Category Archives: Fair Play Committee

Events coming up for the first half of 2019

Thanks to all who came to hear us speak in 2018. The schedule for the first half of 2019 is shaping up as an even busier one, with events for JOHN OKADA, CONSCIENCE AND THE CONSTITUTION, and a look back at the first Day of Remembrance.  For updates on this calendar, please always check the Upcoming Events page on the main menu.

San Francisco Public Library logoSAN FRANCISCO, CA
Tues., Jan. 8, 2019 @ 6:00 pm
San Francisco Public Library
100 Larkin Street, Latino/Hispanic Rooms A & B 

JOHN OKADA book talk and signing with co-editor Frank Abe. RSVP via the Facebook Event.

Palo Alto City Library logo PALO ALTO, CA
Thurs., Jan. 10, 2019 @ 7:00 pm Palo Alto Rinconada Library
1213 Newell Road
Embarcadero Room

JOHN OKADA book talk and signing with co-editor Frank Abe. RSVP via the Facebook Event and download the flyer.

USC logoLOS ANGELES, CA
Friday, Feb. 1, 2019
University of Southern California
Shinso Ito Center for Japanese Religions and Culture
Doheny Memorial Library, East Asian Seminar Room

JOHN OKADA co-editors Frank Abe and Greg Robinson will present on the life of the author and the process of unearthing his lost stories. Free admission.  RSVP on their Event page.

museum logoLOS ANGELES, CA
Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019 @ 2:00 pm
Japanese American National Museum
100 N. Central Ave.

Southern California book launch for JOHN OKADA with co-editors Frank Abe, Greg Robinson, and special guests, at an event moderated by Densho’s Brian Niiya. Admission free but RSVP at their Event page.

UCLA Asian American Studies CenterLOS ANGELES, CA
Monday, Feb. 4, 2019 @ 12:30 – 1:45 pm
University of California, Los Angeles
Kaplan Hall, Room A68 

Frank Abe will speak with students of Prof. Kelly Fong’s AAS 103 Social Science Research Methods class on the research behind the book, JOHN OKADA, and his film, CONSCIENCE AND THE CONSTITUTION.

JAJA group photo

NEW YORK, NY
Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
JAJA – Japanese Americans and Japanese in America
12 W. 18th St, Apt #3E

JOHN OKADA co-editor Frank Abe with speak with the informal potluck gathering of people of Japanese ancestry living in NY.

UConn logoSTORRS, CT
Thursday, February 21, 2019
University of Connecticut Asian and Asian American Studies Institute

2019 “Day of Remembrance” panel with JOHN OKADA co-editors Frank Abe, Greg Robinson, and Floyd Cheung. Details to come.

New York Day of RemembranceNEW YORK, NY
Saturday, February 23, 2019 @ 1:00 pm
Japanese American United Church
255 7th Avenue

“Day of Remembrance” co-founder Frank Abe will speak at the 2019 New York Day of Remembrance.

Hope College logoHOLLAND, MI
Thursday, March 7, 2019 @ 4:00 – 5:30 pm
Hope College
Jim and Martie Bultman Student Center, Schaap Auditorium

Frank Abe will present the college’s annual Asian Heritage Lecture, a campuswide event for students and faculty and open to the public.

Elliott Bay Book Company logoSEATTLE, WA
Tuesday, April 2, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
Elliott Bay Book Company
1521 Tenth Avenue

Frank Abe will join Art Hansen in presenting Nisei Naysayer: The Memoir of Militant Japanese American Journalist Jimmie Omura, in the area of Omura’s birth on Bainbridge Island. Hansen edited Omura’s wartime diary. Abe documented Omura in the film, Conscience and the Constitution, and provided the afterword to this new volume.

Association for Asian American Studies logoMADISON, WI
Thurs-Fri, April 25-26, 2019
Association for Asian American Studies annual conference

1) Frank Abe will speak on a panel chaired by Greg Robinson on “‘Rabbit in the Moon’ and ‘Conscience and the Constitution’: Looking Backward and Forward”, Thursday, April 25, 1:00 – 2:30 pm.

2) JOHN OKADA co-editors Frank Abe, Greg Robinson, and Floyd Cheung will reunite for a book signing sponsored by the University of Washington Press, Thursday, 6:00 – 7:00 pm.

3) OKADA co-editor Floyd Cheung will chair a panel on “John Okada’s Unknown Works: Reassessing the (Un)governability of Japanese Americans in Mid-century America.,  Friday, April 26, 1:00 – 2:30 pm.

UW Libraries logoSEATTLE, WA
Thursday, May 2, 2019 @ 6:00 pm
University of Washington Libraries “Libraries Unbound” fundraising dinner
Husky Union Building Ballrooms

JOHN OKADA co-editor Frank Abe will serve as a “table author” for the Friends of the University of Washington Libraries 14th annual fundraising dinner, “Libraries Unbound.” John’s sister Connie was the longtime art librarian for the UW Libraries, and our book is indebted to the Suzzallo and Allen Libraries for the microfilms and bound volumes where we rediscovered all of Okada’s unknown works.

POWELL, WY
Thurs-Sat., July 25-27, 2019
2019 Heart Mountain Pilgrimage

There is a proposal in the works for a panel on the resistance of the Fair Play Committee to be held at this year’s pilgrimage. More to come.

And that’s just the first half of the year. Thanks for following this blog and hope to see you out on the road.

“Resistance, Resettlement, and Redress”

Frank Abe at podiumI’m no lawyer, but I could not say no when the Case Western Reserve Law Review asked for a piece based on our EO9066 panel last November.

