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January 2018


Year in Review 2017

As we move into the new year, here's a look at some of the important things Go For Broke National Education Center did in 2017:

Jan. 22 - GFBNEC hosted "The Lasting Legacy of Korematsu," a program at the Tateuchi Democracy Forum in Little Tokyo. The event discussed the 1944 U.S. Supreme Court case, Korematsu v. United States, in the context of current events. (The event was held just a few days before Fred Korematsu Day, commemorated annually on his birthday, Jan. 30.)

Feb. 17 - GFBNEC participated in #DayofFacts, an international social media campaign by museums, libraries, historic archives, cultural institutions, science centers and others to show that these institutions are still trusted sources for truth and knowledge.

Feb. 19 - GFBNEC and other organizations commemorated Day of Remembrance, marking the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066. The 1942 order paved the way for the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. Several events were held around the nation, including film screenings of the Broadway musical "Allegiance," which focuses on Japanese Americans during World War II, at various local movie theaters. GFBNEC promoted the movie event, and offered tickets to the public.

Also Feb. 19 - GFBNEC collaborated with California State University, Fresno, on their exhibition, "9066: Japanese American Voices from the Inside." GFBNEC presented a section on the military contributions of Japanese Americans during World War II.

April 1 - GFBNEC President and CEO Mitchell T. Maki spoke on "Restoring America's Promise: The Impact of Nisei Veterans in the Fight for Redress" at the Tateuchi Democracy Forum. The presentation focused on Japanese Americans' contributions toward passing the Civil Liberties Act of 1988.

April 19 - GFBNEC was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to help preserve, restore and digitize 800 oral histories of Japanese American World War II veterans in the Hanashi Oral History collection.

May 13 - GFBNEC staff members participated in Little Tokyo Sparkle/ Nancy Kikuchi Volunteer Day. Volunteers picked up trash, swept sidewalks and washed windows on First and Second streets in Little Tokyo.

May 20 - World War II veterans Fernando Sosa, Tokuji "Toke" Yoshihashi and Don Seki participated in the Torrance Armed Forces Day Parade. Seki and Ralph Kaneshiro were also honored at the Torrance Armed Forces Day 5K.

June 3 - The Go For Broke Monument 18th Anniversary Tribute was held at the Go For Broke Monument in Little Tokyo. The program featured keynote speaker, U.S. Representative Mark Takano (D-41st District, California). GFBNEC honored Tetsuo "Tets" Asato, veteran of the 442nd RCT, G Company, with the Go For Broke Monument Award. Asato's grandson, Scott Tofukuji, accepted the award on his family's behalf.

Also June 3 - GFBNEC and the Japanese American National Museum hosted a film screening and discussion of the film "Unknown Warriors of World War II" with producer David Ono, chairman of GFBNEC's Board of Governors, and co-producer Robert Horsting, Hanashi Oral History Program volunteer. The documentary describes the brave legacy of the Japanese American soldiers during WWII through a series of short vignettes.

June 13, 18 and 20 - GFBNEC President and CEO Mitchell T. Maki led several Playhouse Talks this summer at the Pasadena Playhouse. These talks and dialogues followed performances of "Hold These Truths," a one-man show on the life of civil rights figure Gordon Hirabayashi. Tokuji "Toke" Yoshihashi and Pauline Yoshihashi led the June 18 talk. GFBNEC also had an exhibition in the Friendship Center of the Pasadena Playhouse during the show's run. The show ended on June 25.

June 14 - GFBNEC received a matching grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service's Japanese American Confinement Sites (JACS) grant program. The grant is to enhance GFBNEC's Defining Courage exhibition by adding curated listening stations.

July 13 - "Courage and Compassion: Our Shared Story of the Japanese American WWII Experience" debuted at the Willamette Heritage Center in Salem, Oregon. The national traveling exhibition features local stories of courage and support for the Japanese American community during and after World War II. The exhibit closed on Oct. 7 and moved to Hawaii (see below).

July 20 - GFBNEC and JANM presented a program focusing on the role of Japanese American women during World War II. The program was in conjunction with "Moving Day," an outdoor public art installation. "Moving Day" featured images of World War II-era posters projected on the side of GFBNEC's historic building. "Moving Day" was part of JANM's exhibition, "Instructions to All Persons: Reflections on Executive Order 9066."

Aug. 15 - The special exhibit "Nikkei Samurai: Japanese Swords and the Nisei Veteran" opened at GFBNEC in Little Tokyo. The temporary exhibit featured samurai swords given to Japanese American soldiers stationed in Japan following World War II. The exhibit was the first to use the rotating exhibit space at the back of the Defining Courage Exhibition. The exhibit closed on Sept. 17.

Aug. 24 - GFBNEC and the clothing brand Japangeles held a pop-up launch event at GFBNEC's Little Tokyo building to promote their new line of clothes. The clothing celebrates the Japanese American soldiers of World War II. The clothing line includes T-shirts, caps, sweatshirts and hoodies.

Sept. 23 - More than 1,000 people attended the 16th Annual Evening of Aloha Gala Dinner at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel and Suites in downtown Los Angeles. The evening featured a gourmet meal by celebrity chefs, and songs from the musical "Allegiance." Actor and activist George Takei received the Defining Courage Award and former GFBNEC chairman of the Board of Directors Bill Seki received the Go For Broke Award.

November 2017 - GFBNEC's Defining Courage Exhibition exceeds 20,000 visitors for 2017.

Nov. 11 - GFBNEC's "Courage and Compassion" traveling exhibition moved to the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii in Honolulu. It remained in Hawaii until Dec. 9. The exhibit moved to Kingsburg, Calif., in January 2018.

Nov. 12 - GFBNEC had an information booth at the Great Nisei Reunion III on Veterans Day weekend in Redondo Beach, Calif. The big band concert was the final of three events honoring the Nisei.

Nov. 16 - Roy's Restaurants Pasadena hosted a private fundraising evening for GFBNEC supporters. The special event featured guest of honor chef Roy Yamaguchi and food prepared by six gourmet chefs, including Yamaguchi. The evening also included music by Tavita.

December 2017 - Several veterans organizations joined together to launch the Japanese American Military Digital History Collective, a website designed to help people learn more about Japanese American veterans. The website contains a database for digital materials related to Japanese American military service, with an emphasis on World War II veterans.

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