Vol. 2 Issue 3                                                                                      March 2021

Manzanar Messenger

Asian American Women Who Led the Way

With March designated as Women’s History Month, International Women’s Day, and Hinamatsuri (Girls’ Day), we need to take a look at our mentors and role models that have guided us throughout the years. Women throughout history have been downplayed or dismissed, told their thoughts and ideas were not significant. They have not been given the recognition due them. It’s amazing how we are now just learning about some of the achievements women have provided this country. 

This month’s newsletter is dedicated to the Asian American women who have participated in keeping democracy alive by fighting for our rights.  Each in her own way, Sue Kunitomi Embrey, Patsy Takemoto Mink, Aiko Herzig Yoshinaga, Yuri Kochiyama and Michi Weglyn have led the way with their struggles and contributions. 

We are honoring one of the co-founders of the Manzanar Committee, Sue Kunitomi Embrey.  Many know of the hard work Sue put in from the first Pilgrimage to finally earning the camp the designation of Manzanar National Historic Site. But do you know what a social justice fighter she was when it came to the rights of people?  She was an educator, community activist, labor union organizer, writer and a fighter against prejudice, racism, and sexism.  Sue was a role model for many Sanseis and Yonseis (third and fourth generation Japanese Americans). Her life's focus demonstrates how a principled person of vision can impact the world.

Let's learn from our past mentors and move forward to stop history from repeating itself.

Sue Kunitomi Embrey
Pioneering Asian American Activist. Co-founder of the Manzanar Committee, spearheaded the efforts to make Manzanar a National Historic Site, and co-organizer of the early Manzanar Pilgrimages.

Click to read "One Life..A Legacy for All" from 38th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage in 2007

Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga
Activist and researcher whose work provided the foundation for reparations for former incarcerees

"The activist who discovered the truth about WWII Internment"
by Lorraine Bannai in Politico Magazine

Click here to learn more about Aiko

Patsy Matsu Takemoto Mink
First woman of color elected to the U.S. House of Representatives 

"Patsy Takemoto Mink Blazed The Trail For Kamala Harris, Not Famous White Woman Susan B. Anthony"  by Judy Tzu-Chun Wu

Click here to learn more about Patsy
Click here to read Kamala Harris' post about Patsy

Yuri Kochiyama
Political activist who advocated for social justice in communities of color 
"Reflections on my Grandma Yuri, Malcolm X and the Past, Present, and Future of Black-Asian Solidarity" by Akemi Kochiyama

Click here to read about Yuri

Michi Weglyn
Community Activist, Historian,
Author of Years of Infamy: The Untold Story of America's Concentration Camps

Click here to learn more about Michi

We welcome your voice!
Rise in Anti-Asian Hate Crime
Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple in Little Tokyo was vandalized Thursday night by an unknown person who toppled a stone lantern, broke a plate glass window, and attempted to start a fire.
The incident is being investigated as a hate crime. Recent physical assaults, property damage and other crimes being committed in Asian neighborhoods across the country are believed to be racially motivated.
Click to read the article written by staff of Rafu Shimpo
Photo by Mario Gershom Reyes/Rafu Shimpo
Black & Asian communities rally against anti-Asian hate in Oakland

Hundreds of people rallied at Madison Park in Oakland’s Chinatown Saturday to call for unity and oppose anti-Asian hate.

Several Black organizations joined the Oakland Chinatown Coalition which sponsored the protest dubbed Love our People, Heal Our Communities.

“We’re out here, us Black people, to support and to say we don’t condone that type of behavior,” said Willard “Ali” Birts Jr., of All of Us or None which provides legal services for prisoners with children. “We have no problems being a diverse [community] because that’s what we represent. So, we’re just here to say, anything we can do to provide some help to the community, we’re here to listen to people to see what they have to say and see what we can do.”

