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Fighting For What’s Right

Well, I think the legacy is, for the Nisei, if they hadn't been aware of it before, that they can use, that they should use their rights as citizens to ask for relief. So, you might lose maybe, but at least you may take, you know, you have to take that chance. And it's like Henry said, that some of his non-Japanese friends kind of, didn't respect us because we weren't fighting for what we thought was right, and that we were being so quiet and taking all that, I guess, on the chin. And also, I think, for the future generations, gives them some feeling that, "Well, our parents did it, you know, they suffered, but they went back and they fought, they took a stand."


civil rights Redress movement

Date: September 11, 1997

Location: California, US

Interviewer: Glen Kitayama

Contributed by: Denshō: The Japanese American Legacy Project.

Interviewee Bio

Sue Kunitomi Embrey was born in 1923 in Los Angeles, CA. She grew up in Little Tokyo prior to World War II. At the age of 19 she was incarcerated at Manzanar with other persons of Japanese ancestry. There, she became editor of the camp newspaper, The Manzanar Free Press. After the war, Embrey spent a few years in the Midwest before returning to California in 1948 where she got married and started a career as a schoolteacher.

In 1969 Embrey helped organize the very first Manzanar Pilgrimage and soon after co-founded the Manzanar Committee that spearheaded the effort to designate Manzanar as a California State Historic Landmark and eventually a National Historic Site.

Initially, Embrey was one of the few who broke the Nisei generation’s silence about the internment. Instead of forgetting the past, Embrey chose to educate, first by sharing her experience with Sansei and Yonsei, and later by advising on the planning of the interpretive center at Manzanar that opened in 2004. Sue Embrey passed away in 2006 at 83 years old. (April 15, 2008)

Yuri Kochiyama
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Yuri Kochiyama

Didn't have rights that whites had

(1922–2014) Political and civil rights activist.

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Grayce Ritsu Kaneda Uyehara
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Grayce Ritsu Kaneda Uyehara

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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Peggie Nishimura Bain
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Peggie Nishimura Bain

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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Art Shibayama
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Art Shibayama

Denied redress as a Japanese Peruvian

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

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Roger Shimomura
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Roger Shimomura

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

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

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Frank Yamasaki
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Frank Yamasaki

Thoughts on redress

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

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Mitsuo Ito
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Mitsuo Ito

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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Aiko Yoshinaga Herzig
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Aiko Yoshinaga Herzig

Positive experiences with Asian Americans for Action

(1924-2018) Researcher, Activist

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Aiko Yoshinaga Herzig
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Aiko Yoshinaga Herzig

Redress payments to Issei who did not enter camps

(1924-2018) Researcher, Activist

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Aiko Yoshinaga Herzig
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es
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Aiko Yoshinaga Herzig

Waiting for the right time to start Redress Movement

(1924-2018) Researcher, Activist

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Jack Herzig
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es
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Jack Herzig

His testimony has more credibility because of his race

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

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Jack Herzig
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Jack Herzig

Bringing the Japanese American community together through class-action lawsuit

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

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Lorraine Bannai
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Lorraine Bannai

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

(b. 1955) Lawyer

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Lorraine Bannai
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es
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Lorraine Bannai

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

(b. 1955) Lawyer

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Dale Minami
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Dale Minami

Not fully understanding parents' World War II incarceration while growing up

(b. 1946) Lawyer

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