Discover Nikkei

https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/1013/

“No more shikataganai”

When there’s a real blatant injustice like that, they should speak up. No more shikataganai, you know, “can’t help it.” You know, they should speak up. And it’s like in this present condition, in this Iraq War thing, there’s a minority of people are speaking up, but the majority just seem to go along with anything the Bush family proposes. Now, they’re, gradually, the other groups are starting to get a little wiser and starting to speak out. But I think that the lesson is to not take everything lying down. You have to speak up, I think, even if it seems like it’s against all odds. Just like in our case, we took on the government, but uh… In our case, we were lucky, we finally, uh, prevailed at the end.


civil rights Redress movement resistance

Date: May 9, 2006

Location: California, US

Interviewer: Lisa Itagaki

Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum

Interviewee Bio

Frank Emi was born on September 23, 1916 in Los Angeles, CA. He ran the family produce business until life was interrupted by war. Emi was sent to Heart Mountain, Wyoming with his young wife and two kids.

Emi, along with many others, openly questioned the constitutionality of the incarceration of Japanese Americans. He helped form the Heart Mountain Fair Play Committee and protested against the government’s actions by organizing a draft resistance. Emi was not even eligible for the draft because he was a father.

The Fair Play Committee argued that they were willing to serve in the military, but not until their rights as U.S. citizens were restored and their families released from the camps. The government convicted Emi and six others leaders of conspiracy to evade the draft. He served 18 months in jail. 86 others from Heart Mountain were put on trial and imprisoned for resisting the draft.

Following the war, Emi and other draft resisters were ostracized by Japanese American leaders and veterans. It was not until the fight for Redress, some forty years later that the Fair Play Committee was vindicated for taking a principled stand against injustice.

He passed away on December 2010 at age 94. (December 2010)

Hirabayashi,James
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Hirabayashi,James

Gordon's parents' experience in prison

(1926 - 2012) Scholar and professor of anthropology. Leader in the establishment of ethnic studies as an academic discipline

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Kochiyama,Yuri
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Kochiyama,Yuri

Didn't have rights that whites had

(1922–2014) Political and civil rights activist.

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Uyehara,Grayce Ritsu Kaneda
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Uyehara,Grayce Ritsu Kaneda

Importance of education in achieving redress for incarceration

(1919-2014) Activist for civil rights and redress for World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans.

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Bain,Peggie Nishimura
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Bain,Peggie Nishimura

Response to loyalty questionnaire

(b.1909) Nisei from Washington. Incarcerated at Tule Lake and Minidoka during WWII. Resettled in Chicago after WWII

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Shibayama,Art
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Shibayama,Art

Denied redress as a Japanese Peruvian

(1930-2018) Nisei born in Peru. Taken to the United States during WWII.

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Shimomura,Roger
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Shimomura,Roger

Receiving a negative reaction from father upon asking about World War II experience

(b. 1939) Japanese American painter, printmaker & professor

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Yamasaki,Frank
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Yamasaki,Frank

Thoughts on redress

(b. 1923) Nisei from Washington. Resisted draft during WWII.

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Ito,Mitsuo
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Ito,Mitsuo

Redress Movement in Canada

(b.1924) Japanese Canadian Nisei. Interpreter for British Army in Japan after WWII. Active in Japanese Canadian community

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Herzig,Aiko Yoshinaga
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Herzig,Aiko Yoshinaga

Positive experiences with Asian Americans for Action

(1924-2018) Researcher, Activist

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Herzig,Aiko Yoshinaga
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Herzig,Aiko Yoshinaga

Redress payments to Issei who did not enter camps

(1924-2018) Researcher, Activist

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Herzig,Aiko Yoshinaga
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Herzig,Aiko Yoshinaga

Waiting for the right time to start Redress Movement

(1924-2018) Researcher, Activist

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Herzig,Jack
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Herzig,Jack

His testimony has more credibility because of his race

(1922 - 2005) Former U.S. Army counterintelligence officer

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Herzig,Jack
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Herzig,Jack

Bringing the Japanese American community together through class-action lawsuit

(1922 - 2005) Former U.S. Army counterintelligence officer

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Bannai,Lorraine
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Bannai,Lorraine

Feeling angry upon reading of Supreme Court case, 'Korematsu v. United States'

(b. 1955) Lawyer

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Bannai,Lorraine
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Bannai,Lorraine

Is 'Korematsu v. United States' still a threat to American civil liberties?

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