THE WATSONVILLE-SANTA CRUZ JACL
Newsletter July 2010
EARLY EDITION OF THE NEWSLETTER to other young adults in our community. He is loved and
This July Newsletter is published early—Friday, June trusted by both his friends and their parents.”
25 —for Marcia and I will be attending the National JACL Troy’s many accomplishments at Scotts Valley High
Convention in Chicago, June 30th-July 4th, 2010, as our School include Life member California Scholarship
chapter’s official delegates. Federation, Young Entrepreneur’s Club, Drug and Alcohol
We promise full coverage of our Annual JACL Prevention Club, Varsity baseball team (3 years), captain
Community Picnic, Kokoro no Gakko, and the events of the for 2009-2010, and named to second team 2010 All-League.
JACL convention in our August 2010 Newsletter. He holds a 2nd degree black belt in martial arts.
Thank you for your patience and understanding. [Editor’s note: Troy, go see The Karate Kid 2010.]
Mas Hashimoto, Editor He has faithfully served as Vice President for two
years of the Watsonville Buddhist Temple’s Young
TROY KATO, 2010 KEE KITAYAMA Buddhist Association (YBA); as President for 2009-2010;
MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENT Coast District Young Buddhist League (CDYBL) Vice-
We are delighted to announce that Troy Kato is our President 2009-2010; and CDYBL Chair 2008-2009.
2010 Kee Kitayama Memorial Scholarship recipient. The He is a proud graduate of Kokoro no Gakko (the
$1,000 award will be presented by Mrs. Carol Kaneko at summer Japanese cultural school) and a volunteer for
our Annual JACL Community Picnic on Saturday, June 26, Kokoro no Gakko the last five years, 2005-2010. He is an
2010. Mrs. Keiko Kitayama, widow of Kee Kitayama, accomplished pianist and a trusted and honored employee
sends her congratulations to Troy. Please join us in at Pacific Sun Wear, a clothing company.
applauding Troy’s achievements at the picnic. His public service volunteer work includes
teaching/coaching young baseball players, volunteering with
the Challenger League for disabled players, and helping
with Midori Kai, a non-profit professional women’s
“It amazes me,” he concluded in his essay, “to think of
everything that both my grandparents went through at
that time of war. One side of my family was sent to the
relocation camp (Poston) and lost most everything …. My
other grandparents, who were in Hiroshima at the time,
also lost everything. Both of my families were devastated,
but it is how they overcame it all, and they battled through
the adversity, and it is the reason I am here today, and
what makes me who I am. I am proud to be a part of this
family who has conquered and accomplished so much in this
Troy is the son of Tad and JoAnne Kato of Scotts lifetime. The Day of Remembrance is when I am reminded
Valley, CA. of all that my grandparents went through. Without their
We are grateful to Professor Randy Fujishin, Chair, determination and optimistic views that everything will
Language Arts Division of West Valley College, Saratoga, turn out okay, I would not be here writing this essay
for writing a wonderful letter of recommendation for Troy. today. I am proud to be a Japanese American and proud to
Prof. Fujishin writes, “Troy Kato is one of the rarest of be a part of this family legacy. This is what Day of
individuals who exemplifies the highest standards of moral Remembrance means to me every year."
character, intelligence, responsibility, and dedication. Troy will be attending California Polytechnic San Luis
Troy shines, both figuratively and literally, when compared Obispo (Cal Poly) in the fall, and we wish him every success.
Check our website: www.watsonvillesantacruzjacl.org for our monthly newsletter in living color.
Along with the $1,000 check, Troy will be presented educating its members about the importance of marriage
with the National Japanese American Memorial to equality; and
Patriotism book, “Patriotism, Perseverance, Posterity,” and Whereas the Watsonville-Santa Cruz chapter of The
the book, “Nisei Voices, Japanese American Students of JACL, under the leadership of Mas and Marcia
the 1930s –Then & Now,” by Joyce and Paul T. Hirohata, Hashimoto, is an example to every community of the
compilers. Both books tell of the struggles and hardships universality of the fight for freedom and equality, the
of those Americans of Japanese ancestry living in this power of forgiveness and compassion, and a breadth of love
country and of their hopes and dreams for themselves, for humanity;
their families, and their country. Now, therefore, we--Tony Campos Chairperson and
Neal Coonerty (3rd District) of the Santa Cruz County
“GAY PRIDE” IN SANTA CRUZ Board of Supervisors, and Mike Rotkin, Mayor of the City
On Sunday, June 6th, 2010, the Watsonville-Santa of Santa Cruz--tender our respect and gratitude to the
Cruz JACL Chapter was presented with two proclamations Watsonville-Santa Cruz Chapter of the Japanese
during the Gay Pride Festivities in Santa Cruz that must American Citizens League on this sixth day of June, 2010
be shared with the National Council of the JACL for it and commend it for its fierce defense of the civil rights of
voted to support same-sex marriages as early as 1994. all people.
The Japanese American Citizens League
Whereas the ongoing mission of The Japanese
American Citizens League (JACL) is to secure and
maintain the civil rights of Japanese Americans and all
others who are victimized by injustice and bigotry; to
promote cultural, educational and social values; and to
preserve the heritage and legacy of the Japanese
American community; and
Whereas The JACL strives to promote a world that
honors diversity by respecting values of fairness, equality
and social justice; monitors and responds to issues that
enhance or threaten the civil and human rights of all Above: Marcia and Mas Hashimoto (right), on behalf
Americans; and implements strategies to effect positive of the W-SC JACL, listen to the resolution as it is read by
social change, particularly to the Asian Pacific American Supervisor Neal Coonerty. He is assisted by Mayor Mike
community; and Rotkin. Photo taken by Jorge L. Arroyo of UCSC.
Whereas The JACL Northern California District We are grateful for the honor and thank the LGBT for
sponsors educational programs focused on topics such as the nomination and to the County and City of Santa Cruz
civil liberties, hate crimes and discrimination to help the for the awards. We will continue to work for civil rights.
public be more aware of what people as citizens can do to Others honored were Bill McCabe, Director for Youth
make a difference in their communities; and Services and member of Queer youth Task Force Needs
Whereas the Watsonville-Santa Cruz chapter of The Assessment Advisory Committee; Santa Cruz County
JACL was, in 2004, voted the outstanding “Chapter of the Supervisor Mark Stone, leader of the LGBT youth group;
Biennium” for its progressive and active roles in addressing and Jim Hayes of Firelight Foundation, assisting African
our nation’s concerns; and children affected by HIV/AIDs.
Whereas the Watsonville-Santa Cruz chapter of The
JACL supported efforts to secure a formal apology and ARIZONA’S “IMMIGRATION LAW” PREFACE
redress from the US Government for those unjustly Editor’s note: An estimated 45% of the illegal
interned during WW II; were the first in the nation to immigrants in the US are OTMs (Other Than Mexicans).
provide diplomas with a cap and gown ceremony to the Most came via commercial airplanes or ships. Many
Nisei graduates of Watsonville High School’s Class of 1942 overstayed their tourist or work visas. They came from
with graduation ceremonies on June 12, 1992; assisted in the Middle East, Latin America, Asia, Europe, and other
the building of the National Japanese American Memorial areas.
to Patriotism in Washington, D. C. in 1999; and continues to The estimated population of AZ is 6.6 million with
work in Santa Cruz County to educate about and promote 58.4% Whites not Hispanic, 30.1% Hispanics, 4.9% Native
human rights; and Americans, 4.1% Blacks, and 2.5% Asians.
Whereas the Watsonville-Santa Cruz chapter of The One estimate is that the illegal immigrant population in
JACL was the first non-LGBT organization to join a Santa AZ stands at just under a half-million with many OTM.
Cruz County campaign to defeat Proposition 8 in 2008, In 1942, Poston, with a population of nearly 18,000,
was the third largest city after Phoenix and Tucson.
