Stuff contributed by esnewman

Farewell to Manzanar—DVD Introduces Film to a New Generation

An interview with John Korty, director of "Farewell To Manzanar"

Esther Newman

          “I was always out to change the world...”John Korty’s remarkable success in the film industry—an Oscar and two Emmys among numerous film awards—doesn’t mean he’s “gone Hollywood.” The director of Farewell to Manzanar has consistently chosen projects focused on themes of social justice from very early in his career. …

The Morey Family: A Self-Guided Walking Tour through Little Tokyo History

Esther NewmanJack Shiro Morey

Four generations of the Morey family have been a part of Little Tokyo’s business community. Three generations of the Morey family have also been a part of the Japanese American National Museum, since its inception nearly thirty years ago. In fact, much of the Morey family history has taken place …

Farewell to Manzanar—DVD Introduces Film to a New Generation

Timeless and Timely

Esther Newman

Nearly seventy years have passed since the first busload of Japanese Americans arrived at Manzanar, forced from their coastal California homes to spend the duration of World War II behind barbed wire and beneath the gaze of armed soldiers perched in perimeter guard towers. The incarceration of 120,000 American citizens …

Henry and Helen Yasuda: Family Values, Nikkei Values - Part 2

Esther Newman

Read Part 1 >>Only a few days after Henry and Helen’s wedding ceremony, Henry left for Korea where he was stationed for eight months before transfer back to headquarters in Tokyo. Helen joined him there. “The first chance we had,” said Henry, “I took her to Yamaguchi where my parents …

Henry and Helen Yasuda: Family Values, Nikkei Values - Part 1

Esther Newman

Yamato Damashi translates to “Japanese Spirit.” It’s painted in calligraphy on a scroll that hangs in the home of Henry and Helen Yasuda, a reminder of the Japanese cultural values that have sustained them throughout the years—doing one’s best, putting family first, a commitment to education, and expressing gratitude. The …

Burt Takeuchi Lauds Heroes With “Valor With Honor”

Esther Newman

Their families were in concentration camps. They were designated enemy aliens. Their rights as American citizens were denied. “The government did us a big wrong and we had to prove how wrong they were,” said Frank Shimada. “The only way to prove it was by going to war and laying …

Carol Misumi: Piecing Together Sustained Support for JANM

Esther Newman

When Carol Misumi laughs, she sounds more like 19 than 91, but this California native was indeed born in 1919. The retired home economics teacher uses her talents in design and sewing to continue her long-time support of the Japanese American National Museum (JANM). Working from her home in Santa …

Japanese American National Museum Store Online

Virgil Westdale: Farm Boy, Pilot, Soldier, Inventor, Author, and Gentleman

Esther Newman

Virgil Westdale’s exceptional life story might never have been published had he not attended a Halloween dance. Unsure of what to wear, the World War II veteran donned his Army uniform of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, nearly sixty years after issue and still a perfect fit. On the dance …

Interview with John Christgau, author of Enemies: World War II Alien Internment

Esther Newman

John Christgau had just finished his first book, a novel called Spoon, when he began to search for a good story idea for his next project.  The resulting work of non-fiction, Enemies: World War II Alien Internment, was more than a good story, and the issues Christgau raised therein still …

Food Tours of Little Tokyo with Six Taste - An interview with Jeff Okita

Esther Newman

Want to get the inside scoop on Little Tokyo? With a Six Taste tour, it’s likely to be mochi flavored gelato, but you’ll also enjoy tasty tidbits of history, culture and samples of Japanese cuisine along seven stops in a 3-1/2 hour walking adventure. The tours place the Japanese American …

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Esther Newman recently moved back to her hometown of Encinitas, California. After a career in marketing and media production for Ohio’s Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, she completed an M.A. in twentieth century American history. She plans to continue independent research on her family’s history and topics affecting the Japanese Diaspora including internment, migration and assimilation.

Nikkei interests

  • community history
  • family stories

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