SAN FRANCISCO — More than 80 people attended a March 7 program on World War II Japanese American dissent, co-sponsored by the UCLA Asian American Studies Eji Suyama Endowment and the San Francisco-based National Japanese American Historical Society.
The event was held at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California, located in San Francisco’s Japantown.
The Suyama Project was established to preserve the experiences of the 100th/442nd Regimental Combat Team draftees, Army and draft resisters, no-nos, renunciants, conscientious objectors and other Nikkei dissidents of World War II.
Tule Lake became a segregation center for Japanese Americans in the War Relocation Authority camps who were judged to be disloyal. Many of them renounced their U.S. citizenship in protest.
The main speakers were Jim Tanimoto, 91, and Mori Tanimoto, 94. The brothers talked about being among the Block 42 men in Tule Lake, who were arrested and held indefinitely without charge for refusing to register for the controversial loyalty questionnaire in 1943.
Hiroshi Kashiwagi, an award-winning poet, playwright, author and actor, lived in Block 40 and talked about how seeing the Block 42 men getting arrested at gunpoint hardened his resolve to be prepared to be the next one to be arrested.
For more information on the Suyama Project, visit the website, www.suyamaproject.org.