Poston was a “boom town.” With Gila River included, the on the street). The new law allows the police to arrest at
Asian population was very large in AZ during the war years. home without a warrant (if the police cites a local
ordinance and determines the person doesn't have papers -
- the person has committed a crime, even if here legally,
ARIZONA’S “IMMIGRATION LAW” REVIEW
and is arrested).
by Jeri Kishiyama Auther of AZ
2. Persons here legally have to carry their papers at all
I have read the law and am an attorney in Phoenix.
times (that's not a crime under the federal law). So,
After reading the law and the trailer bill I am more
Steve N___, a Canadian, has to carry his work visa all the
concerned than ever. The law does mirror the federal law
time, so that if “reasonable suspicion” arises as to his
in several instances, but the crime in Arizona is
status, and he doesn't happen to have his papers on him at
trespassing (criminal) -- so the crime is being here.
the time, it's a misdemeanor. If a person is stopped in a
“Reasonable suspicion” (Terry v. Ohio stop in cop lingo)
car, there's a reasonable expectation that the person have
means that you can stop an individual for questioning if the
a license and registration. The police can ask for that.
cop has “reasonable suspicion” that a crime has been
What is less clear under Constitutional law is whether the
committed, i.e. if the cop hears over the radio that a bank
police can ask for identification of any of the passengers.
robbery occurred, gets a description of the robber, sees a
However, if you, as the driver of the car, happens to be
guy running down the street with a bag and the guy
transporting a person who is not here legally (and has no
matches the description of the robber -- the cop can
knowledge of the person's legal status), you will be
question that person. That's “reasonable suspicion” that
charged with human trafficking, and your car confiscated
the person committed a crime, and the police can question.
and sold at auction. I live in a school district that is
If, however, the crime is "being here" illegally, how does a
borderline poor to the north, and is heavily Hispanic and
cop determine “reasonable suspicion”?
Vietnamese. If I transport my children to an event or even
I watched Kris Kobach's training video (he's the co-
to go shopping, I must now know the legal status of their
author of the bill, Republican, often a guest on Fox News,
friends -- something I don't usually ask my children's
O’Reilly Factor and Lou Dobbs) for Sheriff Joe's (Arpaio
of Maricopa County) troops here, and it's very scary.
“Reasonable suspicion” can be any of the following: a 3. The law applies to "political subdivisions" and that
foreign accent, not having a good command of English, includes school districts. If a school nurse or social
traveling on a known drug or human trafficking corridor, worker learns of the illegal status of a student (brought
playing loud music, having several people in the car, over as a baby by parents perhaps), the school worker has
appearing to be on a long trip. There are more equally to inform the local authorities, who then have to
innocuous criteria that can be applied to most any person immediately transport the student to ICE. This puts
traveling in the US legally. All of those by itself, or immense pressure on school teachers and school workers.
combined, can be “reasonable suspicion.” It includes every
4. If any citizen doesn't believe the city, town, county, or
kind of criteria except race. Most of the criteria could be
political subdivision is not doing its job of enforcing SB
used to describe cultural phenomena or just that folks are
1070 as amended, the citizen can sue the local authority.
poor. Under the criteria, taking my children (who are
So, if a police officer racially profiles, the city will get
brown types) to a dance competition in Las Vegas or to one
sued. If the police officer does not racially profile, the
in LA meets most, if not all, of the foregoing criteria I
city gets sued. Kind of a no-win situation for the police
officer. [Editor’s note: many, if not most, AZ city police
The criteria used in the training video and the stated
chiefs are against the enforcement of this law and, in a
Legislative intent at the beginning of the bill leave no
meeting with President Barack Obama, have told him so.]
doubt that Arizona seeks to rid the State of Mexicans by
"attrition through enforcement [is] the public policy of the 5. Costs of implementing are going to be enormous. Police
state and local government agencies in Arizona." Laws will have to have all sorts of cameras to fend off lawsuits.
2010, Ch.___, Section 1. That's a clear statement of Police have to immediately transport those arrested under
racism -- but no one discusses the Legislative intent the law to ICE (no money for gas, cars, overtime). The risk
portion of the bill, or the other very scary issues that management will be a nightmare. How much money do you
include: reserve in anticipation of racial profiling lawsuits? More,
not less, is the rule of thumb so the risk premiums will go
1. You can be asked your legal status at your home and
up. The bond rating firms last week said that the risk may
arrested for a violation of a local ordinance (barking dogs,
cause a downgrade for local governments because the risk
loud music, owning a chicken). The Constitution has held
has gone up.
the home sacrosanct as against illegal searches and
seizures, and an arrest warrant issued by a judge is 6. No one seems to know this, but the federal immigration
required to arrest someone at home (not so if the person is statutes are not criminal -- they are civil violations. So,
even though the law mirrors the federal language, Arizona you about this. The JACL is on the right track on this.
criminalizes the federal statute.
The police here don't like this law. Several of the INDIANA JUDGE RULES AGAINST PRAYER
police have filed lawsuits because they don't want to AT GRADUATION
enforce this law. They believe they can't enforce it Greenwood High School near Indianapolis has
without racially profiling. They also believe that the encouraged a student-led prayer at commencement for
neighborhoods will be safer if they have the trust and decades. For the past 15 years, the school allowed
cooperation of all the citizens of a community -- here students to vote on whether prayer should be part of the
legally or illegally. event.
By the way, all fines, cars auctioned, any money gained This year, school valedictorian Eric Workman, who will
from enforcing this law does not go to the local law deliver a speech at commencement, filed a lawsuit
enforcement. Instead, it goes to Sheriff Joe's Gang objecting to both the proposed religious exercise and the
Enforcement fund. No one has discussed that Sheriff school’s voting policy. Eric was represented by the ACLU
Joe, who racially profiles, gets a free pass on racial of Indiana.
profiling (he will say he had to enforce the law or he would On April 30, 2010, Federal Judge Sarah Evans Barker,
get sued), will benefit financially from enforcing the law. a Reagan appointee, issued a preliminary injunction in
He and Russell Pearce (AZ State Senator, 18 District Workman v. Greenwood Community School Corporation,
Mesa, Republican) are BFFs (Best Friends Forever). So, prohibiting the high school from including worship at this
the law has all ready been enforced by Sheriff Joe the year’s ceremony. Judge Barker cited Lee v. Weisman, a
past few years, and he is the empirical evidence of how the 1992 Supreme Court decision that struck down clergy-led
law will be enforced. The law only ratifies what he has invocations at school graduation ceremonies, and Santa Fe
been doing -- so I think fear as to how the law will be Independent School District v. Doe, a 2000 decision that
enforced is more than justified. barred students’ votes on holding prayers before high
The issue is not the language itself, but it is written in school football games.
such a way so that the "as applied" test under SCHOOL VOUCHER BILL DERAILED
Constitutional analysis makes the law very scary. Words
A voucher plan that would have subsidized Chicago
are only words until put into action -- and the people fear
religious schools with taxpayers’ money has been derailed
the action. The proponents of the bill always say "but the
in the Illinois House of Representatives.
law is the same as the federal law" not telling anyone that
The proposed program was unconstitutional and bad
the federal law is civil, and that the feds don't enforce
policy that would undermine the public school system.
the law in the manner that it will be enforced in Arizona.
Americans United for Separation of church and
What is most distressing is because it is law, it is ok
State, along with the Chicago Teachers Union, the
and no one should panic. EO 9066 was law, never
Illinois Federation of Teachers, and the Illinois
mentioned race, but as applied by General John DeWitt,
Education Association, all opposed the measure.
was only used on one race to intern 120,000 JAs. The
parallels between EO 9066 and this law are stunning and NO “JESUS IS LORD” TENNESSEE LICENSE
Finally, as a minority, I have a moral obligation to speak Tennessee’s Attorney General Bob Cooper stated that
up for those who are oppressed and who are in hiding now. the specialty license plate is likely to be unconstitutional if
They are too afraid to speak up. As a human being, as a fees collected from the sale of sectarian tags are to be
Japanese American, it is my moral obligation to help those used to further the mission of a nonprofit, “nonreligious”
who have done nothing but work hard, pay taxes here, pay organization.
into Social Security (Soc Sec doesn't care if you pay into –
it only cares when you try to take $ out), and are a part of REV. FRANKLIN GRAHAM’S INVITATION
the rich Hispanic culture of the Southwest. The illegals RESCINDED
are woven into the economic fabric here, and it is Russell U. S. military officials at the Pentagon rescinded the
Pearce's intent to start fraying that fabric, to rid Arizona invitation to appear at a May 6 National Day of Prayer
"through attrition" of Mexicans. after receiving numerous complaints.
