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https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/971/

Recruited for the National JACL Redress Committee

Iva Toguri [“Tokyo Rose”] got her pardon in 1977, and it was that year, the same year that I suddenly got a call from Ed Yamamoto1 of the JACL national board. He asked me if I would take over the chairmanship of the JACL national—in those days it was called the reparations committee. I said, no. Because, to begin with, I was never in camp, I thought it should be somebody that was in camp that should be the chair. I knew nothing about the camps, and I knew nothing about redress.

And he kept calling me back, and each time he said, “I spoke to the board and they said to try again.” After several calls, I thought to myself, well yes, I do have this experience of going through the Iva Toguri campaign. At least I could nationalize the redress campaign and then after it’s nationalized, people could carry on from there.

I knew redress is not going to be done by one or two persons it would [have to] be done by many individuals. It would be the political aspect, and for that I want to leave it to the politicians. So I said okay, I would accept it.

1. Edward M. Yamamoto was appointed chairman of the JACL Reparations Campaign Committee in 1976. Yamamoto and his then newly created committee had to consider various redress plans for presentation at the 1976 convention. The convention unanimously adopted a resolution calling for monetary payments, and also produced a mandate for seeking federal legislation to provide for reparations.


JACL Reparations Campaign Committee Redress movement

Date: July 1-2, 1998

Location: California, US

Interviewer: Mitchell Maki, Darcie Iki

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

Interviewee Bio

Clifford Uyeda was born on January 14, 1917, into a family of oyster farmers in Olympia, Washington. Uyeda studied at the University of Wisconsin and from 1941 to 1945 attended Tulane University Medical School in New Orleans, LA. Uyeda went on to become a medical doctor in San Francisco, CA.

Uyeda became involved in the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) in 1960 when he served as San Francisco Chapter chair of the Issei Oral History Project. He helped in establishing the School of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University and played an important role in restoring the U.S. citizenship and presidential pardon of Iva Toguri, also known as “Tokyo Rose.”

After retiring from medicine in 1975, Uyeda became a full-time activist. In 1977, Uyeda served as National JACL chair of the Japanese American Incarceration for Redress committee. He was elected to serve as president of National JACL from 1978 to 1980. Uyeda continued to serve the community in various roles until his death from cancer in 2004 at the age of 87. (April 11, 2008)

Yukio Takeshita
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Yukio Takeshita

Involvement in JACL

(b.1935) American born Japanese. Retired businessman.

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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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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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