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Interviews

Fred Korematsu

(1919 - 2005) Challenged the constitutionality of Executive Order 9066.

A Wrong Righted

Well, I don't feel anything special. I feel that a wrong has righted, and that I'm involved. To have this, you know, not happen again, for educational purposes, I just continue on. And if I can make an appearance in class in so forth, and let the students know what happened, so that this won't ever happen to them or others, it's worthwhile doing.


Date: May 14, 1996

Location: Washington, US

Interviewer: Lorraine Bannai, Tetsuden Kashima

Contributed by: Denshō: The Japanese American Legacy Project.

Interviewee Bio

Fred Korematsu was born on January 30, 1919, in Oakland, California. Korematsu was working as a welder in San Francisco when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. After Executive Order 9066 was issued in 1942, he resisted and made an attempt to leave the state of California. He was apprehended and arrested for failing to report for evacuation. Korematsu was one of several who challenged the constitutionality of Executive Order 9066 in the courts and his case made it to the U.S. Supreme Court, which upheld the order in 1944.

Following World War II, Korematsu moved to Detroit, Michigan, where he married and raised a family before returning to California. In the early 1980s, his case was reopened after the discovery of a document indicating that in the original 1944 case, the federal government had withheld evidence to the high court. U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel vacated the conviction in 1983. In 1998, Korematsu was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Fred Korematsu passed away in 2005. (April 15, 2008)

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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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

Role of the redress movement in helping Nisei to open up about their wartime experiences

(b. 1946) Lawyer

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Dale Minami
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Dale Minami

Memories of hearing the verdict in Fred Korematsu's coram nobis case

(b. 1946) Lawyer

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Dale Minami
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Dale Minami

Impact of the Korematsu coram nobis case, historically and personally

(b. 1946) Lawyer

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Bill Hosokawa
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Bill Hosokawa

The Strength of Evidence

(1915 - 2007) Journalist

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Peter Irons
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Peter Irons

Finding the Smoking Gun

(b. 1940) Attorney, Coram nobis cases.

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Peter Irons
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Peter Irons

Closing the Korematsu Case

(b. 1940) Attorney, Coram nobis cases.

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Peter Irons
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Peter Irons

Lesson to be Learned

(b. 1940) Attorney, Coram nobis cases.

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Chiye Tomihiro
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Chiye Tomihiro

Duties of the Witness Chair

Chaired the Chicago JACL's Redress Committee.

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