Japanese American Experience and Incarceration during World War II: Could It Happen Again?



Japanese American internment, WWII, Executive Order 9066, JACL, JAA, JAJA, New York Day of Remembrance, NYC, Japan, internment, Madeline Sugimoto, Sam Mihara

Japanese American Experience and Incarceration during World War II: Could It Happen Again?

Thursday, February 23 from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.

Japanese American Association – 49 West 45th Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues), 11th Floor

Admission: Free

In conjunction with the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, which authorized the US Government to mass-incarcerate nearly 120,000 Japanese Americans, this event will give attendees the opportunity to learn how discrimination and intolerance directly affected the lives of Japanese Americans, and why this experience and the mistakes of the past must never be repeated.

Moderated by George Hirose, Co-President of the New York Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League, the panel will include Sam Mihara and Madeline Sugimoto.

Mihara is a second-generation Japanese American whose family was forced to move to an “American-style” concentration camp at Heart Mountain in northern Wyoming after the United States entered World War II. When they were released, the Miharas returned to San Francisco, where Sam had a very successful career as an aerospace engineer with Boeing.

An expert on mass-imprisonment, Mihara is a distinguished speaker on Japanese American culture and history, lecturing on the topic at UCLA, UC Berkley, and Harvard. His presentation includes a highly researched collection of photographs from both government and private collections, including several images that have been impounded from public viewing. In addition to sharing his own experiences, Sam’s presentation includes an overview of why and how 120,000 Japanese Americans were imprisoned, as well as a discussion about today’s prison camps for Central American Refugees, and insight on the parallels between the incarceration of Japanese Americans and the registration and persecution of Muslims.

Sugimoto is the daughter of renowned Japanese American artist Henry Sugimoto. She and her family were incarcerated at the Jerome and Rohwer camps in Arkansas. After the war ended, the Sugimoto family moved to New York City, where she worked for many years as a nurse educator at Cornell Medical Center. In addition to sharing her story, Sugimoto will discuss several of her father’s paintings, which were created in the camps.

This event is co-sponsored by the Japanese American Citizens League – NY Chapter, the Japanese American Association of New York), JAJA (Japanese Americans, Japanese in America), and the New York Day of Remembrance Committee.

For more information, please visit the event’s Facebook page.