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Related Categories: South Bay | Racial Justice
San Jose’s 40th Annual Day of Remembrance: Recalling Life Under Executive Order 9066
by Americans of Japanese Ancestry Relate Incarceration
Wednesday Feb 19th, 2020 2:38 AM
Executive Order 9066 led to the World War II-era incarceration of more than 120,000 people of Japanese descent, two-thirds of whom were American citizens. Survivors shared recollections and re-enactors performed morale boosting era swing dance styles in Japantown on February 16th.
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Please credit the photographers, Chris Cassell, Pro Bono Photo and Jack Owicki, Pro Bono Photo. Top photo by Jack Owicki.

Starting in the late 1970's, February 19th came to be known as a “day of remembrance” of the period during WWII when tens of thousands of Japanese of American ancestry were incarcerated.

Living behind barbed wire under constant guard and in impoverished conditions, internees did their best to make the situation bearable. Traditional Japanese paper crafts and the American national pastime of baseball first come to mind when descendants of camp survivors tell the story of their jailed ancestors, but less known is the hidden history of the music played in the camps.

Big band music and swing dance were sources of hope for Japanese Americans in the camps; both were re-enacted by San Jose Taiko with the Wesley Jazz Ensemble at the city's Buddhist Church Betsuin in Japantown Sunday night. This year’s theme was “No Camps, No Cages" drawing the stark parallel of the Japanese-American experience with today's migrant detention centers.

The evening began with a candlelight procession through historic San Jose Japantown.

Later this week the California State Assembly is expected to approve a formal message to all Americans of Japanese descent. Governor Newsom is expected to sign an official apology for the state’s role in policies that led to a racist mass incarceration.
§Swing Symposium
by Americans of Japanese Ancestry Recall Wednesday Feb 19th, 2020 2:38 AM
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Photo: Chris Cassell, Pro Bono Photo
§The San Jose Buddhist Temple Betsuin
by Americans of Japanese Ancestry Recall Wednesday Feb 19th, 2020 2:38 AM
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Photo by Jack Owicki, Pro Bono Photo. About 400 people were in attendance. The San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin was founded in 1902.
§Amazing Jump
by Americans of Japanese Ancestry Recall Wednesday Feb 19th, 2020 2:38 AM
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Performance Troupe Swingposium swings into action
Photo by Chris Cassell, Pro Bono Photo
§Survivor Dr. Amy Iwasaki Mass
by Americans of Japanese Ancestry Recall Wednesday Feb 19th, 2020 2:38 AM
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Photo by Chris Cassell, Pro Bono Photo.
Dr. Mass talked about her own personal experience of wartime incarceration. In 1981, she testified at the hearings held by the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians (CWRIC).
§Well Known Camp Survivors
by Americans of Japanese Ancestry Recall Wednesday Feb 19th, 2020 2:38 AM
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Photo by Chris Cassell, Pro Bono Photo.
Mike Honda, former US Representative from San Jose, at rear on the right, was jailed at Camp Amache in Colorado. Norman Mineta, on the right in front, is a former US Representative from San Jose, who was incarcerated at Heart Mountain Camp in Wyoming. As U.S. Secretary of Transportation, he was the only Democratic Cabinet Secretary in the Bush administration
§Fahad Alam of South Bay Islamic Association
by Americans of Japanese Ancestry Recall Wednesday Feb 19th, 2020 2:38 AM
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Photo by Chris Cassell, Pro Bono Photo.
§Candlelight procession goes past sign for ukulele lessons
by Americans of Japanese Ancestry Recall Wednesday Feb 19th, 2020 2:38 AM
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Photo by Chris Cassell, Pro Bono Photo.
§Big Band Era
by Americans of Japanese Ancestry Recall Wednesday Feb 19th, 2020 2:38 AM
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Photo by Chris Cassell, Pro Bono Photo.
§Period costume while playing taiko
by Americans of Japanese Ancestry Recall Wednesday Feb 19th, 2020 2:38 AM
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Photo by Chris Cassell, Pro Bono Photo.
§Period costume while playing taiko
by Americans of Japanese Ancestry Recall Wednesday Feb 19th, 2020 2:38 AM
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Photo by Chris Cassell, Pro Bono Photo
§Camp Tableau
by Americans of Japanese Ancestry Recall Wednesday Feb 19th, 2020 2:38 AM
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Photo by Jack Owicki, Pro Bono Photo
§Women
by Americans of Japanese Ancestry Recall Wednesday Feb 19th, 2020 2:38 AM
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Photo by Chris Cassell, Pro Bono Photo
§Tableau in the dark with candles
by Americans of Japanese Ancestry Recall Wednesday Feb 19th, 2020 2:38 AM
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Photo by Jack Owicki, Pro Bono Photo
§Norman Mineta was key speaker
by Americans of Japanese Ancestry Recall Wednesday Feb 19th, 2020 2:38 AM
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Photo by Chris Cassell, Pro Bono Photo
San Jose's Mineta International Airport is named for the former U.S. Secretary of Transportation
§Cast of Swingposium with downcast eyes
by Americans of Japanese Ancestry Recall Wednesday Feb 19th, 2020 2:38 AM
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Photo by Chris Cassell, Pro Bono Photo
Reflecting the deep sadness of incarceration
§Art Hangings
by Americans of Japanese Ancestry Recall Wednesday Feb 19th, 2020 2:38 AM
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Photo by Jack Owicki, Pro Bono Photo
§In front of the Betsuin
by Americans of Japanese Ancestry Recall Wednesday Feb 19th, 2020 2:38 AM
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Photo by Jack Owicki, Pro Bono Photo
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