate may be holding it for later broadcast, in which case please contact them to let them know of your interest.  Find your local PBS station here.

For a streaming video clip of myself and Minidoka resister Frank Yamasaki, check out this RealPlayer clip from our November 30th KCTS Connects interview with Enrique Cerna on the Seattle PBS station.  On the RealPlayer menu bar move the slider 13 minutes and 30 seconds into the 29:15 minute show.  We appear after the glass harmonica player.

Just catching up to articles on our Seattle premiere in The Morning News Tribune of Tacoma by Ernest Jasmin and in the currently non-union Seattle Times.