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August 7, 2012 | By Chris Barton
The story of the internment of more than 100,000 Japanese Americans during World War II hasn't always gotten widespread attention in the United States. But with construction beginning on the new Topaz Museum and Education Center in Utah, another step is being taken to keep the memory alive. In a groundbreaking ceremony on Sunday that featured Taiko drumming and a book signing by former Japanese internment camp resident turned Disney animator Willie Ito, the museum began work on a location some 16 miles away from the original Topaz camp.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 29, 2014 | By Cindy Chang
As thoroughbreds were groomed and prepped for the day's races, a group of elderly Japanese Americans circled the stables of Santa Anita in a tram. For six months in 1942, they lived here, in the same stalls where horses had slept, before being shipped to internment camps in isolated areas of the country. Back then, arriving adults mourned the loss of homes and businesses, while children explored the grounds, making new friends. In the barns, a thin layer of asphalt was all that separated families from layers of manure.
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NEWS
November 7, 2000 | MELISSA LAMBERT
To some, Mike Masaoka is a hero. On Thursday, when a national memorial to the patriotism of Japanese Americans during World War II is dedicated in Washington, a quotation from Masaoka will be memorialized in stone. A 25-year-old Masaoka penned the words at a time when 120,000 Japanese Americans were held in internment camps in California and other Western states because they were judged to be a security threat to the nation.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 5, 2014 | By Hector Becerra
In celebration of the Year of the Horse, the Japanese American National Museum is hosting a festival Sunday that includes pony rides, candy sculpting and food, like buckwheat noodles eaten for good luck. The Oshogatsu Family Festival, celebrating the New Year, is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m, at the downtown museum at 100 N. Central Avenue. The event will feature origami (the art of paper-folding), an onigiri (rice balls) making contest, and the raffling every hour from noon to the close of the festival of horse candy sculptures by artist Shan Ichiyanagi.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 1, 2005 | Claudia Luther Times Staff Writer, Times Staff Writer
Fred Korematsu, the Japanese American whose court case over his refusal to be interned during World War II went to the U.S. Supreme Court and became synonymous with this nation's agonized debate over civil liberties during times of war, has died. He was 86. Korematsu died Wednesday of respiratory illness at his daughter's home in the Northern California community of Larkspur, according to his attorney, Dale Minami. "He had a very strong will," Minami said of Korematsu.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 14, 2000
Duane T. Ebata, the artistic director of the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center in Los Angeles, has died. Ebata, who had been on medical leave from the center for the last nine months, died Thursday of cancer at his home in Los Angeles. He was 49. Born in Hawaii but raised in Southern California, Ebata graduated from Cal State Long Beach in 1975 and taught in the equal opportunity program there from 1979 to 1984.
NEWS
June 13, 2000 | MICHAEL HARRIS, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
The timing is right for a history like this. The World War II generation is dying out, and America has reacted with a wave of patriotic nostalgia. Books such as Tom Brokaw's "The Greatest Generation" and movies such as "Saving Private Ryan" are celebrating the "good war" against the Axis and the virtues that won it as they haven't been celebrated in decades.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 16, 1995 | K. CONNIE KANG, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Through no fault of his own, Jim Sugasawara had to wait more than half a century to get his diploma from Compton High School. Thursday evening, the retired Japanese American auto mechanic from Altadena finally got the diploma that he didn't get 53 years ago because the United States, the country of his birth, was at war with Japan, the country of his ancestors. "I'll probably sleep with it, " said Sugasawara, who will be 72 in August.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 19, 2008 | Teresa Watanabe, Times Staff Writer
On an uninviting swatch of arid desert, marked by sagebrush and mesquite trees just east of the California border, the winds of war blew together the fates of two beleaguered peoples. In a now familiar tale, 120,000 Japanese Americans were removed from the West Coast and relocated to internment camps after Japan's 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor and the subsequent U.S. entry into World War II. But in a little known piece of that history, the U.S.
