Redressing Wounds – Day of Remembrance
An open dialogue on the impacts of internment of Japanese Americans during WWII

February 20, 2018 • 5:30 PM
Crystal Cove Auditorium & Global Viewpoint Gallery

Presented in collaboration with UCI Tomo No Kai (Circle of Friends) student organization

Special performances by Jodaiko

About the Program

When your government unjustly incarcerates based solely on race and ethnicity, how does this legacy impact the identities/perspectives/lives of Japanese Americans?

76 years ago after the World War II bombings of Pearl Harbor, approximately 120,000 Japanese and Japanese American citizens were evicted, corralled and held captive after President Roosevelt implemented Executive Order 9066 under the pretense of ‘protection against espionage and against sabotage.’ Thousands of families and individuals were ripped away from their homes, properties, businesses and livelihoods, and deprived of their human and civil rights. Survivors did not hear an apology and redress from the U.S. government until President Reagan signed into law the Civil Liberties Act in 1988.

To mark the 30th anniversary of the apology and redress, we will be joined by Sam Mihara – scientist, educator and internment camp survivor – and Brian Niiya – author and content director for Densho, an organization set on preserving the voices and memories of the men, women and children held captive – for an open dialogue on the stigma, displacement and psychological toll exacted on the Nikkei (Japanese American) community.

Reflection on this tragedy will allow us to fully grasp how far we have come and how much we have been given by the previous generations. Our history is the blueprint to our future. Participants can come away with expanded knowledge of humility, tolerance and perseverance of human strength and, through introspection of their actions and inactions, begin to extend a hand to those without voices and rights and to help those facing undue persecution and injustice today.

About the Presenters

Sam Mihara is a second-generation Japanese American. His parents were born in Japan and immigrated to the U.S. in the 1920s. Sam was born in the early 1930s and raised in San Francisco. When World War II broke out, the United States government forced Sam and his family to move, first to a detention camp in Pomona, Calif., and then to a remote prison camp in Northern Wyoming, where they stayed for three years. After the war ended and he was released from camp, Sam returned to San Francisco. He attended Lick Wilmerding High School and graduated from U. C. Berkeley and UCLA graduate school with engineering degrees. He became a rocket scientist with The Boeing Company, helping to insert many satellites into orbit. Following retirement from Boeing, Sam created his own high-tech consulting firm where he enjoys meeting many clients around the world.

Brian Niiya is the content director for Densho and editor of the Densho Encyclopedia. Formerly a curator and administrator for both the Japanese American National Museum and the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai'i, he edited two print editions of the Encyclopedia of Japanese American History (1993 and 2001). A native of Los Angeles, he lives and works in Honolulu, Hawai'i.


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  Illuminations wordmark

  Department of Asian American Studies wordmark

Special Performances

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Event Photos