Speaking Up! Democracy, Justice, Dignity

日系アメリカ人の地位回復を果たした「市民自由法」制定25周年を記念して、全米日系人博物館は、2013年7月4日から7日にかけてワシントン州シアトルで、第4回全米会議『Speaking Up! Democracy, Justice, Dignity』を行いました。この会議では、民主主義、正義、尊厳をテーマに、新しい見識、学術的論考、コミュニティの観点を紹介しました。

このシリーズでは、今回の会議で発表されたさまざまな視点からみる日系アメリカ人の体験談だけでなく、会議に参加した方々の反応などを中心に紹介します。

会議についての詳しい内容は、全米会議のウェブサイトをご参照ください>> 

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Lessons From the Japanese Canadian Experience - Part 3 of 3

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LESSONS FROM THE JAPANESE CANADIAN EXPERIENCE 

Amateur volunteers working on a shoestring, we Japanese Canadian activists were armed with resolve and blessed with lucky timing. Post redress, other communities and struggles have examined the Japanese Canadian Redress victory to learn from our mistakes and successes. Of course, our experience is not necessarily transferable to other issues or locales.1


1. Determination

Famed 16th century Japanese samurai Miyamoto Musashi wrote, “Combat makes apparent something that already exists. A battle is always won before it begins, since it is won in the mind.”2 Having decided to challenge the ...

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Lessons From the Japanese Canadian Experience - Part 2 of 3

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The Redress Campaign 

In 1980, the community’s long-time political voice, the National Association of Japanese Canadians (NAJC) decided to investigate redress possibilities. By 1984, the campaign began in earnest. The issue became national front page news, when then leader of the opposition, the Progressive Conservative leader Brian Mulroney challenged the Liberal Party leader, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, to do the right thing by Japanese Canadians.

Initially within the Japanese Canadian community there were factions who needed to be won over [a topic that I go into in my book]1 outside our community, however, there were ...

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Lessons From the Japanese Canadian Experience - Part 1 of 3

I will begin with a story. Over a century ago, Japanese immigrants landed on North America’s shores brought by the warm waters of the “Kuroshio,” or Black Current, which travels a perpetual circle from Japan south to the Pacific Islands and then up along North America’s west coast and back again. Transplanted adventurous peasants from a feudal island, we helped to clear the forests, to harvest the seas, and to develop a virgin country.

In those days, Japanese fishermen attached clear glass balls the shape of grapefruits or small watermelons to their fishing nets to keep them afloat ...

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Radio Station KOBY in Medford, Oregon

Daytime we could get only two radio stations—small town stations in Medford and Klamath Falls, Oregon that played incessantly.

the women dug the lakebed
and turned up seashells
long dormant in the sand
sorted and cleaned
painted and shellacked
they became ornamental things
trinkets and necklaces
made in captivity
   this is Radio Station KOBY in Medford, Oregon

we took pieces of 2 x 4
whittled and carved them
mine were unremarkable
but old Yoshimoto-san
always did women
a shelf lined with them
severe and woodbound
more Egyptian than Japanese
all frontal and nude
   this is Radio Station KOBY in ...

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The Block Manager’s Canary

I knew three block managers in camp—actually, four, as I was one myself. Though I don’t consider myself a regular block manager, since I served only a few months toward the end of camp when there was little administrative work. But recently a former resident of my block unnerved me by announcing to one and all, “He was our Block Manager!”

I didn’t know how to take that. A block manager was indeed an important functionary in the block. He was the administrative head of 250 to 300 persons; he was responsible for the smooth operation of ...

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