NEWS
May 30, 1999 | K. CONNIE KANG, TIMES STAFF WRITER
When the city sought ideas for revitalizing Little Tokyo, a group of kids submitted their proposal on a sheet of notebook paper. It was a drawing of a gymnasium, with a handwritten caption: This is what we want. Leaders at a national conference on the future of the Japanese American community in Los Angeles had the same idea. Basketball has for generations been one of the most popular pastimes among Japanese Americans.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 3, 2013 | From Los Angeles Times staff and wire reports
Bob Fletcher, who quit his job as a state agricultural inspector during World War II to save the Sacramento farms of interned Japanese American families, died May 23 in Sacramento, his family announced. He was 101. A few months after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, the U.S. government forced Japanese immigrants and Americans of Japanese descent to report to barbed-wire camps in 1942. Many lost their homes to thieves or bank foreclosures. In the face of deep anti-Japanese sentiment - Fletcher was taunted as a "Jap lover" and nearly hit by a bullet fired at a barn - he stepped in to save the farms of the Nitta, Okamoto and Tsukamoto families.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 24, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Edgar Award-winning author Naomi Hirahara published her first Mas Arai mystery in 2004; the series starring the Japanese American gardener and crime solver is now on its fifth novel, "Strawberry Yellow. " She visited our video booth at the L.A. Times Festival of Books to talk with staff writer Carolyn Kellogg about the character and its connection to her heritage. Japanese gardeners were iconic in Southern California in the 1940s, '50s, and '60s, Hirahara explains. But detectives -- not so much.
TRAVEL
April 14, 2013
I feel compelled to respond to Bill Watters' letter of April 7 regarding Japanese internment during World War II. First, he seemed to have missed his history lessons as many of these internees were U.S. citizens. Second, if their "spartan" camps provided "medical and social" needs, it is because the internees had to build them from scratch. Third, upon their return they were not compensated. Most lost their homes (forced to sell before being forced to leave), their businesses, property and farms.
TRAVEL
March 31, 2013 | By Diana Lambdin Meyer
CODY, Wyo. - The drive east of Cody is through high desert, and the February weekend of my visit was bitterly cold. But I was wearing a heavy down coat, snow pants and boots, and riding in a cozy, warm SUV. That's not how nearly 14,000 earlier visitors had arrived in Cody. They came by train from California in late August, and they weren't wearing down or fleece, nor did they have a comfy hotel room awaiting them. They were among the 100,000 Japanese Americans relocated from the West Coast to the interior of the U.S. at the beginning of World War II, shortly after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.
NEWS
February 22, 2013 | By Jay Jones, This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.
The Japanese American soldiers who fought valiantly in World War II, even as many of their relatives were held in internment camps, will be remembered in an exhibition at Honolulu's Bishop Museum . “American Heroes: Japanese-American WWII Nisei Soldiers and the Congressional Gold Medal ” will be on display March 9-April 14. At the core of the exhibit, curated by the Smithsonian National Museum of American History , is the actual...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 21, 2013 | Rebecca Trounson, Los Angeles Times
George Aratani, a Los Angeles businessman who donated millions of dollars to Japanese American causes, and with his wife endowed the nation's first academic chair to study the World War II internment of people of Japanese descent and their efforts to gain redress, has died. He was 95. An entrepreneur who founded the Mikasa china and Kenwood electronics firms, Aratani died Tuesday at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center of complications of pneumonia, his daughter Linda Aratani said. He had lived at the Keiro nursing facility in Lincoln Heights since last summer.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 11, 1998 | HANS GREIMEL, ASSOCIATED PRESS
They took the field with such names as the Los Angeles Nippons, Seattle Asahis and Portland Mikados. In the 1920s, '30s and early '40s, Japanese American amateur and semipro leagues thrived, producing a handful of players who seemed poised to make the move to the major leagues and change the face of the game forever. Until the bombing of Pearl Harbor, that is.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 9, 1999 | K. CONNIE KANG, TIMES STAFF WRITER
After a contentious membership meeting at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center in Little Tokyo last fall, board member Frances Hashimoto lamented: "I never thought Japanese were that confrontational." To Hashimoto, who grew up in Little Tokyo and runs her family's confectionary there, the public airing of simmering disagreements between Japanese-born immigrants and Japanese Americans over the operation of the landmark cultural center seemed almost un-Japanese.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 25, 2012 | By Corina Knoll, Los Angeles Times
His hands are like bronze mitts - cracked and weathered by labor, age and too much sun. But his touch is soft. He cups the branch of a willowy shrub and nods toward the hills for which it is named. "This is a Hollywood juniper," Tadashi Hamada says. He knows the breed well. An evergreen with twisted tufts, it is native to his birth country, Japan. This one is planted in front of his Mid-City home, where the paint peels and the stoop sags. Fishing a pair of clippers from his pocket, Hamada begins to prune.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 20, 2012 | By Anne Marie Welsh, Special to the Los Angeles Times
SAN DIEGO - Like "The Scottsboro Boys" and "Parade" before it, "Allegiance - A New American Musical," about the internment of Japanese Americans after Pearl Harbor, attempts to confront a shameful episode in American history and rewrite it as musical theater. Now in its world premiere at the Old Globe, "Allegiance" takes a different route from those dark, sardonic and largely successful shows about bigotry and racial hysteria. "Allegiance" presents a surprisingly mild story of family fractures, not an indictment of American failures.
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