Sei Fujii Day in Little Tokyo

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Sculpture to be dedicated in honor of late publisher of Kashu Mainichi.

A rendering of the steel lantern at Japanese Village Plaza. The lantern was designed by Miles Ono.

A rendering of the steel lantern at Japanese Village Plaza. The lantern was designed by Miles Endo.

Organizers from the Little Tokyo Historical Society have announced a special “Sei Fujii Day” to take place on Saturday, Aug. 1, in Little Tokyo.

Though forgotten by many in the community, Sei Fujii will be remembered on this day for his many works on behalf of the Nikkei community and for two landmark court cases that changed society for the better.

At 12:30 p.m., a steel lantern that stands 8 feet tall will be dedicated to the memory of the late pioneer civil rights activist. The lantern has been meticulously designed by Rhode Island School of Design graduate Miles Endo, son of taiko master Kenny Endo.

Photo of Sei Fujii from the USC School of Law Class of 1911 album.

Photo of Sei Fujii from the USC School of Law Class of 1911 album.

The ceremony will take place at the Second Street entrance of the Japanese Village Plaza between San Pedro Street and Central Avenue (near 341 E. Second St.), and dignitaries and other special guests have been invited. The unveiling will take place at precisely 1 p.m., at which time all of the sponsors who contributed a total surpassing $30,000 for the lantern will be recognized.

The lantern dedication will be followed by a panel presentation beginning at 2 p.m. at the Japanese American National Museum’s National Center for the Preservation of Democracy, 100 N. Central Ave., on the topic of Fujii’s extensive civil rights work, with a special focus on the overturning of the Alien Land Law in which Fujii won a California Supreme Court ruling in his favor. Speakers include Superior Court Judge Bruce Iwasaki and retired USC Law School Associate Dean John Tomlinson.

A short film, “Lil Tokyo Reporter,” will also be shown. This award-winning drama sponsored by the Little Tokyo Historical Society and Visual Communications and directed by Jeffrey Gee Chin shows a chapter of Fujii’s struggle on behalf of the community as publisher of The Kashu Mainichi. Lead actor and Academy Award-winning filmmaker Chris Tashima (“Visas and Virtue”) and executive producer Fumiko Carole Fujita will also join the panel.

The seminar program is free with the purchase of admission to the museum. There will be a Q&A session and a light reception to follow at 4 p.m.

For questions, contact Bill Watanabe at [email protected]

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