Click here to read the rest of the AsAm article
Article and Photo by Isabelle Roetcisoender

Katari Student Reflections

"While I wish I could have been there in person, I know I still had the experience of a lifetime" - by Clayton Takamiyashiro
Click here to read Clayton's entire reflection

Photo provided by Clayton Takamiyashiro

Katari Program provided so much more than a "Two-Sentence paragraph about Japanese American Incarceration" - by Megan Matsumoto
Click here to read Megan's entire reflection

Photo provided by Megan Matsumoto

Sue Kunitomi Embrey
Student Awards Program

The Manzanar Committee is proud to announce the 6th Annual Sue Kunitomi Embrey Student Awards Program.  The information packet, application, and contacts to answer your questions are on the Manzanar Committee website at this link.   There are many resources available and we encourage all students K-12 to participate! 

Educators' Corner
Focus on Heart Mountain
Look Toward the Mountain:  Stories from Heart Mountain Incarceration Camp

Books available through JANM Store
The Eagles of Heart Mountain: A True Story of Incarceration, Football and Resistance in WWII America
Setsuko's Secret: Heart Mountain and the Legacy of the Japanese American Incarceration
Sue Kunitomi Embrey
Student Awards Program Winner

Has Anything Really Changed?
By Sara Omura - 6th grade
2019 Student Awards First Place

Poverty, starvation, children in jail
Many protests, but little prevail
How can we fix this world, oh-so-cruel?
Well, surely not us; we’re still in school

Click to read the rest of Sara's poem
Important Historical Dates

March 26, 1790
The U.S. Congress  states that "any alien, being a free white person who shall have resided within the limits and under the jurisdiction of the United States for a term of two years, may be admitted to become a citizen thereof."
March 1, 1942
General DeWitt, commander of the Western Defense Command issues Public Proclamation No. 1. It begins the process of removing all persons of Japanese ancestry--U.S. citizens and aliens alike--living in the western halves of Washington State, California, Oregon, and parts of Arizona. A 8pm to 6am curfew begins for all those of Japanese ancestry 
March 1, 1942
The Wartime Civil Control Administration opens 16 "Assembly Centers" to detain approximately 92,000 men, women, and children until the permanent incarceration camps are completed.
March 5, 1942
California "releases" 34 Japanese American civil servants from jobs.
March 18, 1942
FDR signs Executive Order 9102 establishing the War Relocation Authority 
March 24, 1942
The first Civilian Exclusion Order is issued by the Army for Bainbridge Island near Seattle, Washington. 45 families have one week to prepare. 
March 27, 1942
"Voluntary evacuation" ends as the Army prohibits the changing of residence for all Japanese Americans in the western halves of Washington, California and Oregon states.
March 28, 1942
Minoru Yasui walks into a Portland police station to surrender himself for arrest in order to test the curfew regulations in court. For more information:
March 1, 1943
10,000 Japanese American men volunteer for the armed services from Hawaii. 1,200 volunteer out of camps.
March 20, 1946
Tule Lake, the last War Relocation Authority facility, closes
Upcoming Dates & Events

March 2, 2021 @ 5pm
Nima Voices - Episode 3
Tamiko Nimura
Click JANM

March 3, 2021


March 8, 2021
International Women's Day
"Choose to Challenge"

March 10, 2021 @ 4pm
Educators Open House:
JANM Virtual Visits
Free    RSVP

March 24, 2021 @ 12noon
Art Break: Zines!

April 10, 2021
Jerome Virtual Pilgrimage

April 24, 2021
52nd Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage
Manzanar At Dusk (MAD) program

May 10, 2021
Student Awards applications & projects due

Click for more information

May 22, 2021
"The Betrayed" 
An Online benefit screening for the Watsonville Buddhist Temple 
Tickets may be purchased from Eventbrite.


What is Hinamatsuri

Every year on March 3rd in Japan, Hinamatsuri is celebrated.  Known as Girls' Day or the Doll Festival, it is a day to wish and pray for the health and future happiness for all young girls.
On this special occasion, Japanese families who have young daughters will display their special Hina Dolls or Hina Ningyo on red-cloth-covered platforms. Special foods are part of the celebration

Click for Hinamatsuri
foods. Picture and recipes courtesy of Just One Cookbook

Click here to visit our Website
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