La Columna de Koji

“La Columna de Koji” (Koji’s Column) es una contribución del miembro del staff del Museo Nacional Japonés Americano, Koji Steven Sakai. Su columna explora la identidad y la cultura nikkei desde el punto de vista de un hombre japonés americano del sur de California de segunda y cuarta generación.

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ESPÍRITU NIKKEI

Recuerdo que de niño, tenía conciencia de no parecerme ni sentirme “americano”. Como persona de color viviendo en los Estados Unidos, estas verdades son evidentes, incluso cuando nadie me las dijera directamente. Una parte de mí, siempre sintió que era un japonés viviendo en los Estados Unidos. Es por eso que a los 7 años estaba muy entusiasmado de viajar a Japón por primera vez con mi familia. Creí (tal vez era un deseo) que finalmente encontraría una identidad (JAPONES en mayúscula y en negrita).

Japón fue una gran desilusión. Era ...

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A Response To Roger Lotchins’ “There Were No Concentration Camps In America” Article

The first lesson I want to teach my son is that there are idiots in the world. Lots of them. And just because you teach a class in college or you have a degree does not mean you are not an idiot. Don’t get me wrong, this is not to say that ALL professors and people who have degrees are idiots but some of them are.

Roger Lotchin, an alleged professor of history at the University of North Carolina, is one of them. In his opinion piece, “There were no concentration camps in America”, he seems to ignore history ...

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Top 10 Iconic Japanese American Photos

Walt Disney once said, “Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language.” Pictures tell a story that even the best writer’s words could never fully describe. That’s saying a lot coming from a writer.

I wanted to “tell” the story of Japanese Americans. Here are my top 10 iconic pictures that tell my story.

#10: Japanese American Baseball

African Americans weren’t the only group of people excluded from playing in organized sports. Most people of color couldn’t play on high school teams or professional leagues. The Japanese Americans ...

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Top Five Japanese American Women Civil Rights Pioneers You Should Know

In California, January 30 was officially Fred Korematsu Day. It is important to honor and remember Korematsu but I believe it is also a time to look back at some of the other Japanese Americans (JAs) who also fought for the rights of not just JAs but all Americans.

Unfortunately, Japanese American women don’t get enough credit for their contributions to the civil rights movement. I want to change that. So I created a list of five JA women activists that I think everyone should know:

Yuri Kochiyama

Kochiyama is most well-known for cradling Malcolm X’s head in ...

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The Top Non-Asian Civil Rights Heroes For Japanese Americans

After Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, there was only one national organization that was willing to stand up for the rights of Japanese Americans (JAs). They were the Quakers. Not only did they speak out against the unconstitutional incarceration of JAs they helped many of the Nisei (second generation) kids go to college.

Even though the Quakers were the only national group, there were some brave individuals who spoke out for the rights of Japanese Americans. These individuals were willing to put their professional and personal reputations and sometimes their safety on the line for their fellow Americans, even when the ...

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