Gary T. Ono

Gary T. Ono, is a Sansei transplant from San Francisco, California who now resides in the Little Tokyo area of Los Angeles. He is a volunteer photographer for the nearby Japanese American National Museum. In 2001, he was awarded a California Civil Liberties Public Education Program grant to produce a video documentary, Calling Tokyo: Japanese American Radio Broadcasters of World War II. This story about what his father did during the war sparked his interest in his Japanese American and family history, which richly fills his senior moments.

Updated May 2013

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All Mankind are Brothers (Alle Menschen Verden Bruder) - Part 1 of 2

If you’ve read my previous article, Ode to Joy (An die Freude ) , you know that several hundred Japanese Nationals, Japanese Americans, and I joined a choir group to learn to sing the choral in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony in German for a performance at the Disney Concert Hall.

As this is being written, eight months after the project started and just days away from our Disney Concert Hall debut, we are excitedly taking part in the final two combined group rehearsals. Our rehearsal yesterday with the four professional soloists was held in the gymnasium of North High School ...

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ODE TO JOY (An die Freude)

Are you familiar with Ludwig van Beethoven’s 9th Symphony? If you think you’re not, listen to a recording by clicking on the YouTube video below and you’ll soon realize that you’ve heard it at some time in your life, even if you’re not fond of classical music. In particular the popular well-known fourth choral movement Ode to Joy is called by many, the “Anthem of Europe.” This is based on a poem by Friedrich Schiller which Beethoven blended parts into his grand symphonic chorale.

* Check YouTube video:

Beethoven ...

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Significant Signatures

Most everyone has heard the phrase, “Put your John Hancock right here.” John Hancock, a key signatory of the Declaration of Independence, was remembered for his large and stylish signature and whose name has became synonymous for signature.

While our father’s signature is not famous, it too was confidently large and stylish. While we were in grade school my brothers, sisters and I sought his signature on our report cards. He would only sign the report cards that had mostly good grades. Otherwise, my mother would sign.

As seen on the back of my late 1945-46 report card from ...

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Amache Night

I call this hauntingly provocative photograph from my Issei grandmother, Owai Okamura’s photograph album “Amache Night.” This is the only night scene of a War Relocation Authority camp that I’ve ever seen. I believe one of my uncles might have taken this photograph. As a child, I recall photographic printing being developed in the mess hall sink at night.

Amache, one of ten War Relocation Authority prison camps, is located near the town of Granada in the south east corner of Colorado, where my Okamura and Ono families lived during WWII along with thousands of other forcefully evacuated ...

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CSI: Amache

Borrowing from the title of popular television show, CSI: Miami, the term crime scene investigation could apply to the planned archaeological dig of Amache, one of ten concentration camps that was used to imprison America’s Japanese during WWII. This investigation will not seek out victims, suspects, motives, evidence and witnesses. Most of us already know the shameful details of that “crime.” In these War Relocation Authority camps, the victims were the prisoners and the unlikely perpetrator, the United States of America.

This coming 2008 summer, Dr. Bonnie Clark, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Denver will lead this ...

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