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https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/943/

Growth in Numbers

We had meetings, and before, we used to have maybe four or five people at the meeting or six people at a meeting, now we're getting fifteen, twenty people at a meeting. And they all wanted to voice their opinion about certain things and what the strategy should be and so forth, which was very good, that's what we wanted. We wanted input from the community. And we were getting an ear full. And they made sure that we're gonna toe the line that we have talked about.

And I mean, when we had the Day of Remembrance program, when we had program like that, fifty people showed up, but after the hearing, 200, 300 people showing up for the program, so it was a big difference before the hearing and after the hearing.

So the movement was there already, I mean, it's started and the environment was there, the leaders can talk within the environment. Without that environment, they were scared to open their mouth about redress because they are afraid of people criticizing them. But with the kind of environment that we created and the hearings created, they felt comfortable working in the redress movement.


Redress movement

Date: September 13, 1997

Location: California, US

Interviewer: Larry Hashima

Contributed by: Denshō: The Japanese American Legacy Project.

Interviewee Bio

Bert Nakano was born in 1928 in Honolulu, HI. While most of the Japanese Americans in Hawaii did not suffer through internment during World War II, the Nakano’s were one of the families from the islands that were rounded up and sent to concentration camps on the mainland. Nakano was then 14 years old. First he went to Jerome, AR and later Tule Lake in California.

After marrying and stints in Chicago, IL and Japan, Nakano resettled in Southern California. For years, Nakano was bitter about the camp experience, and rebelled against the feelings of shame many Japanese Americans felt about their heritage after the war.

In 1976, prodded by his college-aged son to get involved in issues about which he had strong opinions, Nakano joined the Little Tokyo People’s Rights Organization, a grassroots group opposing the City of Los Angeles’ redevelopment plans that threatened the existence of low-to-moderate-income Nikkei residents and small family-owned businesses.

In 1978, Nakano helped found the Los Angeles Community Coalition for Redress and Reparations, which sought restitution for Japanese Americans who were incarcerated during World War II. In 1980, the Los Angeles group joined other community-based groups throughout the country to form the National Coalition for Redress and Reparations (NCRR). Nakano served as NCRR’s national spokesperson for nine years as the organization worked closely with Nikkei legislators, veterans’ groups and the Japanese American Citizens League and others to obtain justice. Bert Nakano died in 2003. (April 15, 2008)

Norman Yoshio Mineta
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Norman Yoshio Mineta

Finding supporters for the bill

(b. 1931) U.S. Former Secretary of Transportation

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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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Norman Yoshio Mineta
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Norman Yoshio Mineta

Getting Jim Wright to sponsor the bill

(b. 1931) U.S. Former Secretary of Transportation

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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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Aiko Yoshinaga Herzig

Waiting for the right time to start Redress Movement

(1924-2018) Researcher, Activist

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Dale Minami
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Dale Minami

Impact of the original Korematsu case on current events

(b. 1946) Lawyer

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Clifford Uyeda
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Clifford Uyeda

The unheralded help from beyond the community

(1917 - 2004) Political activist

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Bill Hosokawa
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Bill Hosokawa

The Strength of Evidence

(1915 - 2007) Journalist

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Cherry Kinoshita
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Cherry Kinoshita

Need for Monetary Compensation

(1923–2008) One of the leaders behind the redress movement.

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Cherry Kinoshita
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Cherry Kinoshita

Erasing the Bitterness

(1923–2008) One of the leaders behind the redress movement.

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George Yoshida
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George Yoshida

Sansei and the Redress Movement

(b. 1922) Musician

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William Marutani
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William Marutani

Figuring out a dollar amount for redress

Judge, only Japanese American to serve on CWRIC.

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William Marutani
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William Marutani

On hearing of CWRIC selection from Senator Inouye

Judge, only Japanese American to serve on CWRIC.

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William Marutani
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William Marutani

Rationale for rejecting redress payment

Judge, only Japanese American to serve on CWRIC.

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