If you need more information about how the Graham, son of the famed evangelist Billy Graham, is
proponents try to say crime is up, etc., please read the known for his shrill rhetoric. After 9/11, he declared that
Washington Post article, "The Five Myths of Illegal Islam is “evil and wicked.” Recently, he called Islam a
Immigration." I believe the more educated people are “very violent religion.”
about this issue, the facts will shine the light of truth on “Americans United” Executive Director Barry W. Lynn
the misguided proponents of the law. stated, “That kind of hateful speech only says to the real
I hope I have provided some facts and information to extremists in the Middle East … this is a confirmation that
we’re really on a Crusade.” Lynn went on to say that Cruz County’s finest who were killed in action during
Graham’s presence at the Pentagon would give approval that America’s conflicts, starting with the Civil War and
the US military effort in Iraq and Afghanistan is a “war continuing with the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
between Christianity and Islam” and could put American
service personnel and civilians in greater danger.
THE LATIN CROSS AS A U. S. MILITARY
Is the Christian cross on the Mojave National
Preserve the proper national war memorial for all the
veterans of WW I?
The Supreme Court has sent the case back to a lower
court for additional analysis.
On our local level, is the Christian cross on a public
beach in Monterey (CA), the proper symbol for the Spanish
acquisition of California or a US military tribute? The master of ceremonies was Brig. Gen. Harold
The controversy remains about the role of Father “Hal” Hyde, U. S. Army retired, (above) who served as a
Junipero Serra has played. Many claim it is similar to that young officer with General George S. Patton during World
of Christopher Columbus, the famous slave dealer whose War II. His dear friend was Watsonville-native Mitchie
sailors introduced Old World diseases (measles and small Miyamoto, designer of the famous 100th/442nd RCT
pox were particularly deadly) to the New World natives patch.
who had little or no immunity, Among the speakers was Mas Hashimoto, US Army
Fishermen from many European countries fished and veteran, who spoke about two of Watsonville’s finest.
traded along the Grand Banks (East Coast) for years “Henry Sadao Izumizaki (photo below) quietly left
before the settlement by the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock. Poston Camp II under the cover of darkness. If his plan to
Some hired the Native Americans to haul in the catch. A volunteer was discovered he might have been beaten up by
few natives could speak some words of Portuguese, English, the anti-draft and/or pro-Japan advocates. During the
Dutch, French, and other languages. Battle for the Lost Texas Battalion, 211 Texans were
When the Pilgrims and Puritans landed in New England, rescued at a cost of 184 100th/442nd RCT killed and over
they encountered reduced resistance for an epidemic 600 wounded. Henry was one of the 184 KIA. Was it
(small pox) killed many Native Americans prior to their worth it? Yes, you always rescue your buddies. In 1948, at
arrival. his mother’s request, his body was returned from Epinal,
Biological agents (germ warfare) of measles and small France and was buried in his beloved Pajaro Valley."
pox were used against the native population by traders and
the US military until the Pacific Ocean was reached. If
germ warfare becomes the weapon of choice among today’s
terrorists, it will rein havoc all over the world. Guess
what? We’re not prepared.
The goals of our sister organization, the YWCA.
Mas then introduced Kitako Izumizaki, Henry’s sister-
in-law, to the audience. Older brother James and Kitako
named their son, Henry, after Henry Sadao Izumizaki.
“Harry Fumio Madokoro didn’t have to serve in this
MEMORIAL DAY PRESENTATION war for, as the sole surviving son, he was exempt from the
Over 100 attended the special Memorial Day draft. His father had died, and his sister had died before
observance at the Pajaro Valley Historical Association’s the war. It was just Harry and his mother. He volunteered
presentation of Robert Nelson’s new book, “Remembering and encouraged others of Block 213 of Poston II, including
Our Own,” an eight-year project that lists 463 of Santa Rudy Tokiwa, to volunteer.
“Harry’s last letter written in April 1944 read in part:
‘... not knowing how to pray I have to depend on the
family to do a lot of praying that all this strife ends soon
so that we may all go home & enjoy the simple things of
life. Hard headed tho I may have been I am now a humble
man having learned to appreciate all the simple things of
life. Believe me, War is hell. It’s not a very pretty picture
to see young kids who have not seen or begun to live life all
shot up or torn up by shrapnel laying there never to speak
or laugh again. I only wish I could get those bigots, those Rocky Yukio Hirokawa, one of two children of Mr. and
hate mongers, those super patriots here to see them. Mrs. Ichiro Hirokawa, was born on May 6, 1949 in Denver.
Here in the front we’re respected as fellow Americans He was named Rocky because of the Rocky Mountains and
fighting for the same cause. We’re proud as hell to be in Yukio which means snow. The family moved to Torrance,
there pitching, doing our share of the work. CA, and then to Watsonville in 1966. Rocky graduated
“Will close for now, till the next time. Love to the from WHS where friends remember him as a “very quiet
family and regards to all my friends. So long, and helpful student.” While the family moved to Gardena,
Love, Harry’” Rocky stayed with an aunt so that he could finish his
senior year at WHS.
Rocky was drafted in September of 1968, during the
height of the Vietnam War. After basic training at Ft
Lewis, WA, the army detected leadership potential and
sent him to their NCO (non-commission officer) Candidate
School at Ft. Benning, GA and then to a Combat Leadership
NCO Course at Ft Ord, CA.
On September 2, 1969, Rocky was assigned as a squad
leader, Company A, 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment of
the 1st Air Cav. Division. After numerous patrols and
missions, he earned his Bronze Star on January 9, 1970 in
Phuoc Long Province. The citation reads:
Drawing of Harry Madokoro in the 442nd RCT book.
When his unit became engaged, with a determined
“Harry’s mother was presented with the Distinguished
enemy force, with disregard for his own safety, Hirokawa
Service Cross. After the war, Mrs. Madokoro, an Issei,
exposed himself to the hostile fire as he moved forward to
returned to Japan for she had no one to care for her here.
the point of the heaviest contact. He then began placing a
She passed away alone in Japan.
heavy volume of suppressive fire on the enemy positions, to
“She gave her only son to this country, and she couldn’t
cover the medics while they treated the wounded.
be a citizen of the United States! That law was finally
On March 8, 1970, Hirokawa and his platoon were
changed, thanks to the National JACL, in 1952.”
participating in the Parrot’s Beak March in Tay Ninh
Province when they were ambushed.
Sergeant Hirokawa immediately and with complete
disregard for his own safety, charged through the intense
enemy fire, setting up his machine gun and directing the
suppressive fire of his men. When another barrage of
enemy mortar rounds landed near him, he received several
pieces of shrapnel, but continued to lead his men on the
Over half of Company C was med-evacuated but it was
too late for Hirokawa. His friend Robert (“Cowboy”)
Flanked by two US Naval Sea Cadets, Mas Hashimoto Estep, who was also wounded, moved over and offered
spoke about Henry Izumizaki and Harry Madokoro while comfort to Sergeant Hirokawa before he died.
wearing the Go For Broke 100th/442nd/MIS cap. He wears His body was recovered and, following a funeral service
it in honor of all Nisei soldiers of World War II. in Gardena, was buried in San Pedro, CA. In addition to
Cindy Hirokawa Mine (below) spoke about her cousin, receiving a second Bronze Star, Rocky Hirokawa received
Rocky Hirokawa, our county’s only Vietnam Nikkei KIA. the Purple Heart for this action.
Rocky was 20 years old. Rocky was one month short of
a leave to Japan when his firebase was overrun.
POSITIVE OUTLOOK AIDED FORMER
VIETNAM POW, GORDON NAKAGAWA
By Dennis Taylor, Herald, Memorial Day Special
Smiles come easily and often to Gordon Nakagawa,
This photo of Rocky was taken two months before his pictured above with wife Jeanne — worthy of note when
death. Photo through the courtesy of Cindy Hirokawa talking about a man whose childhood was interrupted by a
Mine. stay in a Japanese internment camp (editor: American
Rocky’s name is etched on The Wall of the Vietnam concentration camp—Tule Lake), and whose distinguished
Memorial in Washington, D. C. and on our Watsonville High 32-year military career included time as a POW in the
School’s tribute (below) by teacher John Burdick and his Hanoi Hilton, North Vietnam's infamous prison.
ROP Class in 1984 to our 16 young men KIA in Vietnam. "The one thing that will tear you down is if you become
bitter about the experience," says the 74-year-old Marina
resident. "Don't become bitter. Try to eliminate all
negative reactions to the conditions. Cope with dignity and
perseverance, rather than anger and bitterness."
