GARDENA — The Manzanar Committee will host a book-signing event featuring Dr. Arthur A. Hansen, Ph.D., one of the leading scholars studying the unjust incarceration of over 120,000 Japanese/Japanese Americans during World War II, who will talk about his new book, “Barbed Voices: Oral History, Resistance and the World War II Japanese American Social Disaster,” at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 6, at the Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute, 1964 W. 162nd St. in Gardena.
The event is sponsored by the Manzanar Committee, GVJCI, Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress, Tuna Canyon Detention Station Coalition, Dr. Don Hata, Ph.D., and Dr. Valerie Matsumoto, Ph.D, professor of history at UCLA and holder of the George and Sakaye Aratani Endowed Chair on the Japanese American Incarceration, Redress, and Community at the UCLA Asian American Studies Center (for identification purposes only).
“Barbed Voices” looks at resistance by Japanese American incarcerees, most notably the uprising at the Manzanar concentration camp, Dec. 5-6, 1942, commonly known as the Manzanar “Riot.”
“‘Barbed Voices’ is an important addition to Dr. Hansen’s considerable work on documenting the resistance to the forced removal,” said Manzanar Committee Co-Chair Bruce Embrey. “Of considerable interest to us is newly revealed information about the events of December 1942 at Manzanar, when conflict between the incarcerees and War Relocation Authority administration broke out.
“While we all know two men died during the uprising, ‘Barbed Voices’ provides a complete discussion about the circumstances that led to that deadly encounter. In a sense, it is the final chapter of the oral history of Harry Ueno, which began in the mid-1970s with the publication of ‘Manzanar Martyr,’ conducted with Betty Mitson and Sue Kunitomi Embrey.”
Hansen, a professor emeritus of history at CSU Fullerton, is one of the pre-eminent scholars studying Japanese American incarceration. At CSUF, he was the founding director of the Japanese American Project of the Oral History Program and the founding faculty member of the Asian American Studies Program. Hansen also served as senior historian at the Japanese American National Museum.
Among his numerous awards and accolades, Hansen received the 2007 Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Asian American Studies and the Manzanar Committee’s Sue Kunitomi Embrey Legacy Award in 2014.
“In 2014, when we presented Dr. Hansen with the Sue Kunitomi Embrey Legacy Award, we wanted to make sure people knew that he is not merely a great scholar,” Embrey noted. “I said, at the time, that his focus was not just to get to the essence of the issue, but that his research and analysis is rooted in a fierce and tireless advocacy for social justice.
“Working to record and understand this history through oral histories of, as Dr. Hansen calls it, ‘the social disaster’ of the forced removal, he is known for his thorough and democratic approach. As others have noted, his scholarship has been an anchor for the movement to record and popularize the efforts by Japanese American incarcerees to oppose their removal and incarceration.”
At the event, Hansen will read from his new book and will sign copies of the book, which will be available for sale at a discounted price. A light reception immediately follows.
The event is free and open to the public. For more information, email [email protected] or call (323) 662-5102.