with Holly Yasui (photo: Frank Abe)

In Memoriam: Holly Yasui

As a community we are grieving the loss of Holly Yasui, youngest daughter of Min Yasui and producer/director of the award-winning film, Never Give Up!: Minoru Yasui and the Fight for Justice.

Holly was so gracious in approaching me when were both speaking at the Nichi Bei Weekly’s 2018 Films of Remembrance program in San Francisco. It turned out we both were kind of worried about what the other thought of our work. I was glad to tell her I thought her film had strong writing that reframed his narrative in my mind, an excellent piece of timely filmmaking that stands on its own as far more than a daughter’s loving tribute to her father.

with Holly Yasui (photo: Frank Abe)
With Holly at Cafe Mums, after the 2018 Nichi Bei Weekly Films of Remembrance. (photo: Kenji Taguma)

So we had a great talk and found so much we had in common. She reminded me how she was once involved with a draft resister, and how that put her at odds with her father’s stance against the Nisei draft resisters, while still respecting his reasoning that one should obey the law first, then you have a stronger position from which to argue your case.

Holly died October 31 of complications from COVID-19. Word is she contracted it while traveling from her home in Mexico to Denver to get vaccinated. She will be greatly missed.

poster (Andy Katayama)


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