Program Summary

The 1991 Day of Remembrance flyer reflected NCRR’s sentiments about the success of the redress campaign. With beaming smiles and hands raised in signs of “V” for victory, NCRR members and their young children are the faces of the community: Nisei, Sansei and Yonsei standing together. 

Four months earlier in October 1990 the Office of Redress Administration started distribution of the first reparations checks to 15,000 of the oldest survivors of the camps.  An emotional redress ceremony took place on October 12 at the Little Tokyo Towers. Wheelchair-bound Issei were presented a written apology from President Bush and a check for $20,000 by Assistant Attorney General John Dunne.  NCRR also held its 10th Anniversary Conference to discuss the organization’s future.

To open the DOR program, the sounds of the many drums of the San Fernando Valley Mugen Taiko filled the audiorium of the Japan American Theater. This spirited start to the program was followed by a tribute to the Issei generation with Yasuko Kowalchuk and Mrs. Hirata reading the poems of Issei writers

At this juncture, the DOR program focused on the importance of educating future generations about the camps and the redress campaign. The keynote speaker, Aiko Yoshinaga-Herzig, spoke about her perspective on the campaign and critiqued the work of the several redress organizations.  A prominent member of the National Council on Japanese American Redress (NCJAR), Yoshinaga-Herzig is well known for her archival research, which uncovered the government’s suppression of vital wartime information relating to Japanese Americans.

Although the reparations campaign was successful, racism and stereotyping continued.  In October 1990 NCRR and the NAACP protested Japanese Justice Minister Seiroku Kajiyama’s racist remarks.  He equated Blacks moving into a neighborhood with Whites being forced out.  NCRR and others demanded a meeting with the Consul General in Los Angeles.

redress ceremony..., LA Times, 10/13/90, Apology payment in Little Tokyo
10th Anniversary Conference..., Rafu Shimpo, 11/01/90, Future Anniversary Conference
protested Japanese Justice Minister ..., Rafu Shimpo, 10/02/90, NAACP, NCRR Protest