Tsuru Rising!

Community Conversations

“Now is a time when physical distancing is required, yet social solidarity is so needed.”

Duncan Ryuken Williams, Tsuru for Solidarity Steering Committee Member

Over the summer, Tsuru for Solidarity has been active with socially distant programming.

You can click here to learn about our Virtual Protest from June 6th.

You can click here to watch our Tsuru Actions from June 7th.

We are also beginning our Community Conversations series on July 25th. The series will provide an opportunity for deeper community conversation around identity and intergenerational trauma,  anti-Black racism in our own  community,  and an exploration of what it means to be in solidarity with other communities historically targeted by racism and state violence. 

Session 1: Japanese American Identity & Intergenerational Trauma

July 25th
10am-12pm PDT | 1pm-3pm EDT

Conversation with Dr. Donna Nagata, psychologist and scholar, and Dr. Satuski Ina, Co-organizer, Tsuru for Solidarity, moderated by Brian Niiya, Content Director, Densho.

Dr. Nagata, Professor at the University of Michigan, psychologist is the author of the landmark study, Legacy of Injustice: Exploring the Cross-Generational Impact of the Japanese American Internment. Dr. Ina, activist and practicing psychotherapist has specialized in the field of collective historical trauma. She produced the documentary film, Children of the Camps: An exploration of the impact of the WWII incarceration on Japanese American children. Facilitated by Brian Niiya, Content Director at Densho, Dr. Nagata and Dr. Ina will engage in rarely discussed issues of the psycho-social impact of the traumatic mass incarceration on Nikkei individuals, families, and communities shaping Japanese American identity and the intergenerational transmission of the trauma.


Watch Session 1 Here:

More Readings from Session 1

Ethnic and Racial Identity in Multiracial Sansei: Intergenerational Effects of theWorld War II Mass Incarceration of Japanese Americans
Click here for the article

By Karen L. Suyemoto

Published in Genealogy


Abstract: This paper reflects on ways in which intergenerational familial experience of the Japanese American World War II mass incarceration may have differentially affected the ethnic and racial identity development of multiracial Sansei (third generation Japanese Americans). I begin with a brief review of the literature related to the effects of the camps on Nisei, integrating psychological understandings of racial and ethnic identity development, contextual history, and research on the psychological effects; I focus here on effects for Nisei that have been connected to their intergenerational interactions: distancing from Japanese American heritage and identity, silence about the camp experience, and the negotiation of racism and discrimination. I turn then to the primary focus of the paper: Using a combination of autoethnographical reflection, examples from qualitative interviews, and literature review, I engage in reflective exploration of two ways in which intergenerational effects of the camp experience influenced Sansei racial and ethnic identities that vary among monoracial and multiracial Sansei: familial transmission of Japanese American culture by Nisei to Sansei, and the intergenerational effects and transmission of racial discrimination and racial acceptance. I conclude with reflections on intergenerational healing within Japanese American families and communities, and reflections on the relation of these dynamics to current issues of racial justice more generally.

The Japanese American Wartime Incarceration: Examining the Scope of Racial Trauma
Click here for the article

By Donna K. Nagata, Jacqueline H.J. Kim, Kaidi Wu
Published in American Psychiatrist

Abstract: Ten weeks after the 1941 Japanese military attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, the U.S. government authorized the removal 110,000 Japanese American men, women, and children from their homes in Western portions of the country and began moving them to incarceration camps in desolate areas of the United States. The mass incarceration was portrayed as necessary to protect the country from potential acts of espionage or sabotage that might be committed by someone of Japanese ancestry. However, an extensive government review initiated in 1980 found no evidence of military necessity to support the removal decision and concluded that the incarceration was a grave injustice fueled by racism and war hysteria. The Japanese American wartime experience represents a powerful case example of historically based racial trauma. This article examines the consequences of the incarceration for Japanese Americans during and after their unjust imprisonment, their coping responses and healing strategies, as well as the impacts of receiving governmental redress more than four decades after the war’s end. Examination of this specific trauma provides a perspective for under- standing the long-term, radiating effects of racial trauma and healing over a broad arc of time and across social contexts. Current relevance of the Japanese American incarceration and its implications for the field of psychology are discussed

Children of the Camps and From A Silk Cocoon
Now streaming on Amazon Prime

Satsuki Ina, Producer

A powerful documentary that portrays the lingering personal impact of the World War II incarceration experience on Japanese Americans who were children during their imprisonment.  This program provides a rare glimpse into the very private lives of Japanese Americans who typically have not talked openly about the humiliation and trauma of their incarceration experience.  It is an emotionally riveting piece that tells a disturbing story of racism in America, while highlighting the incredibly enduring strengths and cultural resources of the former prisoners as they embark on a journey of healing.

Session 2-4

We will have three  more Community Conversations in August and September. Details forthcoming.

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About Us

 Tsuru for Solidarity is a nonviolent, direct action project of Japanese American social justice advocates working to end detention sites and support front-line immigrant and refugee communities that are being targeted by racist, inhumane immigration policies. We stand on the moral authority of Japanese Americans who suffered the atrocities and legacy of U.S. concentration camps during WWII and we say, “Stop Repeating History!” 
Never again is NOW. Our mission is to:
  • educate, advocate, and protest to close all U.S. concentration camps;
  • build solidarity with other communities of color that have experienced forced removal, detention, deportation and separation of families, and other forms of racial and state violence;
  • coordinate intergenerational, cross-community healing circles addressing the trauma of our shared histories.