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https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/journal/series/the-power-of-irei/

The Power of Irei


Nov. 27, 2022 - Nov. 1, 2023

A series of articles related to the Irei: The National Monument for the World War II Japanese American Incarceration, a three-part installation listing the names of more than 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry imprisoned in 75 U.S. detention camps. This series will honor those individuals that are listed by interviewing people personally connected to the incarceration and offer insights into the impact this project has made on their lives.



Stories from this series

Thumbnail for Digging up Ways to Honor Her Ancestors—Kyoko Oda and Ireichō
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Digging up Ways to Honor Her Ancestors—Kyoko Oda and Ireichō

Jan. 27, 2023 • Sharon Yamato

Sometimes it takes a soft-spoken woman like Kyoko Oda to use her charm to make sure the lives of 125,284 incarcerated Japanese American are not forgotten. Someone gentle on the outside but no less mighty on the inside as she works in multiple capacities calling attention to the lives forever changed by the mass detention. It can be seen in her work publishing her father’s Tule Lake Stockade Diary; working tirelessly on behalf of the Tuna Canyon Detention Station Coalition or …

Thumbnail for Ireichō, Kintsugi, and the Transformation of Karma: A Conversation with Project Founder Duncan Ryuken Williams
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Ireichō, Kintsugi, and the Transformation of Karma: A Conversation with Project Founder Duncan Ryuken Williams

Nov. 27, 2022 • Sharon Yamato

To craft into a sacred book listing the names of 125,284 people of Japanese ancestry incarcerated at 75 World War II detention sites, it took inspired thought and meticulous research from its brilliant creative team. Led by Buddhist priest Duncan Ryuken Williams of the University of Southern California Shinso Ito Center for Japanese Religions and Culture, and book publisher Sunyoung Lee of Kaya Press, it was a book meant to be a living monument with Japanese spiritual elements among its essential …

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Author in This Series

Sharon Yamato is a writer and filmmaker in Los Angeles who has produced and directed several films on the Japanese American incarceration, including Out of Infamy, A Flicker in Eternity, and Moving Walls, for which she wrote a book by the same title. She served as creative consultant on A Life in Pieces, an award-winning virtual reality project, and is currently working on a documentary on attorney and civil rights leader Wayne M. Collins. As a writer, she co-wrote Jive Bomber: A Sentimental Journey, a memoir of Japanese American National Museum founder Bruce T. Kaji, has written articles for the Los Angeles Times, and is currently a columnist for The Rafu Shimpo. She has served as a consultant for the Japanese American National Museum, Go For Broke National Education Center, and has conducted oral history interviews for Densho in Seattle. She graduated from UCLA with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English.

Updated March 2023

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