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Your Call

How should we talk about the imprisonment of Japanese Americans?

Tule Lake Segregation Center
Tule Lake Segregation Center

On this edition of Your Call, we begin another series of shows about the incarceration of more than 125,000 Japanese Americans between 1942 and 1946.

Writer and public historian Tamiko Nimura says the United States still doesn't know how to talk about the incarceration of Japanese Americans during WW2. Without that language, she says survivors and descendants are caught in a “tangle” of words that often dismisses their experience and undermines their ability to heal.

Denny Keto teaches classes and gives lectures about the history of Japanese incarceration across the country to ensure this never happens again.


Tamiko Nimura, Affiliate Professor in the School of Urban Studies at the University of Washington in Tacoma, co-author of We Hereby Refuse: Japanese American Resistance to Wartime Incarceration, and recipient of the Tacoma Artists Initiative Project grant from the Tacoma Arts Commission for her memoir-in-progress, A Place for What We Lose: A Daughter's Return to Tule Lake

Denny Kato, lecturer and moderator of the Facebook group, Beyond Barbed Wire

Web Resources:

San Francisco Chronicle: America still doesn’t know how to talk about the incarceration of Japanese Americans

WCPO: Cincinnati man, Japanese-American Army soldier, shines light on family history in internment camps

Densho: Sights of Shame

Los Angeles Times: The ʻNo-Nosʻ of Tule Lake

Associated Press: Japanese Americans were jailed in a desert. Survivors worry a wind farm will overshadow the past.

Rose Aguilar has been the host of Your Call since 2006. She became a regular media roundtable guest in 2001. In 2019, the San Francisco Press Club named Your Call the best public affairs program. In 2017, The Nation named it the most valuable local radio show.