OCHAZUKE: Just Some Thoughts About JACL/PC


(First published in
The Rafu Shimpo on August 25, 2011.)


STOP! STOP! STOP! This ongoing and forever debatable and controversial issue of what to name the centers and/or camps has come to the point that has compelled me to write and reminds me of a term that my Mama used, “shi-tsu-koi.”

It has been OVER SIXTY YEARS now since those of Japanese descent were uprooted from their homes, assembled to a certain center and then relocated or concentrated in one location.

What difference does it make what it was called and/or what it should be called? Those who call it “concentration camp,” “internment camp” or “relocation camp” will NEVER change their mind. Let’s just forget all this hullabaloo. It makes me smile when I read that those who never experienced camp life have the audacity to say what it should be called.

Instead, let’s be grateful and thankful that many have survived and today are living life as they please.

Other thoughts:

1. Membership and the Health Insurance Program

It was mentioned in the Pacific Citizen that 50 percent of the JACL membership consists of those considered seniors and that membership is dwindling among them. Among the three organizations of which I am a member, JACL is the only one that has NO senior discounts in membership and/or in the health insurance program. By giving discounts in membership and/or health benefits, I know that seniors will remain as members. The health benefits are excellent, but the premium is exorbitant.

2.The Pacific Citizen

There should be more articles such as the one written by Gil Asakawa in “Nisei Voice” (Pacific Citizen, July 15 to Aug. 4, 2011). It was an article honoring/praising the late Bill Hosokawa, which was extremely well-written.

We need to see more homespun articles and other articles that will warm our hearts. Anybody can learn of “ordinary” everyday happenings considered “news” through TV, radio, the computer, etc.

I pray that the printed edition of the Pacific Citizen will continue since many seniors do not have computers, etc. In general, the Pacific Citizen is informative of happenings in the Japanese American community.

I have been a member of the JACL since 1953. At that time, Mas Satow was director and his wife, Chiz, was the bookkeeper. Daisy (Uyeda) Satoda was Mr. Satow’s secretary. Haruo Ishimaru was regional director and I was his secretary.

It was also at a historic time when the McCarran-Walter Act was passed. It was an act allowing immigrants to become citizens. One of my pleasant duties at this time was to translate the questions asked in English on the application form to Japanese for many of the Issei applying for citizenship.

You probably are saying, “So what?” I wrote the foregoing paragraph for those who have asked, “What has the JACL done?”

Join and support the JACL.

COMMENT: The above article was recently published in the Pacific Citizen, but much to my chagrin, it was edited rather extensively prior to publication.


Maggie Ishino is a Rafu typist. She can be reached by email. Ochazuke is a staff-written column. Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.



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