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Japanese Americans, Allies Say “Never Again is Now”
by Text: R.R. Photos: Jack Owicki
Friday Feb 22nd, 2019 3:28 AM
On February 17th, members of the greater San José Japanese American community commemorated the anniversary of Executive Order 9066, which led to the incarceration of 120,000 Americans of Japanese descent during World War II. At the same time they protested the National Emergency Trump announced two days earlier in order to build his wall on the Mexico-U.S. border. Allies from the South Bay peace activist community joined with those gathered in the local Japantown, one of only three left in the United States.

Jack Owicki, Pro-Bono Photo. Please credit the photographer if you use these photos.
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It was full house in the San José Buddhist Church gym where over 400 people listened to speakers including Masao Suzuki, professor at Skyline College. Suzuki spoke of the similarities of immigrants from Japan starting in the late 1800’s and Central American refugees today. He said the World War II concentration camps were created in a climate of race prejudice and a failure of political leadership, the same situation we find ourselves in now. He added that, “The yellow peril of a hundred or more years ago has been replaced by a ‘brown peril’ today.”

Teresa Castellanos, who is the coordinator of Santa Clara County’s Immigrant Relations and Integration services, said that Japanese Americans have a keen understanding of the plight of immigrants today because of the experience of incarceration, until recently euphemistically referred to as "internment", during WW II.

A candle-lighting ceremony preceded a march in the surrounding neighborhood with its backdrop of historic buildings. Nihonmachi, Japantown, is located just a few blocks north of downtown San José. It was founded around 1890, when Japanese immigrants came to the Santa Clara Valley to do farm work, as a place providing comfort and safety from prevailing anti-Asian racism.
§Marching through historic Nihonmachi (Japantown)
by Text: R.R. Photos: Jack Owicki Friday Feb 22nd, 2019 3:28 AM
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§Those who were incarcerated were asked to stand
by Text: R.R. Photos: Jack Owicki Friday Feb 22nd, 2019 3:28 AM
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§Masao Suzuki called on the audience to support protests against Trump's National Emergency
by Text: R.R. Photos: Jack Owicki Friday Feb 22nd, 2019 3:28 AM
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Suzuki teaches at Skyline College. He said, “The yellow peril of a hundred or more years ago has been replaced by a ‘brown peril’ today.”
§Full house in the Betsuin
by Text: R.R. Photos: Jack Owicki Friday Feb 22nd, 2019 3:28 AM
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San Jose Buddhist Temple Betsuin gymnasium
§Candle Lighting
by Text: R.R. Photos: Jack Owicki Friday Feb 22nd, 2019 3:28 AM
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§Candle Lighting
by Text: R.R. Photos: Jack Owicki Friday Feb 22nd, 2019 3:28 AM
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§Nisei Sansei Yonsei
by Text: R.R. Photos: Jack Owicki Friday Feb 22nd, 2019 3:28 AM
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Second, third, and fourth generation Japanese Americans
§traditional bamboo flute
by Text: R.R. Photos: Jack Owicki Friday Feb 22nd, 2019 3:28 AM
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Traditional Japanese instruments including taiko drums and bamboo flute were part of the commemoration
§Taiko drum backdrop for speakers
by Text: R.R. Photos: Jack Owicki Friday Feb 22nd, 2019 3:28 AM
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§JACL -- Japanese Americans Citizens League
by Text: R.R. Photos: Jack Owicki Friday Feb 22nd, 2019 3:28 AM
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Informational displays included one by the JACL
§Teresa Castellanos
by Text: R.R. Photos: Jack Owicki Friday Feb 22nd, 2019 3:28 AM
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Teresa Castellanos, Coordinator of Santa Clara County’s Immigrant Relations and Integration services said the Japanese American community has a keen understanding of today's immigrant crisis
§No to Concentration Camps/No to Islamophobia
by Text: R.R. Photos: Jack Owicki Friday Feb 22nd, 2019 3:28 AM
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