Pasadena Celebrates Korematsu Day

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pasadena1Fred Korematsu Day was celebrated at an event held Jan. 31 at Pasadena High School. Annual observances are held on or around Jan. 30, the birthday of the late civil rights icon, who would have turned 96 this year. Above: Attorney Patricia Kinaga speaks about her family history, as a childhood photo of her father, 442nd Regimental Combat Team veteran Tom Kinaga, is projected at the PHS Auditorium. The elder Kinaga was among the first to volunteer for the Army from the Heart Mountain camp in Wyoming. (MIKEY HIRANO CULROSS/Rafu Shimpo)

chiyomi-donna ogawaOn display was a wedding dress worn by six Pasadena women, the subject of Steve and Patty Nagano’s documentary “Six Weddings and a Dress.” The first of the brides, Chiyomi Ogawa, whose aunt made the gown, poses with her wedding photo taken with husband Kaz at Manzanar in 1944. She is joined by her daughter Donna.

pasadena2Bryan Takeda points to the wedding photo of his aunt and uncle, Haru and Tadashi Fujihara. (MIKEY HIRANO CULROSS/Rafu Shimpo)

group shotFrom left: The Grateful Crane Ensemble’s Soji Kashiwagi, who talked about his father, author and actor Hiroshi Kashiwagi, who was a “no-no boy” at Tule Lake; Patricia Kinaga; Wendy Anderson, producer of the event, whose parents, Tadashi and Harumi Fujihara, were incarcerated at Manzanar; artist and actress Kellye Wallett (Nurse Kellye on “M*A*S*H”), who talked about her grandfather, Buntaro Nakamura, who died at a government detention camp in Santa Fe; Ellen Snortland, who found a Japanese American family’s old photo album at her rental home and asked advice columnist Dear Abby to help find the family; Pasadena City College Trustee Linda Wah; and Dr. Robert Miller, interim president-superintendent of PCC. Other speakers included Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard, Rep. Judy Chu (chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus) and Pasadena High School Principal Gilbert Barraza Jr.

camp photosAttendees look at a display of internment camp photos by Stone Ishimaru.

akabeko projectRepresentatives of the Akabeko (Red Cow) Project, which benefits children with disabilities in Fukushima Prefecture.

pasadena hs rotcThe Pasadena High School ROTC posted the colors.

kodama taikoA performance by Kodama Taiko.

Photos courtesy of Wendy Fujihara Anderson (except where indicated)

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