BEGIN:VCALENDAR VERSION:2.0 PRODID:-//PYVOBJECT//NONSGML Version 1//EN BEGIN:VEVENT UID:events.uid.1086@www.discovernikkei.org DTSTART:20080531T000000Z DTEND:20080531T000000Z DESCRIPTION:For Immediate Release For more information\, contact\nMay 1 5\, 2008 Michele Welsing\, (323) 759-6063\n\nOkinawan A merican Activist Dick Jiro Kobashigawa to be \nHonored by Southern Califor nia Library on May 31\n\nOkinawan American Dick Jiro Kobashigawa\, age 93\ , will be honored by the Southern California Library for his more than sev en decades of activism for peace and justice.\n\nA ceremony highlighting K obashigawa’s life of activism will be held Saturday\, May 31\, from 2 p. m.\, at the library\, 6120 S. Vermont Ave.\, in south Los Angeles. At the ceremony\, a plaque will be mounted on the library’s Wall of Honor that recognizes other long-time activists in the region.\n\nA former long-time resident of the Japanese American Sawtelle community of west Los Angeles\, Kobashigawa was born in 1914 in Phoenix\, Arizona. He currently lives in San Francisco with his son’s family.\n\nThrough Okinawan immigrant organ izations from the 1930s to the 1970s\, he joined with others to promote pe ace and justice in the U.S. and Japan\, worker rights for immigrants\, and political awareness through cultural activities.\n\nIn the 1970s\, Kobash igawa along with other Okinawa American leaders helped younger activists i n the Asian American Movement form new community groups\, such as the Japa nese Welfare Rights Organization in Little Tokyo.\n\nKobashigawa and other leaders of the Okinawa Club of America were instrumental in having the UC LA Asian American Studies Center publish in 1989 an English language versi on of the book History of the Okinawans in North America. The English lang uage translation was provided by his son\, Professor Ben Kobashigawa\, who now teaches Asian American Studies at the San Francisco State University. \n\nAccording to UCLA Professor Russell C. Leong\, this volume is one of t he few collections of translated primary documents of community organizing activities in an early Asian immigrant community and focuses on the key r ole of the Okinawan immigrant left in influencing political development of Asian Americans.\n\nKobashigawa has also written several short books\, in cluding Hitome-bore (“Love at First Sight”) - published in both Japane se and English\, Scotland no tabi (“Journey” – published in Japanese )\, and Serenity in Gardens\, which incorporates some stories about the Is sei Left.\n\n“Ever since I’ve known him\, Mr. Kobashigawa has served a s a bridge-builder between generations of older and younger activists\,” said high school teacher and community activist Tony Osumi.\n\nYuko Yamau chi\, office manager for the Gardena-based Okinawa Association of America (formerly the Okinawa Club of America)\, highlighted the ways Kobashigawa has helped younger Okinawan Americans to learn about their heritage. “Mr . Kobashigawa generously shared his library of books\, photos\, and films\ , and was equally generous with his time to meet and talk-story about sign ificant historical events that affected the L.A. Okinawan American communi ty. These events are either unknown or glossed over in most books.”\n\nT he Southern California Library was originally founded by Los Angeles activ ists in 1963 as an archive to document the history of grassroots movements and in recent years has expanded its mission to serve as a social justice resource center for movements for peace and justice today.\n\nThe library ’s Wall of Honor currently honors 271 activists. According to Michele We lsing\, the library’s Communications Director\, past honorees have inclu ded several Japanese American activists\, such as Arthur Takei\, James Omu ra\, Flora Murai\, and Sue Embrey.\n SUMMARY:Okinawan American Activist Dick Jiro Kobashigawa to be honored by S outhern California Library URL:/en/events/2008/05/31/okinawan-american-activist-dick-jiro-kobashigawa- t/ END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR