Monday, August 13, 2007

Advice from Mr. Kanno

Upon going through the archives, I came across this quote. The inteview is from 1966.

Notice the tone of this man's comments compared to what we hear today. Of course his concerns were absolutely correct...

Give it a read:

"...But as I look back on evacuation today, well, I shouldn't call it a nightmare--but it was just something that happened and it's forgotten.

I think I'm a little unhappy about some of the problems that are being brought up by the younger generation: the third generation and fourth generation Japanese Americans. It seems that in some of the colleges or some of the organizations, many of the younger kids get together and they talk about this evacuation. They say, "Well, gee, our parents, the Nisei, were stupid for doing this or being obedient, quiet Americans and going to camps."

They're sort of bringing this up, and it's too bad, but they seem to be becoming more racial in their attitude.

Whereas I felt that because the second generation--we--were trying to assimilate ourselves into the American stream of life, so to speak, it would be so simple for the third generation to learn the American way and work into the general society, and they should have relatively fewer problems.

But the way I look at some of the things now it seems like in some areas they're going backwards, possibly because of the influence of other minorities--the blacks--and some of the emphasis placed on racial issues. They're saying, "Look, we have to identify outselves, and perhaps put out a united front." Not only are they saying Japanese Americans, but "We should form a coalition of Asian Americans to fight for our rights, and push. The blacks seem to be making headway, so we better do it."

Sure, it's one way to force something on a person, and tell him, "Look, you have to take me or hire me or do this, because that's what the law says." The old way, that we, the second generation, were taught was that you have to earn it. I don't know what the society is coming to.

Perhaps, this isn't unique among the Japanese Americans, but in general society this seems to be the trend. Maybe I'm calling it a racial problem, but it's really just a general modern society problem. I am kind of concerned about that."

-James Kanno

Nisei member of a pioneer Orange County, California family and first mayor of Japanese ancestry on mainland United States in Fountain Valley, California describes Poston War Relocation Center in Arizona; temporary release to Colorado; orderly work at University of Michigan Hospital; wartime education at Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and experiences as president of Japanese American Citizens League chapter in Orange County; and involvement in area politics

Friday, August 03, 2007

We get letters....

We get letters here at Friends of Historical Accuracy.

In fact, a head BIJAC representative, (the little twerpy outside agitator one) sent a flurry of hateful comments just after the 4th.

When faced with historical facts he could only resort to personal attacks and attempt to play the race card. So typical.

I find no reason to repeat such outburts of hatred and intolerance, even if the attackers are employed by the county.

On occasion though, some letters are worth repeating.

One such exchange I had with a Japanese citizen living in Japan. His candor gives me hope that in both Japan and the United States, the 100% truth will prevail.

"You are really opening my eyes to the truth regarding the Japanese American redress.The more I know about it, the more I find it was not necessary and most likely was done to appease ethnic Japanese, which is also a different knid of racism....

Problems arise when people like Mike Honda uses EMOTIONS and RACE to gain sympathy from the innocent majority who are more or less indifferent or ignorant of the issue and to silence opposing views.

Newspapers, schools, books and TVs had also brainwashed me to believe the Japanese American relocation as a great injustice and tragedy, since I had no interest in it and I didn't seek any further info beyond what I heard passively.

But come to think of it, the majority of them were not US citizens and they also had the option to move, either back to Japan or somewhere else.

Many Americans, Japanese and other Asians were dying and starving at that time, when they were safe in the camps, though I can see it was a demeaning and miserable experience.

Mike Honda and others seem really trying to expand the coalition of victims, using EMOTIONS and RACE.

I'm glad someone like you care about truth and go for more depth and details, rather than a precious sight of some old women weeping with joy."

Thanks for the nice comments!

It is always heartening when I get through to another person the complexity of this history.

Over the last fews years I have received other such letters from Japanese (even Japanese Americans) regarding my endeavor for the historical truth that are positive and supportive.

Thank you for the support!

Your letters of encouragement are gratefully accepted and encouraged, especially considering the barrage of wingnut letters we receive hurling accusations of "racism".