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Internment Camps

October 6, 2010 | By Jordan Steffen, Tribune Washington Bureau
Nearly 69 years after President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered Japanese Americans to internment camps, President Obama signed legislation Tuesday awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to Japanese American World War II veterans. A handful of Japanese American veterans and lawmakers joined Obama in the Oval Office, where he signed the legislation awarding the medal to the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the 100th Infantry Battalion, both known for their motto "Go for Broke," as well as the 6,000 Japanese Americans who served in the Military Intelligence Services during the war. "It is the greatest thing in my life," 91-year-old Grant Ichikawa said after the ceremony.
February 14, 2010 | By Elaine Woo
Henry Fukuhara, a California watercolorist and teacher who attracted many of the field's most accomplished artists to annual painting workshops at the Manzanar relocation camp in Owens Valley, where he and thousands of other Japanese Americans were incarcerated during World War II, died of natural causes Jan. 31 at a nursing home in Yorba Linda, according to his grandson, Paul Niwa. He was 96. A retired flower grower and wholesaler who did not begin painting in earnest until he was nearly 60, Fukuhara was known for energetic, abstract paintings, particularly of Manzanar and Santa Monica, where he grew up. "Henry had such a unique style, so different from most plein-air artists," said Bill Anderson, whose Sunset Beach gallery represented Fukuhara.
January 1, 2010 | By Jeff Gottlieb
The men are wearing neckties. The women are in hats, many of them holding babies. There are 187 people in the black-and-white photograph standing in front of a building, all of them Japanese except for three white people, a man toward the back with a long white beard and two partly obscured women. The photo was taken Nov. 24, 1923. "Commemorative photograph of the dedication ceremony for the farm cooperative hall at the Port of San Pedro, Calif., U.S.A." is the caption, written in Japanese.
July 5, 2009 | Elaine Woo
Togo W. Tanaka, a former journalist and businessman whose reports on life inside the Manzanar internment camp illuminated divisions in the Japanese American community after the attack on Pearl Harbor and the tensions that eventually erupted in riots at the World War II-era detention center, has died. He was 93. Tanaka died of natural causes May 21 at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, according to his daughter, Christine.
July 6, 2008 | Jessie L. Bonner, Associated Press
The farmland faces a skinny stretch of Hunt Road, fields that barely resemble the sagebrush-ridden piece of desert where Charles Coiner learned to drive as a teenager in southern Idaho. Coiner grew up about 15 miles from the site where Japanese Americans were detained behind five miles of barbed wire during World War II. They lived in tar paper-covered barracks at the Minidoka Relocation Center compound. "Even driving by here as a kid, nobody talked about it," he said. Coiner revisited the site in May with a group of Centennial High School students on a field trip, the culmination of several weeks the students spent studying World War II internment camps such as Minidoka.
October 9, 2007 | Elaine Woo, Times Staff Writer
Violet Kazue de Cristoforo, a California poet and scholar who wrote, collected and translated haiku that compressed into a few lines the heartaches and realities of the detention camps where thousands of Japanese Americans were incarcerated during World War II, died Wednesday at her home in Salinas. She was 90. De Cristoforo died two weeks after returning from Washington, D.C.
July 31, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
The U.S. House passed a nonbinding resolution urging Japan to apologize for coercing thousands of women into working as sex slaves for its World War II military. Officials in Tokyo say their country's leaders have apologized repeatedly, but the resolution's supporters say Japan has never fully assumed responsibility. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe caused anger in March when he said there was no evidence that the women had been coerced. Lawmakers want an apology similar to the one the U.S.
May 27, 2007 | Cecilia Rasmussen, Times Staff Writer
Manzanar, Calif., May 1942. It's a warm morning at the dusty, inhospitable World War II internment camp on the bleak edge of the Owens Valley. Latino teenager Ralph Lazo arrives by bus to join his Japanese American friends from Belmont High School. Lazo, a 16-year-old Mexican-Irish American, was motivated by loyalty and outrage at the internment of his friends. He became the only known non-spouse, non-Japanese who voluntarily relocated to Manzanar.
May 3, 2007 | Steve Chawkins, Times Staff Writer
"A combined throng of 600 dance lovers jammed the coronation ballrooms ... to pay tribute to queens Kideko Maeyama and Chiya Sokino in the Farm Management-sponsored 'social of the year.' " -- Gila (Ariz.) News-Courier, Nov. 28, 1942 "On tiny suede match covers bearing the inscription, 'It's a match -- Ruby and George,' the engagement of Miss Ruby Kanaya to Pfc. George K. Suzuki of Ft. Sam Houston, Tex., was made known before a group of 16 girls at the betrothed's home."
December 22, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
President Bush signed into law a $38-million grant program to preserve notorious internment camps where Japanese Americans were kept behind barbed wire during World War II. The money will be administered by the National Park Service to restore and pay for research at 10 camps. The law is intended to help preserve the camps as reminders of how the United States turned on 120,000 of its citizens in a time of fear.
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