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.
The JACL Honolulu congratulates former board member Karen Tooko Nakasone for her confirmation as Circuit Judge of the First Circuit Court of the State of Hawaii.
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 www.nationalveteransnetwork.com.
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.
Acknowledging the Harms, Learning the Lessons & Shaping the Future
Saturday, September 10 • 10 am – 12 noon
Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘iPresented 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 email@example.com.
At the 42nd Annual JACL National Convention Japanese Americans voiced their support to preserve the history and legacy of the Honouliuli internment camp in Hawaii.
By Nalea J. Ko, Reporter
Efforts to preserve a Hawaii internment camp used to detain people of Japanese and German ancestry after the bombing of Pearl Harbor gained the support of the JACL.
At the 2011 JACL National Convention on July 8 delegates passed a resolution with a majority vote in support of preserving the Honouliuli site.
Seventy-eight JACL chapters that were in good standing were present at the convention and able to vote, according to Credentials Chair Reiko Yoshino. Seven district youth representatives with voting privileges were also present.
Supporters of the resolution say the history of Japanese American internment in Hawaii must be documented, preserved and maintained for future generations.
“There’s a lot of misperception that no one was interned and no one was unjustly held or removed [in Hawaii]. But they were,” said Trisha Nakamura, a Yonsei of the JACL Honolulu chapter. “Even if they weren’t detained, the anti-Japanese sentiment that was running rampant during World War II also existed in Hawaii. And places like Honouliuli serve as focal points to really bring up those stories and to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Colette Masunaga, of the Florin JACL chapter, also spoke in favor of the resolution.
The resolution was sponsored by the JACL Honolulu chapter and approved by the Northern California-Western Nevada-Pacific District.
At the JACL national council meeting, Nakamura said that the National Park Service, or NPS, is finalizing a Special Resource Study to determine how to best preserve the site. That study is slated to be presented to Congress later this year.
The total cost associated with supporting the resolution is $1,186, according to a fiscal impact statement prepared by Nakamura.
Some 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry were incarcerated during World War II, following the signing of Executive Order 9066 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Over 300 people of Japanese heritage and 30 people of German ancestry were held in Honouliuli, which is located in a gulch on the island of Oahu.
The Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii, or JCCH, has spearheaded preservation efforts of the site, which is owned by Monsanto. In June it was announced that the JCCH received $38,565 from NPS to begin a pilot program to offer tours to Honouliuli.
The JACL’s resolution was one of several considered at the national convention held from July 7 to 10 in Hollywood, Calif.
Proponents of the JACL resolution say the United States Department of Interior has the necessary resources and expertise to oversee the site in the future.
Chip Larouche, Pacific Northwest District governor, motioned to amend the resolution to correct the spelling of the United States National Park Service. He also suggested changing the word internment to “unjust incarceration.” With those amendments, the resolution passed unopposed.
Supporters say the preservation of the Honouliuli site will benefit Hawaii residents as well as those in the continental U.S.
“I was born and raised in Hawaii and had very little knowledge of the incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII,” said Dawn Rego, of the Seattle chapter. “I think it would be a great service to not only the citizens of Hawaii, but also all of the United States citizens to have more education on Honouliuli [and] the injustices that occurred in Hawaii.”
There was also a traditional convention courtesy resolution at the national council meeting to thank the committee for organizing the 2011 JACL convention.