The symposium offered me the opportunity to revisit the McDonald Maternity Hospital in Cleveland where I was born, just a block from the Western Reserve campus, and explore my own pre-history of the postwar resettlement of my father out of Heart Mountain and into the Midwest. Continue reading “Resistance, Resettlement, and Redress”

Celebrations of Aiko Herzig Yoshinaga and James Omura

Journalist Jimmie Omura’s “Return to the Wars” Diary Available at SuyamaProject.org Website

James Omura on book coverAn edited and annotated version of James Omura’s redress diary is now available at SuyamaProject.org, a website sponsored by the UCLA Asian American Studies Center, which aims to preserve the history of Japanese American resistance during World War II, including but not limited to the 100th/442nd Regimental Combat Team draftees, draft resisters, No Nos, renunciants, and other Nikkei dissidents. Continue reading Celebrations of Aiko Herzig Yoshinaga and James Omura

In Memoriam: Yosh Kuromiya, the man who drew the line

Yosh Kuromiya

The last major Nisei figure interviewed in our film is gone. We are mourning the loss of Heart Mountain resister Yosh Kuromiya at the age of 95. Continue reading In Memoriam: Yosh Kuromiya, the man who drew the line

The “Drunk History” of the Fair Play Committee

We’ll have whatever Randall Park is drinking! “Drunk History” is a weekly, half-hour series on Comedy Central where historical reenactments by A-list talent are presented by inebriated storytellers.

On June 19, tune in for a wild and woozy retelling of the resistance of Frank Emi and the Heart Mountain Fair Play Committee. Now millions will know the name of the FPC and its battle cry: “No more shikataganai!”

Continue reading The “Drunk History” of the Fair Play Committee

Two National History Day projects draw from “Conscience”

quotations on displayOne of the benefits of putting Resisters.com online is making the story of the Heart Mountain Fair Play Committee and the principled resistance to Japanese American incarceration readily available to students — particularly for National History Day projects. This year our site provided the raw material for two sets of students who selected the story of the Nisei draft resisters and other dissidents to address this year’s topic, “Conflict and Compromise in History.”
Continue reading Two National History Day projects draw from “Conscience”

Nisei Naysayer: announcing the memoir of journalist James Omura

Congratulations to Art Hansen for fulfilling the promise he made to James Omura before Omura’s death in 1994 — to get Jimmie’s memoirs published someday.

It’s taken a quarter-century, but thanks to Art and Stanford University Press you can now see how the journalist who called out JACL in 1942 for “selling Japanese America down the river” was shaped by his beginnings on Bainbridge Island and coming of age in the Pacific Northwest, his early work on Nisei vernaculars in California, and his showdowns with JACL and the US government in San Francisco and Denver.

Frank Chin provides the Foreword, “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men,” Heart Mountain draft resister Yosh Kuromiya provides the Preface, and I was honored to be asked to write the Afterword, entitled “Who Writes History?” Continue reading Nisei Naysayer: announcing the memoir of journalist James Omura

What #Resistance Means Now

Smokey the Bear raising a fistDocumenting the history of Japanese American incarceration, and the resistance to incarceration, was always important, but it remained just that — history, something good to know about, to make sure that mass exclusion on the basis of race “never happens again in America.” But when rangers in the National Park Service have to go undergound, and Smokey the Bear is raising a fist in flames, you know something has gone terribly wrong.

We have just passed the tipping point and now live with an authoritarian American government. #Resistance is a trending hashtag. Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich posts a daily “Resistance Report” on YouTube. Former sportscaster Keith Olberman rebrands his show on GQ as “The Resistance.” Reuters is instructing its reporters how to cover the new Administration as if it were a banana republic. And the story of the Heart Mountain resisters is getting renewed attention.

KUOW logoThanks to host Bill Radke and producer Shane Mehling for having me on Seattle’s NPR affiliate today, on KUOW’s “The Record,” to connect the Japanese American resistance to the current actions in the streets. Here’s a link to the full 11-minute conversation, which has been well-received. As I said to Bill, I feel both validated that the Fair Play Committee is getting recognized, and appalled that we are now talking about a very real threat to Muslim Americans and Mexican Americans for the purpose of fulfilling a campaign promise to a resurgent white nationalism.
Continue reading What #Resistance Means Now

What resistance means now: “Has the Gestapo come to America?”

The Heart Mountain resisters refused induction in 1944 as a last-ditch attempt to clarify their status as American citizens and challenge the constitutionality of the American concentration camps in which they were held. With the actions being threatened by a new Administration, a new kind of resistance is now being called for in the 21st century.

It’s only been one week since the election, and an adviser to the President-elect is testing the public’s willingness to go along with creation of a national registry of all Muslims in America — a database whose only useful purpose would be to make it possible to round them all up for some kind of mass action.

Journalist James Omura saw the dangers of mass registration in February 1942, in his testimony to the Congressional Tolan Committee, which was preparing the public for acceptance of the mass exclusion of a feared racial minority perceived as the enemy. “Has the Gestapo come to America?,” he asked.


Continue reading What resistance means now: “Has the Gestapo come to America?”

REVIEW: Writing in the camps as an act of defiance

Relocating Authority In her revelatory new book, Mira Shimabukuro sets a new standard in camp studies with her framing of what she calls “writing-to-redress.” She goes beyond Bulletin #3 from the Fair Play Committee to recover a wide range of camp writing that challenges authority, much of it by women. such as the letter from the Mothers Society of Minidoka protesting the drafting of their sons, signed by more than 100 Issei women.

Our review in the International Examiner calls this a significant act of redress that once again changes the way we look at the Japanese American response to incarceration, and belies the claim of Mike Masaoka in our film that resistance in the camps was limited to “a relatively small number of dissidents.”
Continue reading REVIEW: Writing in the camps as an act of defiance