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https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/964/

Rationale for rejecting redress payment

I thought it was important early in the game to make it known that if there were any material acknowledgments to be made, that I would not participate in that, that I would not accept it. I thought that was important to do it very early in the game, in order to make sure that my credibility and participation on the commission [Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Citizens] would not be exposed to some kind of criticism….

So, in terms of my participation, I thought it was important that early on in the game that I disavow any material gain or whatever you want to call it. That went on the record. Incidentally, I understand that was misinterpreted by some quarters who were opposed to redress payments as being, well, look, this guy Marutani, he was confined, and he says he doesn’t want his $20,000, or any redress amount. He voted against it. Well, yeah, (chuckles) he voted against it for himself. But I understand that was misinterpreted in some quarters. As a matter of fact, not withstanding (chuckles), ORA1 sent me an application form. They did, and I sent [it] back and said, “I waive it.”

1. With the passage of H.R. 442, the Office of Redress Administration (ORA) was established to implement redress legislation.


Redress movement

Date: August 27, 1998

Location: Pennsylvania, US

Interviewer: Darcie Iki, Mitchell Maki

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

Interviewee Bio

The Honorable William Marutani was born in Kent, Washington. With the enforcement of Executive Order 9066, Marutani was forced to leave his classes at the University of Washington and sent to Fresno Assembly Center in 1942, and later Tule Lake concentration camp. He was released to attend Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, SD in the fall of 1942 as a pre-law student.

After being rejected by the U.S. Navy for being classified as a 4-C enemy alien, Marutani was finally able to serve by joining the Army where he was assigned to the Military Intelligence Service. Following his service, Marutani attended law school at the University of Chicago and moved to Pennsylvania for a six-month clerkship, where he stayed until 1975, when he was appointed to the bench of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

Marutani became active in the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) and served in many different positions. Marutani was appointed to serve on the nine-member Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians (CWRIC) that was created by President Jimmy Carter to investigate matters concerning the wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans. Marutani was the only Japanese American to serve on the commission. (April 11, 2008)

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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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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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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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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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

Impact of the original Korematsu case on current events

(b. 1946) Lawyer

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Sue Embrey
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Sue Embrey

Changing Minds

(1923–2006) Community activist. Co-founded the Manzanar Committee

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Sue Embrey
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Sue Embrey

Prevailing Within the System

(1923–2006) Community activist. Co-founded the Manzanar Committee

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Sue Embrey
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Sue Embrey

Fighting For What’s Right

(1923–2006) Community activist. Co-founded the Manzanar Committee

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