5/1 — Herzig-Yoshinaga Speaks at CSUDH

May 1 — Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga will discuss her essay, “Words Can Lie or Clarify: Terminology of the World War II Incarceration of Japanese Americans” at a reception in her honor on Saturday, May 1, at 1 p.m. in the new South Wing of the University Library at Cal State Dominguez Hills. An iconic figure among students, scholars and Nikkei activists, Herzig-Yoshinaga spent more than a decade compiling a list of euphemisms that obscure rather than reveal what actually took place during the WWII Nikkei diaspora and gulag ordeal.

Other panelists include Karen L. Ishizuka, author of “Lost and Found: Reclaiming the Japanese American Incarceration” (2006), and Don Hata who with his late wife Nadine, co-authored “Japanese Americans and World War II: Mass Removal, Imprisonment, and Redress” (2006).  Mitch Maki, who will moderate the panel, is dean of the College of Professional Studies at CSU Dominguez Hills and author of “Achieving the Impossible Dream: How Japanese Americans Obtained Redress” (1999).  Copies of these publications, autographed by the authors, will be available for sale.

Earlier that day, a reception to honor community volunteers who constructed the Shinwa-En Japanese Garden in 1978 on the CSU Dominguez Hills campus will take place at 10 a.m. The university’s Friends of the Japanese Garden (FOJG) will honor the original volunteers – mostly Nisei and Kibei gardeners – who constructed the garden. FOJG will also extend its appreciation to the original gardeners’ family members and members of the California Landscape Contractors Association, many of whom have been involved in recent restorations to the site. Hata, an emeritus professor of history at CSU Dominguez Hills and former Gardena city councilmember, was instrumental in bringing the gardeners to the university for this civic engagement activity in 1978.

Award-winning author Naomi Hirahara will speak on her Mas Arai mystery series, including her most recent work, “Blood Hina,” which was released last month. The novels, whose main protagonist is a Japanese gardener, have won many recognitions, including an Edgar Allan Poe Award for the third book, “Snakeskin Shamisen.”  In addition, a festival of Japanese arts will include exhibits of bonsai, ikebana, and origami, a performance by the Majikina Honryu Dance Company and musicians from the Okinawan Association of America, and traditional Japanese food. This event is suitable for all ages and open to the public.

Admission to both events is free.  Please RSVP by Wednesday, April 21 to Don Hata for the Herzig-Yoshinaga presentation at 310-316-4894 or email [email protected] ; for the Japanese Garden Rededication, please contact Tom Philo at (310) 243-3361 or email [email protected]