Life is good.
That is a thought Nakagawa says he had during the
harrowing moments after a 22-millimeter shell tore
through a jet engine of the Navy bomber he was piloting on
a middle-of-the-night mission over Hai Phong in North
Vietnam — 30 miles from Hanoi — in December 1972.
His squadron no longer conducted rescue missions for
downed pilots because more personnel were being lost than
retrieved, so Nakagawa and his navigator, Ken Higdon,
CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDAL FOR
knew they were on their own.
MIS/100th/442nd They climbed to 3,500 feet, turned toward the Gulf of
"The United States remains forever indebted to the Tonkin and shut down the damaged engine, but the plane
bravery, valor, and dedication to the country these men remained ablaze.
faced while fighting a two-fronted battle of discrimination Two miles from the coast, the electrical system
at home and fascism abroad. Their commitment and burned up, so Nakagawa and Higdon blew the canopy and
sacrifice demonstrates a highly uncommon and ejected.
commendable sense of patriotism and honor." The force of the ejection pushed Nakagawa's helmet
Only a few more US Senators are needed for the over his eyes. For a moment he thought he had been
passage of a Congressional Gold Medal for the blinded.
MIS/100th/442nd RCT. He pushed the helmet back, caught a glimpse of the
If you or someone you know is a World War II veteran coastline — still a mile away — and felt his chute deploy.
who served in the MIS/100th/442nd RCT and who lives He floated down in the darkness, landing hip deep in a rice
today in our Watsonville-Santa Cruz JACL jurisdiction--all paddy. Then, he listened to the quiet.
of Santa Cruz County and northern Monterey County Higdon communicated with their squadron that they
(Pajaro, Prunedale, Aromas, Las Lomas)--please let Mas were alive, and Nakagawa immediately heard chatter from
Hashimoto (578 Vivienne Drive, Watsonville, CA 95076- loudspeakers in the village.
3530) know the following: full name, service, dates of "At that point I suspected they were monitoring our
service, rank, medals and honors awarded. broadcasts, so we didn't use the radio again," he says.
Thank you, veterans, for your service to our country.
Then, another ominous sound: the swish, swish, swish the children see any anxiety. I drew on their strength
of militia moving toward them through the rice paddies when I was a POW."
from three angles. The Nakagawas, who lived in the small California town
Nakagawa tried to crawl. He tried to swim. He tried to of Lincoln, were among the Japanese Americans who were
hide. Soon Nakagawa realized he was leaving a clear trail of held at Tule Lake, a concentration camp in Northeast
muddy water that was glowing in the moonlight. California with guard towers manned by armed military
"It was almost like an arrow, pointing toward you." personnel. Gordon, age 7 at the time and the youngest of
And then, they were on him. Nakagawa forced himself three brothers, recalls the day an elderly man was gunned
to stand on his injured knee and ankle and raised his hands down for venturing beyond the fence to retrieve a cap.
above his head. Also there were his future wife, Jeanne Takimoto, her
He was a prisoner of war, but he was alive. parents Kay and Irene, her grandparents, and her older
Facing imprisonment brother, Bob, all from Grass Valley.
They took him to a small lockup, tossing him into a After nine months, the Nakagawa family was allowed
windowless cell with a concrete floor and a vent hole. They to go to Caldwell, Idaho, where Bunny supervised a crew of
gave him a mat, then a blanket to quiet his shivering, then, beet diggers, Irene assisted a dentist, and the boys —
to his surprise, a cup of tea. Gordon, Ronald and Clayton — walked three miles along
"Our survival training taught us you can go three the snowy Oregon Trail into the next village for their
minutes without air, three days without water, three schooling. Eventually, Bunny and Irene established a school
weeks without food," he says. "That was the last drink I in Caldwell.
had for almost four days." The Takimotos were sent to Topaz, Utah, where
They bound his elbows behind his back with Jeanne's parents worked dawn to dusk at a cannery and
communication wire, cinching it through his flesh. They living conditions were almost identical to Tule Lake — a
interrogated him, trying to extract military information. one-room shack, heated by a stove.
"When they were transporting us to Hanoi, I asked in "We hung blankets for any kind of privacy," she says.
French for medical treatment for my navigator, and my Joined the Navy
head immediately became a punching bag," he says. Then When the war ended and they were permitted to
he laughs. "So I decided not to ask for any more return home, both families settled in Grass Valley, working
assistance, and I decided not to speak French again. I'm in the agriculture industry. But Japanese Americans
still not sure which one made them angry." encountered signs in the windows of merchants that said,
The notorious Hanoi Hilton was once a French prison. among other things, "No Japs." The sentiment, while
Nakagawa believes his first cell there was occupied widespread, may have been less prominent in small-town
previously by Everett Alvarez, the war hero from Salinas. Grass Valley, where people knew and trusted each other.
He spent five days in solitary, but managed to establish What may have helped dissipate the anger toward
communication with an English-speaking guard, who, in Japanese Americans was word that many of them, including
exchange for a benign morsel of information, accepted a two of Gordon's uncles, fought for the U.S. with great
note from Nakagawa. valor in Europe.
"I jotted down about nine survival tips and asked him Gordon's oldest brother, Clayton, was drafted into the
to deliver it to Higdon," he says. "As the senior officer, I Army during the Korean War. Ronald, next in line, joined
just had to know in my own mind that I had done the Air Force.
everything I could to help my navigator. I never saw that "I felt like I had a duty to serve," Gordon says.
guard again, and had no idea whether he actually had He joined the Navy, the only service that provided a
delivered the note." four-year ROTC scholarship, and was educated at UC
He had. Higdon's first words to Nakagawa after being Berkeley, where he majored in electrical engineering.
released were, "Thanks for the note." Jeanne graduated from a community college, then
During the four months he was a POW, he maintained worked there before marrying Gordon in 1959. Two sons —
his mental health by remembering the strength and dignity Greg (49, in the computer industry) and Steve (45, a Naval
of his parents, Bunny and Harriet Nakagawa, from July officer) — and a daughter, Kathy Takayama (47, a program
1942 to April 1943, when their family was among those manager for Hewlett-Packard) expanded the family.
incarcerated in U.S. internment camps -- a government Gordon's military career included a stint as an
reaction to the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the war with engineer, working on cutting-edge missile-defense
Japan. technology and cruises with the U.S.S. Yorktown. He was
"I don't recall them ever complaining about being assigned to the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Enterprise during
taken away from our nice home," he says. "They might have the Vietnam War,
discussed it with their adult friends, but they never let
Flying 185 combat missions. WATSONVILLE TEMPLE NEWS
The first time his plane was hit was in January 1968, 423 Bridge Street, Watsonville, CA 95076
when a 35-millimeter shell tore through his left wing. He by Jackie Yamashita
was able to limp back to the carrier on that occasion. We will be selling fireworks from July 1st through July
"He told me about that one a while later. He didn't tell 3rd, 11 am to 9 pm, and on July 4th from 10 am until we sell
me much," says Jeanne, who then was living in Oak Harbor, out. Fireworks can legally be "set off" by adults anytime in
Wash., where his squadron was based. "But even when he the City of Watsonville (but not in the county) during the
was shot down, I never really worried very much. I figured selling period, so buy lots and set some off every night!
he had experience and would be OK." Please visit our booth which is located in our parking
Positive attitude lot (Bridge & Blackburn Streets, off Riverside Drive).
Thanks to experience, luck and their positive attitude,
the Nakagawas are more than OK. Jeanne begins each day
at 6:30 a.m. as a child-care volunteer at the Marina Teen
Center. She serves on the boards of the Learning For Life
Charter School in Marina, the Marina Foundation, and the
Monterey Peninsula Chapter of the Japanese American
Gordon's community service has included serving on
the school board for the Monterey Peninsula Unified
School District. He is a board member for the local
chapter of the Military Officers of America and the
Marina Foundation. He holds board emeritus status with
Leadership Monterey Peninsula.
His military decorations include two Legions of Merit, Sarah Nagamine, Melissa Tao, Kelsey Kusaba-Kusumoto,
two Bronze Stars, two Purple Hearts, a POW medal, and Kevin Yamaoka helped to advertise our booth in 2009.
and other awards. He is a CSU Monterey Bay
The calendar for July is as follows:
Distinguished Fellow, and 2004 Monterey County Veteran
Obon odori practices are held on Mondays and
of the Year, and a Marina Chamber of Commerce Man
Wednesdays from 7 pm, Temple hall. Everyone is welcome
of the Year.
to participate. Obon dancing is fun.
