John Sammon

John Sammon is a freelance writer and newspaper reporter, novelist and historical fiction writer, non-fiction book writer, political pundit and column writer, comedy and humor writer, screenplay writer, film narrator and a member of the Screen Actors Guild. He lives with his wife near Pebble Beach.

Updated March 2018

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Film Recounting Japanese Americans who fled imprisonment through banishment

What would be your reaction if this had happened to you? You’re told by the U.S. Government to pack what you can carry in a suitcase and get on a train with your wife and children and your grandparents. You’re under arrest because of your ancestry and you’re going to be imprisoned in a guarded barbed wire-enclosed jail somewhere in the desert of Arizona. They’re doing this to you because you and your family are (they say) a threat to national security. Or, they give you an option. You can avoid imprisonment if you abandon your job, give up your house and property a…

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Sacramento Woman Remembered for Japanese-Style Box Lunches, Giving Heart

Mollie Oto is one of those rare people of whom it could be said was truly irreplaceable. But though her recent passing saddened so many, it remains a consolation she will live on in the hearts and minds of the hundreds of friends and fans whose lives she touched over the years. A diminutive woman physically (she was 5 foot 1 and 90 pounds), Oto left a big legacy in Sacramento. From her 14-hour-a-day work ethic to her extensive work as a community volunteer. Oto became famed in Sacramento for her high quality Japanese-style cooking, particularly her bento box lunch meals made from scratch. …

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Central Valley Artists seek to Map Japanese American Experience through Multi-Media Process

The Yonsei Memory Project (YMP) is an ambitious plan to chronicle using art, story-telling, memory recording and sharing of dialog between generations, a connection between the Japanese American experience including imprisonment during World War II, with current struggles for civil liberties. It is a project that will celebrate the achievements and contributions of Asian Americans that have so enriched American life, and also combat hate directed against Asians, recently on the increase. “The heart of YMP is our motivation to animate our community histories and use our creativity to h…

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Works of Sansei Artists recalling World War II Imprisonment of Japanese Americans on Display at the Monterey Museum of Art

Sansei (third generation American born) Japanese Americans often have prior family histories that have been blacked out; their Nisei (second generation) parents who were imprisoned by the U.S. Government during World War II never talked about it. It was too painful an experience, one they desperately wanted to forget. “Through their silence my family protected me from what happened to them, but silence is a powerful transmitter of emotional trauma—there’s no statute of limitations,” said Monterey-based photographer, designer, and writer Jerry Takigawa. “After t…

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Woman’s Starring Role on TV Show Contradicts Negative Stereotypes of Asians

The competent no-nonsense character Keiko Elizabeth plays on Showtime’s hit television show City on a Hill contradicts a negative and false stereotype some non-Asian people have of Asians— of being meek, submissive. “In the show Kevin Bacon plays a corrupt FBI agent and I play his boss,” Elizabeth said. “I play a woman who was born in a (U.S. Government-run) concentration camp at Manzanar. When I met with the show’s producer to discuss my part I asked him if I would be playing a sufferer who doesn’t want to rock the boat (speak out on injustice). He …

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