Talk story with Professor Eric K. Yamamoto

Please join us for a Talk Story with Professor Eric Yamamoto about “Democratic Liberties and National Security” and his new book published by Oxford Press, In the Shadow of Korematsu. 

Talk Story with Professor Eric Yamamoto
Thursday, June 28
Judiciary History Center
417 South King Street

4:45 pm    Doors open
5:00 pm    Program 
6:15 pm    Book signing
(books available for purchase at a discount)

We look forward to seeing you there. Please RSVP to by Thursday, June 14. 2018, so we can make a headcount for food and beverages.  

For more information, please download the event flyer.

Book Description
In the Shadow of Korematsu: Democratic Liberties and National Security tackles pressing questions about the significance of judicial independence for a constitutional democracy committed to both security and the rule of law. What will happen when those detained, harassed, or discriminated against turn to the courts for protection? Will the judiciary passively accept a president’s unsubstantiated claim of national security as justification (as it did during WWII in Korematsu v. U.S.), or will it serve as guardian of the Bill of Rights (as it did during the 1984 Korematsu coram nobis reopening)? Through the lens of the World War II Japanese American incarceration cases, Professor Eric K.Yamamoto opens a path through the legal thicket so that American society might better accommodate both security and liberty. Eric K. Yamamoto is the Fred T. Korematsu Professor of Law and Social Justice at the William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawai`i

What people are saying:

“In this masterful study, Eric Yamamoto not only shows why Korematsu continues to throw its dark shadow over American law and policy; he also explains how, moving forward, judges can reconcile the competing needs to protect our national security and preserve our civil liberties. His penetrating insights could not be more timely. An urgently-needed book.”

 –Angela P. Harris, Professor of Law, University of California at Davis Law School

“Is the Korematsu case wrongly decided, yet capable of repetition? At a time when nativism and racism again parade in the disguise of national security, Eric Yamamoto (one of Fred Korematsu’s lawyers) deftly illuminates that landmark’s long shadow, unraveling its conflicting strands and calling for determined constitutional advocacy to follow active remembering.” 

–Harold Hongju Koh, Sterling Professor of International Law, Yale Law School

“My father Fred pursued his WWII and later coram nobis legal challenges to the government’s falsely justified mass Japanese American exclusion and incarceration so that ‘it’ would not happen again…to anyone. Professor Yamamoto’s compelling and insightful book—with its emphasis on people, courts and democracy—opens a path from historical injustice toward a more just America today and tomorrow.”

 –Karen Korematsu, Executive Director, Fred T. Korematsu Institute


Coram Nobis: Reopening the 1944 Supreme Court Korematsu Decision

“National Security and Democratic Liberties: The Continuing Import of Korematsu v. U.S.”

This year marks the 75th anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066 (EO 9066) issued during World War II that cleared the way for the internment of Japanese-, German- and Italian-Americans to camps across the country. In 1944, Fred Korematsu challenged the constitutionality of EO 9066 and his incarceration in the historic Supreme Court case Korematsu v. United States and lost. To this day, while Mr. Korematsu’s original conviction was overturned the Korematsu decision still stands.

Two events will examine the significance of Korematsu and particularly in light of current events in America:

The first, on Thursday, February 23rd at the William S. Richardson School of Law, is a forum featuring presentations by Korematsu coram nobis legal team members Dale Minami, Lori Bannai and Eric Yamamoto, with Karen Korematsu and Richardson Scholar Advocate law students Anna Jang and Jaime Tokioka. 

The second, on Friday, February 24th downtown at the Judicial History Center, is a reception and roundtable Q&A with the same panelists, plus coram nobis team member Leigh-Ann Miyasato. 

Both events are open to the public and have limited seating.

For more information, please contact Julie Levine of UH Foundation at or (808) 956-8395.

Download a PDF of the event flyer.

Please Join Us: 2017 Distinguished Service Awards Dinner

Download Invitation/Flyer (pdf) | Download Sponsorship/Ticket Order Form (pdf)

Japanese American Citizens League
Honolulu Chapter

Cordially invites you to our
2017 Distinguished Service Awards Dinner

Hilton Hawaiian Village
Waikiki Beach Resort | Coral Ballroom
2005 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI

Saturday, March 4, 2017
5:30 PM Registration
6:30 PM Dinner

To recognize these Champions of Civil Rights

U.S. Senator
Brian Schatz

Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals Judge
Daniel R. Foley

Community Activist
Kim Coco Iwamoto

Sponsorships (Table of 8) 

Diamond – $10,000 
Platinum – $7,500 
Gold – $5,000
Silver – $3,000

Individual Tickets
JACL Members – $125
Non-Members – $150

RSVP by Friday, February 3, 2017
Please make check payable to
JACL Honolulu Chapter
P.O. Box 1291, Honolulu, HI 96807

For more information, please contact
Liann Ebesugawa or 543-4986

For sponsorship inquiries, please contact
AJ Halagao or 492-6673

2013 Day of Remembrance

Please join use for the 2013 Day of Remembrance

Reflections on the Past Relevancy for the Future

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii, Manoa Grand Ballroom, 2454 South Beretania Street

1:00 p.m. Program

2:30 p.m. Reception

For more information please see flyer, click here, or contact the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii at 945-7633.


Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation Annual Fundraiser

Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation’s Annual Fundraiser

Saturday, November 24, 2012, from 5:00 pm to 9:30 pm.

Mamiya Theater, St. Louis School, 3142 Waialae Avenue, Honolulu, Hawaii 96816

For more information, please see flyer linked here.

To purchase tickets to this event, please go to or call (808) 521-2302 Admission includes pupu, live entertainment, a silent auction, and two amazing, inspirational films.  Please click on the link below to view the trailer for “Murundak:  songs of freedom”, one of two “you shouldn’t miss” films featured that night.

2012 Annual General Membership Meeting

2012 Annual General Membership Meeting

To view invitation please click here

Saturday, October 13, 2012

At the Harbor View Center

1129 North Nimitz Highway

(Above Nico’s at Pier 38)

10:15 a.m.                   General Membership Meeting Registration

10:30 a.m.                   General Membership Meeting (all are welcome; voting by members)

10:30 – 11:00 a.m.       Luncheon Registration; No-Host Bar Open

11:30 a.m.                    Luncheon Program

Members: $50  Go to: to become a member of the JACL Honolulu Chapter.

Guests: $100

Platinum Sponsors – $5,000

Gold Sponsors  –  $2,500

Silver Sponsors – $1,500

This year we recognize two outstanding community leaders whose work has meaningfully affected the arc of justice for our Micronesian community: the law firm Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing for their extensive pro bono work on Micronesian issues and Dina Shek, Esq., director of the University of Hawaii Medical-Legal Partnership serving the large Micronesian community in Kalihi Vallley.  The award presentations will be made at our Annual General Membership meeting and Awards Luncheon.


Recap: A Decade After 9/11

On September 10, 2011, JACL-Honolulu Chapter and Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii held a special event, “A Decade After 9/11: Acknowledging the Harms, Learning the Lessons, and Shaping the Future.” Event co-sponsors included ACLU of Hawaii, Community Alliance on Prisons, Hawaii Peace and Justice, Hawaii People’s Fund, and NAACP Hawaii.

The forum opened with an invocation by Rev. Dr. Jonipher Kwong of First Unitarian Church of Honolulu, followed by a video presentation of the 2003 Day of Remembrance, produced and directed by Cynthia Gates Fujikawa. A panel discussion was moderated by attorney Ellen Godbey Carson and featured Hakim Ouansafi of the Muslim Association of Hawai‘i, author Tom Coffman, and UH law professor Mari J. Matsuda.

Mr. Ouansafi spoke about his experiences as a Muslim American after 9/11 and noted the better experiences of Muslims in Hawai‘i compared to the experiences on the mainland. Mr. Ounsafi attributed much of it to the lasting sad memories here of the wrongful persecution and ensuing incarceration of over 300 Hawai‘i Japanese (aliens and Americans) in camps in Hawai‘i and over 1500 in mainland camps during World War II. Mr. Coffman discussed his research on ethnic relations in Hawaii before World War II and the role of inter-ethnic social connections as a way to greater understanding and respect. Prof. Matsuda spoke about the critical need for more education and dialogue in the areas of economic justice, religions, and peace.

KITV Coverage of 9/11 Event

Hawai‘i Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony

Last October, President Obama awarded the Congressional Gold Medal (CGM), the nation’s highest civilian award, to the 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the Military Intelligence Service. A ceremony is being planned in Washington, DC to honor these veterans. Another ceremony will be held locally for those unable to travel to Washington.

The Hawai‘i ceremony is tentatively planned for December 17 & 18. Information will be posted on our website as it becomes available. For more information on the Washington ceremony, go to


SATURDAY, December 17
10:00 or 10:30 am – Parade through Waikiki
12:00 to 2:00 pm – CGM Banquet at the Hawai‘ i Convention Center
SUNDAY, December 18
Morning – service at Punchbowl to honor veterans who have already passed

* There will be a formal announcement following the approval of the CGM Events Joint Resolution by Congress.

A Decade After 9/11


Acknowledging the Harms, Learning the Lessons & Shaping the Future

Saturday, September 10 • 10 am – 12 noon

Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i

Presented by JACL-Honolulu and the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i. Please join us to commemorate the tenth anniversary of 9/11 with a video presentation and speaker panel with Hakim Ouansafi (Muslim Association of Hawai‘i), Tom Coffman (author, The Island Edge of America) and Mari J. Matsuda (Professor of Law, William S. Richardson School of Law), facilitated by Ellen Godbey Carson (JACL member and attorney). The panel will explore the experiences of the Muslim American community in Hawai‘i, racial tensions during wartime, and current events related to social justice.

All are welcome. Admission is free; refreshments served. RSVP is not required, but we would appreciate it for a head count. Please email