“Life is good,” he says with a smile.
2-4 Fireworks Booth, Temple parking lot
FFNV UPCOMING MEETINGS 6 7:30 pm Temple Board Meeting
The deadline for the Annual Nisei Veterans’ Reunion 7 1 pm BWA Meeting
in Las Vegas is Sunday, August 1, 2010. The reunion will be 8 6 pm ABA Meeting
held at California Hotel, September 26 – 30, 2010. For 9 2 pm San Juan Howakai Service
details, please call Lawson Sakai at (408) 782-2054, or 10 6:30 pm Shotsuki Hoyo & Hatsubon Services
email him at Lawson.email@example.com. 11 8 am Temple Yard Clean Up
The 4-day program will feature Greg Marutani of the 10 am Obon Cemetery Service, PV Memorial
SF JACL and National JACL Education Committee who will Monterey Peninsula Temple Obon
speak on the Sansei perspective of the Japanese American 18 3 pm Watsonville Temple Obon Festival
experiences. He will use a documentary DVD on “The Art 6 pm Obon Odori
of Gaman.” 25 Salinas Temple Obon
Invited is Steven Okazaki, “Oscar” winning
Watsonville Temple’s Obon Festival will feature great
documentary filmmaker, of “Days of Waiting” fame, the
food, fun and games, a Farmers’ Market, Silent Auction,
sad but poignant story of Estelle Ishigo, a Caucasian
raffle, and a “homecoming” for our Temple’s alumni!
American who went into Heart Mountain camp with her
BWA will sell 500 nori maki, 200 inari, and 2 kamas
husband, Arthur Ishigo. Okazaki is interested in the
chirashi while ABA will offer udon and manju sale.
stories of the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion for his father
served in this famous unit that opened the gates of Congratulations to our high school graduates—Kortland
Dachau camp. Kusumoto, Scott Nagamine, and Troy Kato.
The Saturday, August 14th, 2010 meeting will take
place aboard the USS Hornet in Alameda. The program will
be announced soon.
KOKORO NO GAKKO SANDSCRIPT--ANOTHER FIRST?
Our Japanese cultural school, Kokoro no Gakko, The Texas School Board voted recently to reduce or
grades K to 6th, will be in session, 9 am to noon, at the dilute the coverage in their US history textbooks of the
Temple from Mon., June 28th to Fri., July 9th with Open unjust incarceration of 120,000 innocent persons of
House to be celebrated on July 9th from 5 pm. Check us Japanese ancestry during WW II. Textbook publishers
out. have the means to offer a separate text just for Texas’
students. The “joke” among the nation’s high school social
studies teachers is that the US History teachers in Texas
WE MOURN THE PASSING OF … all have the same first name—“Coach.” Many are not
JANE MISAKO TORIUMI qualified or knowledgeable to teach high school social
studies. Consequently, they tend to “teach” from the
Our nation continues to pour the most money for math,
science, and sports as if that will somehow solve our
nation’s problems. They reduce funding social studies, art,
music, humanities, foreign languages, philosophy, logic,
psychology, economics, and ethnic studies. Ever wonder
why our students aren’t interested in school?
Meanwhile, Aptos (CA) High School’s yearbook staff
decided to include our incarceration story during World
War II in their 2010 Sandscript, the school’s yearbook!
This must be a first in the nation! Mas Hashimoto, a
retired teacher of arch-rival Watsonville High, has become
a permanent fixture at Aptos High, having been invited for
the past 14 years to speak about our unjust incarceration.
We are grateful to the Aptos High School’s Sandscript
Jane Misako Toriumi passed away on Monday, June 14, staff, faculty advisor Stacy Aronovici, and Social Studies
2010 at her home. She was 87 years of age. Department Chair Peggy Pughe for including our Japanese
Mrs. Toriumi was a long-time member of the American experience during World War II. Thank you!
Watsonville Buddhist Temple, the Buddhist Women’s This remarkable yearbook contains all 280 pages in
Association, and the Watsonville-Santa Cruz JACL. brilliant color.
She is survived by sons Glen (Mary) Toriumi, David
(Kathy) Toriumi, and Ernest Toriumi; daughters Janice
Morimoto and Linda Toriumi; five grandchildren; and one
great grandchild. She was preceded in death by her
husband, Jimmy Toriumi in 1998.
A memorial service was held at the Watsonville
Buddhist Temple on Friday, June 18, 2010.
Dorothy Ura passed away on May 12, 2010 in San Jose.
Prior to moving to San Jose, she resided in Watsonville.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Senzo and
Sumi Ura, her brothers John and George Ura, her sister
Frances Sugimoto, a nephew Ernie Ura and a niece Elaine
Takeuchi. She is survived by a nephew Gary Ura and a
niece Sharon Sugimoto. She was a member of the
Watsonville Buddhist Temple.
She was a very quiet, giving person and will be missed
by family and friends.
We are grateful for the donation by Esther Ura in
memory of Dorothy Ura.
We send our deepest condolences to the Toriumi and
Ura families, relatives and friends.
DAY OF REMEMBRANCE EDUCATION FUND hand soap, 10 box Kleenex
Greatest Need Rubie Kawamoto doz sq Kleenex, 2 bags shrimp chips,
Eiko Ceremony in honor of Mas and Marcia Hashimoto 2 bags arare
Jennifer Ura Gavin, Curtis and Kainu'u Gavin in Susan AmRhein 5 containers blueberries, 2 bags
remembrance of George Masao Hoshiyama Cheetos
Newsletter Chiyoko Yagi 6 pkgs udon
Alice Montgomery in appreciation Eiko Ceremony 2 bags senbei, 3 bags cookies
Marvin Uratsu of Richmond, CA Nobue Fujii 2 bunch flowers, 4 hand towels, 3
Marie Akie Day of Inman, SC bottles dish soap
Yae/Sam Sakamoto 65 bunches sunflowers
KIZUKA HALL MAINTENANCE FUND Yaeko Cross 10 cans Mandarin oranges
Yone and Daisy Satoda of San Francisco in remembrance Mitsuyo Tao 6 boxes sq Kleenex
of George Masao Hoshiyama Hisako Uemura 3 boxes Kleenex
Betty Yagi 8 pkgs crab
SENIOR CENTER NEWS By Kitako Izumizaki
Ray/Louise Sako 3 doz eggs
June being the month for grads and fathers, Seniors
John Tsukiji 8 containers strawberries
celebrated Father’s Day with Ray Sako 93, Akira Kodama
Itaru Nitao 8 pkgs swiss chard
88, and John Tsukiji 92 being presented with a red
Frances Hoshiyama 3 bags chagashi
carnation boutonniere. After their photo session, all
Kimi Fujii 3 bottles dish soap, 6 rolls paper
fathers present lined up for their yearly Father’s Day
photo. See the large photo with all the fathers in the
Haruko Yoshii 5 bottles dish soap
Seniors’ Corner, page 19.
Jean Akiyama 6 bottles Dawn
Iwao Yamashita gave a talk on his father. Iwao was
Frances Tanimura 6 pkgs of variety of miso soup
the youngest in his family and told how his father came to
Alice Tanimoto 36 rolls tissues, 4 rolls paper towels
work as a farm laborer, later farmer, and part-time
Roy Sakae lots of flowers
carpenter during the winter months. It must have been
Michiko Hamada lots of lemons
a joyful time to remember his father at this time.
Haru/Richard Ishibashi doz sq Kleenex
Holiday table decorations were by Helen Nakano who
Akira/Hide Nagamine 6 bags cucumbers
hung bird houses on hangers, which every father present
Satoko/Geo Yamamoto 4 lge Kleenex
was allowed to take home as a gift. Individual tables held
Eiko/Yamato Nishihara doz jars jam
delicious cookies also made by Helen and the head table
Toshi's Flower Shop 3 boutonnieres
held a bouquet of yellow calla lilies in a lovely Japanese
Akira/Hisako Kodama 4 pkgs curry, 5 pkgs instant
noodles, 6 jars tsukemono
Thank you notes were received from Mrs. Fujiye
Inako/Roland Johnson 3 bottles hand soap, 3 doz eggs
Idemoto for the going away gift and JACL for the
donation for picnic prizes. Thanks loads for all your continued generosity. Keep
Many thanks to hard working toban ladies Judy Hane, watch for upcoming events. Lots happening towards the
Motoko House, Kumiko Nakatani, Susan AmRhein, Yuan end of this month. This news covers only 3 weeks of this
AmRhein and Sachi Snyder. month. Look for coming events in other news in this
Donations gratefully received: newsletter.
