Kizuna Interns Help NVN Gather Resources for Nisei Soldier Exhibit

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Collections from JANM, GFBNEC to be researched for use in Army Museum.

Kizuna NCI interns Sarah Hanashiro (left) and Audrey Nakaoka.

WASHINGTON  The National Veterans Network (NVN) will participate in the Kizuna Nikkei Community Intern (NCI) program this summer.

With the help of the Kizuna NCI interns, Audrey Nakaoka and Sarah Hanashiro, the NVN will begin to research and collect resources from the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) and Go For Broke National Educational Center (GFBNEC) for possible inclusion in exhibits for the National Museum of the United States Army (NMUSA), which is scheduled to open in 2020.

Both JANM and GFBNEC have granted access to their collections to the NVN, whose goal is to have a rich and wide variety of visual images and videos from Japanese American World War II veterans of the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team and Military Intelligence Service in the exhibits that it develops for the NMUSA in Washington, D.C.

“We are grateful to the Japanese American National Museum and Go For Broke National Educational Center for generously agreeing to give us access to their unique collections,” said Christine Sato-Yamazaki, executive director at NVN. “With the help of interns from Kizuna, we will research their collections for assets to use in the exhibits and displays for the National U.S. Army Museum.”

JANM will house the two interns once a week. They will research items in the museum’s collection, including photos, moving images and oral histories, that address the discrimination against Japanese Americans during the war.

The NVN will review GFBNEC’s Hanashi Oral History collection, an assemblage of videos of Japanese American veterans sharing stories from their experiences during the war.

In addition to artifacts from Southern California-based JANM and GFBNEC, resources from other Japanese American nonprofits and organizations across the country are being used. The NVN is working with Hawaii, Oregon, San Francisco and other regions as well as with many veteran families to develop displays for the NMUSA.

The artifacts gathered during the NVN-NMUSA outreach will be displayed in an exhibit on World War II Nisei soldiers at the NMUSA. The contributions of the Nisei soldier will also be part of the museum’s Army and Society Gallery’s Timeline Exhibit, which will show the changes the Army has experienced since its inception.

To find out more about the NVN or to become a sponsor, send email to [email protected], visit www.nationaveteransnetwork.com, or follow the NVN on Facebook (@NationalVeteransNetwork) or Twitter (@NtlVetNetwork).

NVN is a consortium of organizations and individuals dedicated to educating the nation on the Japanese American World War II experience. The network launched the campaign to award the Congressional Gold Medal to the first Asian American recipients in the 100th, 442nd and MIS units, and worked with the U.S. Mint to design the medal.

In 2012, NVN partnered with the National Museum of American History and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service for a seven-city tour to promote recognition of the Japanese American experience. In 2016, along with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, NVN launched an online digital exhibition to share the story of the Japanese American soldiers (cgm.smithsonianapa.org).

NVN’s mission is to preserve, inform, and advocate how the Nisei soldiers’ loyalty, courage, and patriotism embody American values and shape future decisions about justice and equality in a democracy.

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