Stanley N. Shikuma

Stanley N. Shikuma is a Sansei who grew up in Watsonville, California. His family members went to Poston and Tule Lake. Mr. Shikuma helped organize the first Asian American Studies course at Stanford, and he also worked on redress and reparations. He has attended every Tule Lake Pilgrimage since 1979, learning much about the largest confinement center for Japanese Americans during World War II. Mr. Shikuma performs with Seattle Kokon Taiko, sits on the Advisory Board of the North American Taiko Conference, directs Kaze Daiko (a youth group), and coordinates RTG Seattle, an alliance of nine local taiko groups). He also co-chairs the Seattle Area Chapter of JACL’s Power of Words Committee, changing history one word at a time.

Updated August 2013

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Speaking Up! Democracy, Justice, Dignity

Taiko as Folklore

Since ancient times, taiko has played an important role in the folklore of Japan. Taiko appear in many Japanese myths and legends, and it is the principal instrument for the folk music of that island nation. In recent times, taiko has taken root in North America, largely among the third and fourth generation descendants of Japanese immigrants (Sansei and Yonsei). Can folklore survive and is it still useful to modern day Americans? Is taiko being used to develop or create a modern folklore here in America?

Folklore can be viewed as the accumulated wisdom, values, customs, and beliefs of a ...

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Tule Lake Segregation Center: Misperceptions and Misnomers Surrounding Resistance to JA Incarceration - Part 2

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3. Internee or Incarceree: Say What You Mean

In the 1960s and 1970s, an attempt was made to move away from the government’s WWII era euphemisms of “evacuation” and “relocation”, which resulted in widespread use of the terms “internment” and “internment camp” in their place. Most people at that time were not aware of the Department of Justice camps and the specific legal definition of internment and internee. Current scholarship on the topic shows the widespread use of “internment” and “internee” to be inaccurate and therefore misleading when used in a general way to describe the ...

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Tule Lake Segregation Center: Misperceptions and Misnomers Surrounding Resistance to JA Incarceration - Part 1

Words can reveal truth or hide it. It is one thing when a poet employs unusual and imaginative phrases for artistic effect but quite another when the government uses euphemisms—the President, Congress, the courts, the army, the police—for it is certain that they do so to hide intent, deceive people, distort reality, and avoid responsibility. If the media passively accept these verbal distortions (or act to amplify them) public accountability becomes virtually impossible. And if corporate interests benefit from the lies, a profit motive will push them forward as well.

We should not allow them to get away ...

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