Aimee Mizuno bag of chagashi
Edna/Yukio Nagata 4 lge Kleenex
“Reflections”--JAPANESE CULTURAL FAIR
Toshi Yamashita 4 cans peaches, 2 pkgs of 8 sheet by Carol Kaneko
nori The order was placed for a bright and sunny day, a
Kumiko Nakatani 36 rolls tissues little warm but not too hot, with occasional cool breezes
Iwao Yamashita doz artichokes throughout the day. The perfect weather arrived on
Toshi Tsudama 3 lge bottles Palmolive dish soap schedule on Saturday, June 19, 2010 for the 24th annual
Sunao/June Honda 3 bags grapefruit, 10 baskets Santa Cruz Japanese Cultural Fair, which was enjoyed by
strawberries, 17 raspberries, 3 pkgs thousands of people interested in learning about Japanese
nori, 1 pair scissors culture and experiencing all things Japanese (including
Miye Yamashita 3 bottles soap, 24 bags rock candy, chicken teriyaki, sushi, and green tea ice cream!). The
plus 3 lge bags rock candy perimeter of Mission Plaza Park was decorated with
Kazuko Sakai 3 box Kleenex, 3 bottles dish soap, 6 colorful koinobori on long poles, blowing in the breeze,
rolls of foil, 2 pkgs lunch bags welcoming the many visitors to the fair.
Chie Sakaue Lots and lots of flowers every week
Kinji/Motoko House 6 plates jelly roll cake, 3 Dawn soap, 1
Medha Gelli, Meiya Sparks Lin, and Amelia Katz, Phil Shima, Jean Yamashita, and Cindy Hirokawa
along with Watsonville Taiko, welcomed all to the 24th Mine manned our booth while Takeshi Kaneko (background)
annual Japanese Cultural Fair. took a short break to eat lunch.
The fair took place at three different venues: the Our W-SC JACL chapter was again a co-sponsor of the
main stage at Mission Plaza Park which was decorated with event, and our booth sold delicious strawberries, organic
festive paper lanterns; Aikido of Santa Cruz Dojo on cucumbers, hot and cold green tea, three types of bento
Mission Street; and the Zen Center on School Street. The boxes prepared by Aloha Island Grille, and ceramic
fair, one of the most comprehensive presentations of teacups donated and made by Santa Cruz local artist,
Japanese culture on the Central Coast, was attended by Wendy King. The event was very successful for our
thousands of enthusiastic visitors, mostly non-Nikkei, chapter and brought together a fun-loving group of JACL
which makes this fair unique among other similar festivals. members and friends who manned the booth, increased our
Official greetings were given by the Consul General of chapter’s visibility in the community, and raised some much
Japan in San Francisco, Yasumasa Nagamine and the needed funds.
mayor of Santa Cruz, Mike Rotkin.
Bobbi Jo Palmer and Jeanette Hager (above) served
both hot and cold tea. Thanks to the many friends and
Performances included: Watsonville Taiko; a martial
local businesses that generously donated to our booth: Paul
arts demonstration by Akido of Santa Cruz; Minyou by
Tao for organic strawberries; Watsonville Berry Bowl Co-
Akebono Kai and Minyo Station; Koto by Marimo Kai; Bon
op, and Driscoll’s for strawberries (donations were
Odori by Chieko; story telling by Megumi; Okinawan Dance
arranged by Victor Kimura); Nagamine Farm for organic
by Ohtori Kinsen-Kai; Noh music and Kyogen by Okura,
cucumbers; Wendy King for her beautiful teacups; Jean
Takizawa and Theatre of Yugen; and San Francisco Taiko
Yamashita for helping in the booth and for donating some
Dojo. Martial arts demonstrations were ongoing at Aikido
little trinkets that were very popular and were soon sold
of Santa Cruz and the Zen Center had demonstrations of
out; and to Timmy Hunt of Aloha Island Grille for making
ikebana, kimono dressing, bonsai, and tea ceremony.
the obento for our booth and generously giving us such a
great deal on them.
THE JACK MATSUOKA STORY
Children (photo) selected delicious Aloha Island Grille
bentos--veggie, chicken teriyaki, and beef teriyaki.
Many thanks to the following people who worked at the
JACL booth all day: Jeanette Hager, Joe Bowes, Phil
Shima, Bobbi Jo Palmer, Marcia and Mas Hashimoto who
Photo: Jack Matsuoka is not signing an autograph.
also made two trips to Aloha Island Grille for the bento,
Instead, he is shown above sketching the likeness of the
Iwao Yamashita for bringing several bonsai trees for
young students who visited his “Like Jack: Making the Best
display, Jean Yamashita, Takeshi Kaneko, and Carol
of Poston” exhibition at the Santa Cruz County Fair in
Kaneko. Thanks also to those who came by to help out:
September of 2005. They were excited to meet Jack and
Victor Kimura, Gary and Cindy Mine, and Shirley
delighted to have a sketch of themselves drawn by Jack.
Yamashita. A special thank you goes to Joe Bowes for
We must thank Jack Matsuoka, the Japanese
providing transportation to and from Watsonville for all our
American Museum of San Jose for their assistance
equipment and supplies, and to Gary and Cindy Mine,
developing this exhibition, and Sandy Lydon who suggested
Jeanette Hager, and Victor Kimura for helping to load and
displaying it at our SC County Fair where thousands of
unload the truck. My apologies to anyone whose name I may
students and adults would learn of our wartime
incarceration when they visited our special W-SC JACL
Again we thank Milo Yoshino from the Diablo Valley
booth in the Education Exhibition Hall.
JACL for representing the Asian American Donor
Registry Program and being part of our JACL booth.
Also attending the fair and stopping by our booth were
Inako and Roland Johnson; Rubie and Jim Kawamoto; Jim
Palmer; Karen, Carter, and Nicole Kimura; and Paul and
Kim Tao and family.
To everyone: Domo Arigato! Next year’s fair, in
celebration of our Silver Anniversary (25th), will be on June
18, 2011 - same time, same place!! See you then!!
Most Nisei will remember Jack Matsuoka’s drawings
from the seventies published in Hokubei Mainichi, along
with his series, Sensei, and his book about relocation camp
life entitled Camp II, Block 211 (Japan Publications, Inc.,
1974). Matsuoka was born in Watsonville on Nov. 6, 1925
San Francisco Taiko Dojo delighted the audience! and later attended a single semester at Cleveland School of
Fine Arts in Ohio before being drafted into the army. He
was just a high school teenager when he drew the cartoons
of Camp II, Block 211, a humorous and poignant depiction
of life in Poston relocation camp. Ken Kaji visited Mr. Buddhist Obon celebrations throughout the state. I was
Matsuoka, now retired, at his home in Fuji Towers in San the Editorial Cartoonist for Pacifica Tribune, a weekly
Jose, California. publication. [I worked for] San Francisco Examiner, San
Mateo Times, San Jose Mercury News and finally as a
K. Kaji: “How did you develop an interest in becoming a
regular cartoonist for Hokubei Mainichi. I drew mostly
sports cartoons for the Times. But even then it was
J. Matsuoka: “I began drawing at an early age. My father,
difficult to have my work accepted because I was a non-
Tonai Matsuoka, was in the laundry business in Watsonville
union artist and they had their own unionized art staff. It
before the war. My mother, Tora Matsuoka, worked as a
was only with the insistence of the publicity director of
midwife. They knew I had an interest and talent for
San Jose State that I was able to get my cartoons
drawing, but always encouraged me to become a doctor or
some other kind of professional as they felt I would have
KK: “Having been in the military and in camp and a long-
difficulty making a living as an artist. [Editor’s note: In
time Buddhist, I crack up laughing at all your cartoons.
