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Japanese America:
Contemporary Perspectives on the Internment

Problems listening, or comments? Please let us know. E-mail archive@krabarchive.com


NEW FEB 2020: Japanese America: Contemporary Perspectives on the Internment - Rec Jan 19, 1980; KRAB Feb 19, 1980

This program presents highlights of the conference held Jan 19 at Seattle Central Community College. The forum examined the internment of Japanese Americans in concentration camps during WWII from the social, literary, personal and legal points of view. Featured are U.S. Congressperson Mike Lowry, author of redress legislation, State Supreme Court Justice James Dolliver, U.W. law professor Charles Smith, and others. Frank Abe wrote, produced and hosted this program; technical production by Tim Otani.

Karen Seriguchi, Conference Director, and Frank Abe produced the overall symposium programs. The entire program of symposiums, publications, and broadcasts was funded by the Washington Commission for the Humanities.

On Jan 19 and Mar 1, 1980 conferences were held in Seattle and Spokane commemorating and providing a forum for testimony, discussion, and the documentation of the effects of the 1942 internment of 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II. Shortly after the conference, Frank Abe, Karen Seriguchi, and Tim Otani shared the tapes with KRAB, and prepared this recording of highlights of the Seattle conference for broadcast on Feb 19, 1980.

The Seattle conference was moderated by Charles Z. Smith, former UW Professor and Dean of the Law School, who was appointed to the Washington State Supreme Court in 1988. Others speaking and giving testimony include Rep Mike Lowry, Monica Sone, Robert Sims, James Dolliver, Dr Gordon Hirabayashi, Frank Chin, Minoru Masuda, and Joanne Fujita.

Feb 19 (the date of KRAB's broadcast) was the anniversary of the issuance of Executive Order 9066, which authorized "Military Commanders" to prescribe military areas in such places and of such extent as they might find appropriate, and exclude (remove) from those areas any persons who they thought appropriate. Attached are 3 articles from the Seattle Times. The first, published on Jan 19, is by Paola Maranan of Franklin High School, and is an interview of Frank Fuji, a survivor of the internment camps. The second, published the next day, written by two Times staff reporters, describes this conference. The third is from the Times Letters to the Editor published Jan 31, and shows the range of public opinion in 1980 about Order 9066 and its consequences. Click here to see the Seattle Times articles

In Mar 2020 the KRAB Archive will also be sharing the complete and unedited Seattle conference tapes that Dave Gardner played on his afternoon program Feb 11 and Feb 25, 1980. And in Apr 2020 we will post the recordings from the Spokane conference which was held on Mar 1, 1980. While there is some overlap, most of the presenters and speakers at the two conferences are unduplicated, and they relate their own personal experiences and perspectives from the West and East sides of the state. There were actually three conferences in 1980, with the the third being in Tacoma. We do not have a recording of the Tacoma conference.

Many of Frank Abe's collection of photographs and other documents can now be found in the Densho Digital Repository. For any unfamiliar with Densho, the first paragraph of the website's Overview describes it like this:

"The forced removal and detention of more than 120,000 Americans of Japanese ethnicity during WWII still represents one of the starkest examples of how our civil liberties in the United States can come under attack in times of war or distress. As the memories of those who lived it fade, the story is in danger of becoming distant, remote and, ultimately forgotten. Densho was founded to preserve those memories, primarily through the use of videotaped oral history testimonies from Japanese Americans."

A summary of the three 1980 conference programs, including testimony of survivors of the camps, was prepared and edited by Karen Seriguchi and Frank Abe and is available from Densho. Click here to open the page and select to download the full-size Proceedings of the Conference pdf.

As recognized below, these recordings are courtesy of Frank Abe. After searching fruitlessly for the last seven years (see below), we were thrilled when Frank contacted us and offered to let us digitize his tapes and share them in the archive.tapelabel

Listen now Listen now - Japanese America: Contemporary Perspectives on the Internment - Rec Jan 19, 1980; KRAB Feb 19, 1980 (30:02)

 

Recording courtesy Frank Abe, fa0003; Conference Proceedings courtesy Frank Abe, Densho


About KRAB and the issues and experiences of the Japanese Internment.

The KRAB Archive has a list of programs that we have searched for during the last 7 years. That list includes a program broadcast in 1972 described with this guide entry:

Aug 10, 1972 - Pride and Shame - A panel discussion by four Americans of Japanese descent. Ted Taniguchi, Mitch Matsudairai, Frank Fujii and Guy Kurose discuss the problems of being Asian in their society. Some of the older men remember clearly what happened to the Japanese community during World War II."

"Pride and Shame" was an exhibit put together in 1970 by the Seattle chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League and the Seattle Museum of History and Industry. It toured Washington State in 1971, and it seems the panel discussion happened toward the end of the tour. The exhibit was ground breaking in that it brought out into the open issues of unfair treatment, discrimination, appropriation of wealth and property, and a disregard for the protections of the Constitution.

That KRAB broadcast the panel discussion is another example of the operators of KRAB welcoming discussion of difficult and painful issues in the hope that it would lead to better understanding of listeners of each other.

We still have not found a copy of the program. We do not know if the panel was organized by the JACL, MOHAI, KRAB, or was some collaboration of all three. If you have knowledge of it, please let us know.

For more about the Pride and Shame exhibit, see "Pride and Shame" - The Museum Exhibit that Helped Launch the Japanese American Redress Movement

 


If you possess any souvenirs (program guides, tapes, or photos) or have a story about your experience with KRAB you are willing to share, please email archive@krabarchive.com

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