Cherry Kinoshita

(1923–2008) One of the leaders behind the redress movement.

Need for Monetary Compensation Driving Feelings Erasing the Bitterness Be True to Yourself

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Cherry Kinoshita was born in 1923 in Seattle, WA. As a teen she was incarcerated at Puyallup Assembly Center in Washington and later Minidoka in Idaho. During her two and a half years behind barbed wire, she wrote for the camp newspaper, The Minidoka Irrigator.

In the ’70s she became active in the Seattle JACL movement for redress. One of Kinoshita’s many contributions was a grassroots lobbying effort to inform Washington State lawmakers on the injustice suffered by Japanese Americans during World War II. In dealing with politicians, Kinoshita’s secret weapons were persistence and patience. Notably, a congressman from the State of Washington introduced the first redress bill in 1979.

Kinoshita also organized a coalition of 16 major Japanese American organizations as redress supporters. At 60, in the midst of campaigning for redress, Kinoshita earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors in sociology from the University of Washington. (April 15, 2008)

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