1942, our cameras, radios, flashlights, and weapons were
They all seem to get right to the heart of the subject and
taken away. Jack’s drawings of the events that followed—
spare no one when revealing the humor ‘in the moment.’
raiding of our homes by the FBI, the force eviction from
How do you do this?”
our homes, the incarceration, etc. remains historically
JM: “I just do it, and express it easily through drawing.”
important.] In camp, at Poston, I skipped my junior year
KK: “What work of yours would you most like to be
and graduated in the class of ’43. Curiously enough, one of
my previous classmates was [cartoonist] Pete Hironaka. I
JM: “Camp II, Block 211” because I want the general
knew him personally, but all during that time I did not know
American public to know about what we had to go through.
of his interest in drawing. I began drawing for the camp
I have donated ten original drawings to the Japanese
newspaper. At that time I had no formal art education. I
historical museum in Los Angeles and other original work
could speak Japanese better than the average Nisei, and
was given to San Francisco and Cornell universities. I think
this permitted me to attend the military language school at
I am the only Nisei cartoonist to be awarded a membership
Monterey. I then was assigned to a Military Intelligence
to the National Cartoonist Association. I was also
Corps in Japan. My job was to weed out subversives. I lived
recognized in Asian Awareness: the Movement and the
in Japan from 1945 to 1961.”
Moment, a University of California Los Angeles Asian
KK: “What did you do in Japan?”
American Studies Center publication (1997), for my
JM: “After getting out of the service I went to Hartnell
political cartoon supporting Committee Against Nihonmachi
College (Salinas, CA), then as an exchange student under
Evictions in San Francisco during the seventies.”
the GI Bill transferred to Keio and Sophia Universities. I
* This article was originally published in Vol. IX, Number 2,
later married and lived first as a student and then worked
Spring 2002 issue of Nikkei Heritage, a journal of the
for the Japan Times. Due to lapses of receiving my $75
National Japanese American Historical Society.
government checks I did a cartoon book on GI’s studying in
Japan called Rice Paddy Daddy for the Tuttle Co. I showed
the work to the president of their company, and he liked it CITY OF WATSONVILLE, PROCLAMATION
a lot and gave me $360 right away, which was a lot in those HONORS JACK MATSUOKA, JUNE 22, 2010
days. I knew then that someday I could make it Whereas, Jack Matsuoka was born on November 6,
[professionally] as a cartoonist. At that time cartooning 1925, in Watsonville, California, where he grew up and
was very hot in Japan. I joined the Manga Kyokai and spent his late teenage years at the Poston relocation camp
continued to struggle. I was the only bi-lingual cartoonist, in Arizona, after being released, he attended the Cleveland
and so I found easy access to finding work drawing sports School of Fine Arts in Ohio and was drafted into the army
cartoons for the American military in Japan. In the early where he served as an interpreter in Japan; and
sixties I returned to the states and began working at Whereas, Jack attended Hartnell College in Salinas
Maruben Iida Co., a trading house that dealt with import- and returned to Japan as a student at Keio and Sophia
export business. I lived in San Francisco and began drawing Universities in Tokyo and found an outlet for his artistic
cartoons, on the side, for the UC Bears and the Berkeley abilities by contributing sports cartoons to the Japan
Gazette. Finally, in 1969, I went on my own as a freelance Times and Japanese magazines, political cartoons for the
cartoonist. Yomiuri News, and humorous illustrations for books about
KK: “How did you earn your living as a cartoonist?” Japan; and
JM: “With cartooning as my whole source of income it was Whereas, Jack returned to the U. S. and worked for a
difficult, but I managed to get by. I did quite a lot of Marubeni, a Japanese trading company, while doing
exhibits throughout northern California, a part of the cartoons on the side for the Berkeley Gazette and such
public relations work for the Bank of Northern California. I groups as the Cal Bears, his requests for services became
gave demonstrations and exhibits in connection with many
so numerous that he decided to make his living as a
Whereas, Jack worked with the Hokubei Mainichi, was
the editorial cartoonist for the Pacifica Tribune and
contributed to the San Mateo Times, San Jose Mercury
News, San Francisco Examiner and did some work with the
San Francisco Giants and 49ers; and
Whereas, he is one of only a handful of Nisei
professional cartoonist and also one of the few Japanese
Americans to have drawn a comic strip; and
Whereas, he is the creator of Sensei, a Japanese
American comic strip character, who was inspired by
Koshin Ogui, then resident minister of the Buddhist
Churches of San Francisco, and was later published in book
form in 1978; and Mayor Luis Alejo presents the proclamation to Jack.
Whereas, he also authored and published Camp II,
Block 211 in 1974, which illustrates life in the detention
camp where thousands of loyal Japanese American citizens
were forced to spend the years of World War II; and
Whereas, Jack drew most of his drawings while living
in the detention camp and through the courtesy of the
Bank of Tokyo at the Japan Trade Center, in San
Francisco, an exhibition of the cartoons was held; and
Whereas, with a grant from the California Civil
Liberties Public Education Program, Jack and his daughter,
Emi Young, republished the book in 2003 giving it a new
name, Poston Camp II, Block 211 and included new
sketches, photos of camp, and an afterword by Senator
Daniel K. Inouye; and Ignacio Ornelas (who asked the City to honor Jack),
Whereas, after the re-launch of the book, Jack and granddaughter Jennifer Young, Jack Matsuoka, and
Emi Young visited local elementary schools in Fremont daughter Emi Young.
sharing about his experiences at the camp; and Mas Hashimoto made a brief PowerPoint presentation,
Whereas, Sketching Justice, a lesson plan for eighth using Jack’s Poston cartoons, to the City Council and to
grade teachers and Just Like Jack, an exhibit held at the those in attendance, explaining the significance and
Japanese American Museum of San Jose and in 2005 at importance of Jack’s contribution to our nation’s history.
the Santa Cruz County Fair where he met many of the WESTVIEW HIGHLIGHTS By Joanne Yahiro
young students in our community, came about from Jack’s
With hearts pounding and beads of sweat streaming
cartoons and stories; and
down their faces the men and women leave Westview
Whereas, Jack, a former resident of Pacifica and a
exhausted, yet energized—how’s that for an oxymoron?!
regular in San Francisco Japantown, now lives in San Jose
Actually, they’ve just finished one of the Jazzercise
classes offered at Westview. Although the description
Now, therefore, I, Luis A. Alejo, Mayor of the City
might be a little exaggerated, by all appearances, the
of Watsonville, do hereby extend to Jack Matsuoka our
participants do get pumped up, sweaty, and energized to
deep appreciation for his distinguished service and our
some pretty heart-pounding music, and it looks like so
best wishes for many more happy and productive years in
much fun! The Jazzercise classes are held in the gym
Monday through Saturday, so if you want to get in on the
fun and get into shape, call Wauhillau Erbe at 831-274-
9008 for more information. Jazzercise, Jazzercise Lite,
Jazzercise Personal Touch, Body Sculpting—there’s
something for everybody.
The Adult Education Class on Prayer will continue on
Wednesday nights, July 7 and 21, at 6:30 P.M. It has been
very interesting to hear everyone’s stories and experiences
that have molded their lives and have brought them to
where they are now in their relationship with God—their
faith journey. It will be interesting to experience the
prayer journey Rev. Dan has planned for us in this class,
and it’s never too late to join!
Oh, what a tangled web we weave. We are such liars,
and what’s so scary is that we’re so good at it! The pool
party at David and Jeanni Kadotani’s home on June 19 was
actually a surprise wedding celebration for Tracy and
Randy Mano, who were married on Saturday, May 8. Randy
is so involved in everything at the church it was a real
challenge to plan and execute this event, which turned out
to be a real joy and a great celebration on a beautiful,
blustery day … and it was definitely a surprise!
The lies? They were worth the surprise, joy, fun,
fellowship, and celebration of the day. Congratulations,
Tracy and Randy! [Editor’s note: thank you, members of
Westview, for the photos. Among his other assignments,
Randy is the photographer for Westview!]
HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY, EVERYONE!!!
GO TO SEE “THE KARATE KID,” THE
MOVIE 2010. “JAPANESE, CHINESE ….”
Jewdar has never been a big fan of the trend of
Upon arrival Tracy and Randy were presented with leis referring to everything as being like a Seinfeld episode.
of woven ti leaves and purple orchids—gorgeous! And on We will confess, however, that we have our own tendency
behalf of the Westview Family, Rev. Dan Hoffman to think of things in terms of old Jewish jokes. Please
presented the newlyweds with a gift in honor of their don’t be offended.
wedding and also to say “thank you” to Randy for all the So this Jew and this Chinese guy are arguing, and it
time and work he’s done for the church, the church goes back and forth, and the Jew says, “You know, you
building and surrounding area. Chinese are always causing trouble. You bomb Pearl
Harbor. You kill all those people …”
“Wait a minute,” says the Chinese guy. “Pearl Harbor
was attacked by the Japanese.”
