Speakers Set for Panel on No-no Boys/Renunciants

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TORRANCE — Speakers for the Saturday, Oct. 27, event sponsored by the Japanese American Historical Society of Southern California (JAHSSC) have been confirmed to appear at the forum co-sponsored by the Torrance Public Library Katy Geissert Civic Center Library, 3301 Torrance Blvd., Torrance, from 1 to 3:30 p.m.

Left: Hiroshi Kashiwagi. Right: Bill Nishimura.

• Hiroshi Kashiwagi, writer, poet, actor and a Tule Lake “no-no,” will share his experiences. He will also read two of his poems, “Radio Station KOBY” and “A Meeting at Tule Lake.”

• Bill Nishimura was in his 20s at Poston III, Tule Lake, Santa Fe and Crystal City. He refused to answer the loyalty questions and renounced his U.S. citizenship.

• Grace Hata was in her mid-teens at Manzanar and Tule Lake. Her family wanted to return to Gardena, but was forced to go to war-devastated Japan, and suffered greatly.

• Ernie Jane Nishii was 4 to 7 years old at Tule Lake. Her father was imprisoned in the Tule Lake stockade for several months. After attending her first Tule Lake Pilgrimage, she was inspired to create sculptures of Tule Lake and her family. She will share a few of these sculptures at the forum. Sculptures will be available for purchase.

Excerpts from Dr. Satsuki Ina’s film “From a Silk Cocoon,” a Japanese American renunciation story, will be shown. Ina also produced and directed “Children of the Camps,” which was shown at the Torrance library in 2009 during the Works in Progress week of events commemorating the World War II incarceration.

Left: Grace Hata. Right: Ernie Jane Nishii.

A sequel to a program held on Nov. 7, 2009, the forum will continue the dialogue on the renunciants and “no-no boys” of World War II. Though 70 years have passed, the renunciants and no-nos have had to endure the stigma of the labels “disloyal” and “troublemaker” and have had to live in the shadows without telling their stories. This forum will allow them to tell their stories.

The forum is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. For more information, Richard Katsuda, chairperson, may be contacted at [email protected]

Also, as a convenience to attendees, copies of “Nanka Nikkei Voices: The Japanese American Family” will be available for sale at $20 each, cash or check only. There are only 87 copies left; once they sell out, there will be no reprints. This issue is the largest, most comprehensive for the topic, and most popular.

Only a limited number of copies will be at the event. To reserve a copy, contact Iku Kiriyama at (310) 326-0608.  Leave your name and number of copies desired on the answering machine.

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  1. Please help me. My name is Casey Jervier and I am 13 years old. I go to Ridgely Middle School in MD. I am doing a Japanese Internment Oral History for American History and I would love to interview Grace. If anyone has her contact info, I would love to have it. Thanks so much.

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