William Hohri

(1927-2010) Political Activist

Importance of self-representation in legislation The lawsuit set the standard for restoring people’s rights Japanese American, not Japanese Euphemisms People have to believe in what they are doing in order to gain trust Outhouses and showers at camp Interned at age fifteen, I saw camp as an adventure Going to camp with the Terminal Island people Education in camp Trying to get back into camp

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In 1927, William Hohri was born the youngest of six children in San Francisco, California. Following the outbreak of World War II, he and his family became incarcerated at Manzanar concentration camp in California. A week after his high school graduation, Hohri was released from camp to study at Wheaton College in Wisconsin. In March 1945, Hohri attempted to visit his father in Manzanar and was instead imprisoned for traveling without a permit. Hohri was given an individual exclusion order and forced at gunpoint to leave California by midnight that same day.

Later, Hohri became a member of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), but was disappointed with their disregard to the anti-war and Civil Rights movements. When JACL moved towards supporting a congressional commission to study the concentration camps, a group of Chicago and Seattle dissenters led by Hohri formed the National Council for Japanese American Redress in May 1979, seeking redress through direct individual payments. Initially, Hohri and NCJAR worked with Representative Mike Lowry (D-Washington), but when the resolution was defeated, Hohri and NCJAR redirected their efforts to seek redress through the courts. Hohri, along with twenty four other plaintiffs, filed a class-action lawsuit on March 16, 1983, against the government for twenty-seven billion dollars in damages.

He passed away on Nov. 12, 2010 at age 83. (November 2011)

identity lawsuit legislation self-representation civil rights redress cultural identity issei Constitution detention euphemisms evacuation exclusion Ray Okamura relocation center movement redress movement barracks camp incarceration internment World War II camps terminal island college education exclusion order jail

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