How do we Remember? How Different Generations Share Their Family Incarceration Histories

Wednesday, February 28, 2018 6:00PM

<strong>How do we Remember?</strong>
<strong>How Different Generations Share Their Family Incarceration Histories</strong>
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Join California Historical Society in partnership with Tessaku for a night that explores Japanese American incarceration history from various points of view. Different topics will be presented and discussed including: intergenerational trauma, how we remember, recall, and honor through artistic expression, and how we tell and share personal stories.

The event will begin with a 15 minute presentation from Satsuki Ina on intergenerational trauma, followed by 10 minute presentations by Kurt Kurasaki, Linda Tomoko Mihara, and Diana Emiko Tsuchida. Kristin Eriko Posner will briefly talk about her company, Nourish, which is providing a Japanese-inpsired menu of appetizers for the evening. We will then break out into round table discussions with each presenter going into the audience and facilitating a discussion on the topics of memory and memorializing, how we tell our own histories, as well as how will future generations engage with and continue to share these histories?

To close Goh Nakamura will perform music to accompany stories, alongside images, from the oral history website, Tessaku. A short reception will then follow with small bites provided by Nourish.

Speakers Presentations include:

Satsuki Satsuki will discuss the trauma of the unjust incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII and the lasting effects on subsequent generations.

Linda will discuss the impact of her family's historical businesses - which began with her grandfather after WWII - and the unique Japantown legacy she inherited as a fourth generation store owner. Amid the closing of Bay Area family-owned stores that preserve heritage for the Japanese American community, she will share some of her insights on what it means to have a longstanding presence in San Francisco's Japantown.

Kurt will discuss how finding old photographs from the once thriving Japanese American farming community in San Benito County right before the internment has led to some surprising discoveries about his hometown of San Juan Bautista. While there were 470 Japanese Americans family living there in 1941, only 125 returned post WWII. Paired with a slideshow of these photos taken by famed photographer Russel Lee, Kurt will share his unique perspective as president of a JACL chapter that still continues to serve the local Japanese American community and retain its traditions.

Diana will be speaking about how the search for her grandfather's transgressions in the camps led her to create Tessaku and capture oral histories from other Japanese Americans who lived through WWII. Beginning with the imminent need to capture this generation's memories, she will share snippets of some of the most poignant and impactful stories from her work so far.

About the Speakers

Satsuki Ina, PhD, community activist, filmmaker, and author, is Professor Emeritus at California State University, Sacramento. She was born in the Tule Lake Segregation Center, a maximum security prison camp for Japanese Americans during WWII. She is currently a psychotherapist specializing in community trauma. Her two award-winning documentary films, Children of the Camps and From a Silk Cocoon have been broadcast on national PBS. She is currently completing her family story, The Poet and the Silk Girl: Love and Protest in an American Concentration.

Goh Nakamura is a San Francisco Bay Area based musician who writes ditties about parking tickets, impossible crushes and faraway dreamlands. With one foot in the traditional troubadour world and another in the digital age, he performs at venues small, large, and virtual, to an enthusiastic and ever growing audience. A fortuitous 2007 feature on YouTube's front page brought his music videos over a million views and earned him a new fanbase from all over the world.

Goh starred in two indie feature films inspired by his music; Surrogate Valentine and Daylight Savings. Both films were directed by Dave Boyle, and debuted at SXSW 2011-2012. Goh was awarded a special jury prize for his acting at the Dallas International Film Festival.

Kurt Kurasaki is president of the San Benito County Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League, and is custodian of the historic Japanese Hall Building in San Juan Bautista, CA. Kurt is working with Akira Boch, Director of the Media Arts Center at the Japanese American National Museum, to archive the history of the “San Juan Gakuen” Building, built by the Japanese farm labor community in 1935.

Diana Emiko Tsuchida is an independent writer and the creator of Tessaku, an oral history project that shares stories about the Japanese American incarceration. Her work has been featured on NPR's Code Switch, Discover Nikkei and the Center for Asian American Media. Her grandfather was a vocal resister against the internment and was sent to the Citizen Isolation Center in Leupp, Arizona and the Department of Justice camp in Crystal City, Texas. Her father and grandmother spent the war in Tule Lake.

A San Francisco native, Linda Tomoko Mihara began her lifelong Origami journey at age 5. She is the granddaughter of Tokinobu Mihara, author of two of the first books on Origami written in English in the early 1950’s. Linda received the 2015 Asian Pacific American Heritage Award from San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee for her work in Origami design and for her contributions to the Asian Pacific American community. Linda’s professional folding is used in both private and commercial work and some of her clients include Pixar, Hermés of Paris, Chanel, Industrial Light and Magic, Chloe, Louis Vuitton and Seiko. While she continues her creative work in Origami, Linda manages Paper Tree, the family business in San Francisco’s Japantown, which is celebrating its 50th year. The Paper Tree continues to serve the community by participating and supporting various community events, including the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festivals and Nihonmachi Street Fairs.

In partnership with Tessaku

Kind Thanks to Nourish for providing food for our Reception.