Lawrence Lan

As part of the Nikkei Community Internship program, Lawrence will be contributing this summer to the Discover Nikkei website in his capacity as the Discover Nikkei intern at the Japanese American National Museum (JANM); he will also be working with the Japanese American Bar Association (JABA) to preserve the legacy of prominent Nikkei jurists in the community.

Update June 2012 

community en

The JABA Legacy Project: Pioneering Jurists in the Nikkei Community

Judge Ernest Hiroshige: Forging Community

Anyone who has ever met Judge Ernest Hiroshige, who sits on the Los Angeles County Superior Court bench, knows about his signature bow tie. There’s no huge story behind it—“I just like bow ties,” he said.

The influence of his bow tie reaches far beyond the walls of Department 54 at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse. In fact, the 32-year-old veteran of the bench tells a story about Clyde Kusatsu, a friend and actor who wore a bow tie—in honor of Hiroshige—to an audition for the role of a judge on the legal drama L.A. Law ...

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community en es

The JABA Legacy Project: Pioneering Jurists in the Nikkei Community

Justice Kathryn Doi Todd: Redefining Possibilities

“Are you related to Mia Doi Todd?”

So asks Akira Boch, one of the Japanese American National Museum’s videographers, as he and Jenni Nakamura set up the media equipment for the interview in the chambers of the Honorable Kathryn Doi Todd, Justice of the 2nd District Court of Appeal. The answer is yes, and Justice Todd lets us quickly ooh and aah over the pictures of her daughter, Mia—a prominent singer-songwriter—with her newborn child.

Justice Todd is certainly used to her daughter’s celebrity. To be sure, though, this recognition goes both ways.

“Someone was in law ...

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community en

Kizuna’s Youth CAN Program: Investing in the Future of Little Tokyo

On a summer evening in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo, the yelling and antics of 27-year-old Craig Ishii and 24-year-old Kristin Fukushima fill the courtyard of the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center. For what it’s worth, their silliness has a purpose. They are tasked with breaking the icy awkwardness that has settled upon nearly 70 high school students from throughout Southern California. Fortunately, though, Craig and Kristin have done this before. By the end of the half-hour-long icebreaker session, names have been exchanged and some awkwardness dispelled.

The program is Youth CAN (short for Youth Community Action Network)—a ...

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politics en

“It’s not fair!”: Remembering Vincent Chin, Thirty Years Later

Thirty years ago from this past Saturday, on June 23, 1982, Vincent Chin died. Four nights earlier, on June 19th, Chin had been celebrating his bachelor party in a Detroit, Michigan strip club when he got tangled up with two white autoworkers who mistook Chin (who was Chinese American) for Japanese and blamed him for the rise of Japanese auto industries and the loss of their own jobs. The brief fight was broken up, and Chin and his friends left the club. It took twenty minutes for the two white men, Ronald Ebens and his stepson Michael Nitz, to find ...

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