Sakura Kato

Sakura Kato is the 2014 Nikkei Community Intern for the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) and the Japanese American Bar Association (JABA) primarily working to document the legacy of Japanese American jurists. She is also a proud Trojan studying History and Pre-Law at the University of Southern California.

Updated July 2014

 

community en

The Nikkei Community Internship: Strengthening the Future of the Three Remaining Japantowns

It is incredible to imagine that there had been a staggering 43 Japantowns throughout the nation at one point in time. However, when Pearl Harbor was bombed and Executive Order 9066 was signed, the once populous Japanese American communities began to disappear.

Now, only three recognized Japantowns are left in the United States—Little Tokyo in Los Angeles, Nihonmachi in San Francisco, and Japantown in San Jose.

These remaining historic relics of the Japanese American community are spaces that physically capture the hopes of the immigrant generation, the injustices of the war period, and the progressivism of the Sansei in ...

Read more

community en

The JABA Legacy Project: Two Generations of Pioneering Judges in the Nikkei Community

Judge A. Wallace Tashima: A Judge Who Looks Like Us

Living in the bleak barracks of a WWII concentration camp, the young Judge A. Wallace Tashima could sense “a dark atmosphere [in American society], that there was something sinister about being Japanese.”

Because all persons of Japanese ancestry were branded as “un-American” and “subversive,” Tashima grew up during a time when Japanese Americans like himself could not be conceived as judges.

Yet in becoming the first Japanese American elevated to the U.S. Court of Appeals, Judge Tashima has successfully proven otherwise and now upholds the promises of the Constitution that were once denied to him and the entire Japanese ...

Read more

community en

The JABA Legacy Project: Two Generations of Pioneering Judges in the Nikkei Community

Judge Fred J. Fujioka: Honoring our Past and Empowering our Future - Part 2

Read Part 1 >>

Breaking the Bamboo Ceiling  

Over the 17 years that he practiced as an attorney, both in the Public Defender’s Office and in private practice, he recalls being one of very few Japanese American criminal defense attorneys.

“I did everything from drunk driving trials to death penalty trials. I wasn’t afraid. I would try anything. And so to me, to be able to be a criminal defense attorney was real important because it broke the stereotype of the quiet Asian,” Fujioka said.

Yet in being one of the few Japanese American criminal defense attorneys in the ...

Read more

community en

The JABA Legacy Project: Two Generations of Pioneering Judges in the Nikkei Community

Judge Fred J. Fujioka: Honoring our Past and Empowering our Future - Part 1

On January 7, 1951, Moto Hayami held her newborn grandson in her arms and prophetically said, “Fred is going to be the lawyer of the Fujioka family.”* 

Indeed, Judge Fred J. Fujioka of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County has fulfilled his grandmother’s expectations in becoming not only the “lawyer of the Fujioka family,” but also the community organizer, the political activist, and last but not least, the judge of the Fujioka family.

A Long Line of Japanese American Legacies

Judge Fujioka hails from a long line of Japanese American legacies that he proudly showcases inside his chambers ...

Read more

identity en ja es pt

Nikkei Chronicles #3 — Nikkei Names: Taro, John, Juan, João?

Growing Up with a Japanese Name in the United States

My name is Sakura Kato, and just Sakura Kato. I have no middle name or an English name or really anything to signify my identity as a Japanese-American. When growing up, I could never find my name on a pre-made mug or keychain like my friends named “Ashley” or “Christine,” and references to my name could only be found in anime like Naruto or Cardcaptor Sakura. During roll call, my heart would always beat faster and my face would turn red in fear that the substitute teacher would somehow mispronounce my name yet again.

With a name like Sakura Kato ...

Read more