“Japanese, Chinese--what’s the difference?” says the
So, it goes back and forth, and the Chinese guy says,
“You know, you Jews are always causing trouble. You sink
the Titanic. You kill all those people …”
“Wait a minute,” says the Jew. “The Titanic was sunk
by an iceberg.”
“Iceberg, Goldberg—what’s the difference?”
Jewdar shares this classic because it came to mind
the other day when the trailer for the new Karate Kid
The rest of the afternoon was spent eating yummy movie went online. Apparently, the plot involves a boy
skirt steaks and hot dogs cooked up by Eric Wong, along (played by Jaden Smith, son of Will Smith) who, after
with the Westview-famous potluck side dishes—oh so being bullied, goes to China where he receives martial arts
good! In order to relieve our guilt from our over-indulgence training from Jackie Chan, whom, we presume, is playing
Tracy and her daughter, Ashli Dean, gave us a little work someone who isn’t Jackie Chan.
out with some line dancing. We hardly saw the children—
they were in the pool having so much fun!
And instantly, we were transported to a pitch meeting, The Japanese Cultural Fair on Saturday June 19th was
where the assorted Jewish producers involved said, “We packed with presentations of traditional art in three
love it! Let’s call it “The Karate Kid.” locations. Our yakitori smelled good, too.
“But,” answers the screenwriter, “karate’s Japanese.” Below: Lori McLennon and Bonnie Chihara in mochi
“Japanese, Chinese ….” making at Japanese Cultural Fair. Photo by Ann Ramage.
[Editor’s note: Enjoy the movie. Karate, Kung Fu—what’s
The excitement continues. We will have our annual
fundraising Natsumatsuri on Saturday, July 10th. The
event will be held from 12 to 5 pm. This year, it will be held
at the Harvey West Park Clubhouse. The day will be
filled with kids’ activities and for those who are kids-at-
heart. The silent auction will feature some very valuable
Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan at the Great Wall of China. donations, including two large paintings by New York listed
UCSC CHANCELLOR’S ACHIEVEMENT artist Paul Duckworth.
Natsumatsuri is an event for the whole family. The
AWARD FOR DIVERSITY
Steam Engine in the park is a delight, and you can have a
These 2010 awards honor and showcase campus
short walk at the park between the bidding. Come and
faculty, staff, students, and programs that have made
enjoy one summer afternoon!!
outstanding contributions to support diversity and
The admission is $5 for general. Children 12 years old
inclusion at UCSC.
and under are free. For more information please call Taeko
Among this year’s 11 recipients was our April Goral,
D’Andrea (831) 435-4595; e-mail
career advisor. Congratulations, April!
Chancellor George Blumenthal presented each
recipient with an engraved plaque during an awards
luncheon. He thanked all the recipients for being leaders
and role models as we work to create a diverse and
inclusive campus climate.
WATSONVILLE TAIKO & SHINSEI DAIKO
By Ikuyo Conant
Our taiko sounds echoed as the summer sun sat lightly
on the ocean breezes. Below: Watsonville Taiko with
UCSC Wind Ensemble; a contributed photo.
From Highway 1 turn north on River Street (Hwy 9)
toward Felton. Make a left turn on Fern Street, cross RR
tracks and turn left on Coral. Turn right at Harvey West
Blvd and continue driving. The clubhouse is located next to
the swimming pool, between the baseball field and the pool.
Parking on the street is OK. If you would like to park
inside Harvey West Park, keep going on Coral street. It
becomes Evergreen Street and will lead you to Harvey
West Park and three parking lot areas. Thank you!
Seniors’ Corner July 2010 ck
WATSONVILLE-SANTA CRUZ JACL SENIOR CENTER TOURS
One-Day Senior Trip
Table Mountain Casino, Friant
Tuesday, August 17, 2010, 8:00 AM to 7:30 PM
Cost: Active Senior Members $30 and others $35
For reservations – call Carol Kaneko 831-476-7040 or Rubie Kawamoto 831-464-6721.
If you have suggestions for places (Pebble Beach, Santa Cruz, Hong Kong Disney) where our Seniors will enjoy a one-day or
multiple-day trip or can help in the planning of such trips, please call Carol Kaneko at 476-7040. We are open to your
suggestions. Thank you.
Father’s Day photo: front row: Roland Johnson, Kinji House, John Tsukiji, Akira Kodama, Ray Sako, Yamato Nishihara; back
row: Iwao Yamashita, Mas Nishikawa (guest - uncle of Ken and Alice Tanimoto), Sunao Honda, Fred Oda, and Yukio Nagata.
Upcoming Activities at the Senior Center:
• Regular Bingo every Thursday in July
• July Birthday Party, Thursday, July 15
• Table Mountain Casino, Tuesday, August 17
*Please join our Watsonville-Santa Cruz JACL Senior Center! If you enjoy playing bingo, celebrating special birthdays and holiday
occasions, and going on trips, and would like to regularly receive health information and have your blood pressure monitored, join us for
our Thursday get-togethers. We’d love to have you and your spouse and/or friends join us. “Active Senior Center Members,” who
have paid their membership dues and who make annual birthday and Senior Center anniversary donations, are eligible for reduced
fares on our trips. Please contact Carol Kaneko (831) 476-7040 for registration information. Since our Senior Center operates under
the auspices of both our local JACL chapter and the National JACL, all members of the Senior Center are encouraged to be
members of the National JACL through our Watsonville-Santa Cruz JACL chapter.
HELP WANTED! The Senior Center is always looking for able-bodied, caring, fun-loving volunteers (any and all ages welcome) to help
out weekly (or once a month or so) with toban duties. We need your help on Thursdays from 12:30 to 3:15 pm to help our toban teams
prepare tea, set out the tea and snacks, and clean up. You are invited to play bingo with us while you wait for clean up time – who
knows what goodies you might take home! Let us know if you can help out on one or more Thursdays each month. Call Carol Kaneko
at (831) 476-7040 to volunteer and have some fun.
THANK YOU to Susan and Yuan AmRhein who helped with toban duties in June. The Seniors appreciate your help!
National Japanese American Citizens League (JACL)
Watsonville-Santa Cruz Chapter
No Increase in the 2010 Membership Dues
Working toward our national goal of Better Americans in a Greater America is a worthy one. One does not
have to be of Japanese ancestry or a US citizen to be a JACL member, but one must believe that safeguarding the
rights of all Americans and legal residents is of utmost importance in this country.
Please join us today. We are the most proactive and respected Asian American civil rights organization in the
Your membership is never taken lightly or for granted. We have worked diligently to earn your confidence
and trust. Your active participation and membership can make a significant difference in what happens today in our
community and in our nation.
Please help us fight racial prejudice, discrimination, racial profiling, bigotry, intolerance and indifference.
The 2008 National and local dues for our tax-deductible organization (ID #94-2659895) are as follows:
Family/Couples ___$150 This includes two National dues with one subscription to the Pacific Citizen,
local dues and our monthly JACL newsletter, and all children under age 14 to be
Individual Member ___$80 This includes National dues with subscription to the Pacific Citizen, the
official paper of the National JACL, and local chapter dues and our monthly JACL
Youth/Student ___$25 for each of ages 14 to 24, which includes a subscription to the Pacific Citizen,
local youth/student membership, and our monthly JACL newsletter. Youth membership
is required for scholarship consideration.
For Thousand Club, Century Club, and Millennium Club and Life membership categories, please contact our membership
chair Bobbi Jo Palmer at (831) 724-8636.
(Last Name) (First Name) (Middle Name)
(Last Name) (First Name) (Middle Name)
Home phone: ________________________ E-mail:
For family membership, please list names (and ages) of all children under the age of 14:
Please send your check payable to Watsonville-Santa Cruz JACL and mail ASAP to:
c/o Bobbi Jo Palmer, Membership Chair, P. O. Box 163, Watsonville, CA 95077
Thank you so much for your support.
Check out our websites: watsonvillesantacruzjacl.org or jacl.org.