Program Summary

The first DOR in 1981 was inspiring not only because it was the first one, but because it was the first time that many Nikkei had participated in a public action of any kind. Most had never even spoken about their World War II incarceration to their children. To return to the site from which many of them had been ordered to board buses for their temporary confinement in the horse stalls of the Santa Anita racetrack would bring back painful memories.

Two hundred people met at the old Nishi Hongwangi Temple at First and Central Streets for NCRR’s first Day of Remembrance commemoration. The sound of taiko drums greeted the crowd in front of the old Nishi. Miya Iwataki introduced Alan Nishio who spoke about the concentration camp experience of Japanese Americans during World War II and about the need for Japanese Americans to get involved in the reparations movement. First, second and third generation Japanese Americans along with individuals from other ethnic communities then lit candles for a procession to the federal building a few blocks from Little Tokyo.

At the Federal Building Reverend Paul Hagiya and Reverend Alfred Tsuyuki gave the memorial service. Bert Nakano honored the memory of Amy Uno Ishii who had just recently passed away. Ishii, well known in the Japanese American community as a tireless educator about the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans, was a staunch proponent of reparations.

After the remembrance and service the marchers returned to Little Tokyo, this time to the Little Tokyo Towers (senior citizen housing), for a refreshing bowl of udon noodles. June Kizu, co-chair of the Los Angeles Coalition on Redress/Reparations, welcomed the marchers and gave an update on the redress campaign and the upcoming Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians hearings in Los Angeles.

first time..., (multiple-references)
Rafu Shimpo, 2/10/081, Candelight March Set for February 21, 1981
Former Detention Center to be site of Sacramento Rites
Day of Remembrance...,Rafu Shimpo, 12/20/81, Candelight March (Editorial)
federal building ..., Rafu Shimpo, 2/24/81, Photo at Federal Building
upcoming Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians hearings..., Rafu Shimpo, 3/24/81, Seek Redress Hearing Testimony