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Home / Articles / / /  Japanese-American Day of Remembrance

Japanese-American Day of Remembrance

By Jacob Stringer
Posted // February 19,2009 -

Thursday 2.19

Japanese-American Day of Remembrance

Executive Order 9066 sounds innocuous enough. Instead of calling something by a descriptive name and telling it like it is, a number hides the horror. Yes, 9066’s real power—ordering the incarceration of innocent Japanese- Americans during Word War II—was truly atrocious and unforgivable.

It’s also unforgettable because once a year, on Feb. 19, the Japanese-American Day of Remembrance reminds us. Marking the day in 1942 when 9066 was signed—sealing the fate of thousands of Americans to 10 different interment camps, including one just 16 miles west of Delta—this day of remembrance is designed to pay respect to those detained against their will.

This week, Plan-B Theatre Company, Topaz Museum, the Japanese-American Citizens League, SLC Film Center and the Main Library have joined forces to commemorate this dark time in American history. Several films—including The Cats of Mirikatani, Transcending: The Wat Misaka Story and Ken Verdoia’s documentary Topaz—will be screened at both the Main Library and Tower Theatre. Meanwhile, the world premier of Matthew Ivan Bennett’s play Block 8 will run through March 8 at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center courtesy of Plan-B. Look for lectures and art exhibits as well.

In this post-9/11 world, justifications for 9066 could just as easily spring up as they did back then. Fear breeds more irrational fear, and remembering past terror is crucial. As the adage goes, those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.

Complete schedule of events commemorating Japanese-American Day of Remembrance @ PlanBTheatre.org/DOR

 
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Posted // February 2,2012 at 13:01

We have something really wonderful going here on the Monterey Peninsula. Last week, we mounted the exhibition, Transcendental Vision, Japanese Culture and Contemporary Art, at The Independent in Sand City on the Monterey Peninsula. The response to the exhibition has been overwhelming. The Japanese Consul came from San Francisco to open the exhibition and over 800 attended the opening. Every day since, at least 50 people have come to spend at least half an hour exploring the work. We are stunned by all the publicity and excitement over this show.

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On February 19th, we are hosting the Japanese American Day of Remembrance with a talk by noted photojournalist, Tom Graves. There will be short introductions of some of the WWII Japanese American Vets and taiko drummers and a kendo demonstration.

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I would like to invite you to join us for this dedication. 

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Transcendental Vision includes artists from all parts of the United States and shows how Japanese culture has spread throughout the country and has greatly influenced contemporary art. Japanese influence is not a new idea -- however, by showing how artists in various parts of the country have been affected by the culture of their Japanese American neighbors, this show appears to be of vast importance to the population who survived the internment camps -- both the Japanese Americans who were sent to the camps, and their neighbors who still feel an unspoken guilt. The most amazing part for me, is that parents are bringing their children and groups of elders have come by -- people with canes and in wheelchairs. They are fascinated by the various approaches to art -- from oil paintings to embroideries to a rain installation made of safety pins. This exhibition is about life, death, resurrection and rebirth. 

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