Annual Day Of Remembrance At The Smithsonian

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I'm just going to re-print this up in full from the Smithsonian Asia Pacific American Program's website. If you get a chance, hopefully you can still attend this event:

Thursday, February 19, 2009, 6:30 p.m.
Rasmuson Theater
National Museum of the American Indian
4th Street & Independence Avenue, SW
Metro: L'Enfant Plaza (all lines except Red); exit Maryland Avenue/Smithsonian Museums

To mark the 67th anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt which led to the imprisonment of 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry during World War II, the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program welcomes three distinguished writers to talk about their recent titles highlighting the Japanese American experience.

David Mura, already an established nonfiction writer, presents his debut novel, Famous Suicides of the Japanese Empire, about a self-proclaimed itinerant historian who must delve into his own family's past—populated by both a 442nd survivor with a Purple Heart and a No-No Boy—to understand how his parents' youthful experiences shaped not only their lives, but lives of subsequent generations to come.

Kiyo Sato arrives with her award-winning memoir, Dandelion Through the Crack: The Sato Family Quest for the American Dream, which will be republished next spring as Kiyo's Story: A Japanese Family's Quest for the American Dream. The memoir captures the experiences of a Japanese American family from California, who survives the Great Depression, only to live through the challenges of being imprisoned at Poston Relocation Camp during World War II.

Cedrick Shimo, featured in Shirley Castelnuovo's Soldiers of Conscience: Japanese American Military Resisters in World War II, will round out the evening's trio. Soldiers of Conscience tells the story of men who were deployed in a segregated battalion in the U.S. Army to mop up after other units had damaged property during training missions in the United States. These resisters were used in this fashion after protesting the mass imprisonment of their Japanese American families during WWII. The accomplished Cedrick Shimo, who wrote the book's foreword, was one of these brave resisters. He presents the work of Dr. Castelnuovo, who is unfortunately unable to join us for the program.

Come join us for an illuminating evening offering distinctly different perspectives of the Japanese American experience during World War II. Our very own APA Program Director, Dr. Franklin Odo, himself a renowned historian, will moderate this lively discussion.

This event is co-sponsored by the National Japanese American Memorial Foundation and the Japanese American Citizens League.