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Year in Review: 2002 - 2003

Rosalyn Tonai & childrenJune 14, 2003

Dear Members:

As you can see from the Year-end Review, we can take great pride in the way that the National Japanese American Historical Society has responded to our nation’s need for in-depth analysis, historical insight and tolerance in with wake of international uncertainty and inevitable war.

To highlight some of our work….
Through our consortium of Japanese Peruvian, German and Italian scholars and activists, we helped tour Enemy Alien Files: Hidden Stories of World War II to the East Coast and throughout California. Never before has this exhibit impacted and informed so many in a short time about the suspension of civil liberties in times of war. We thank Project Director Grace Shimizu.

In March, we launched the first national Kansha Awards Ceremony, presenting six awards of gratitude to non-Nikkei humanitarians who risked all to aid Japanese Americans during World War II. It was our way to raise public awareness of these acts of kindness in times of crisis and to thank the families and organizations that continue their legacy today.

Underscoring the courage and sacrifice of others, we presented poignant stories of very special people in the “Gay and JA” and “MIS in Japan” issues of Nikkei Heritage. We launched a new film by Lane Nishikawa about the 442nd Rescue of the Lost Battalion-Only the Brave.

We presented a dizzying array of programs for children and adults throughout the year, all through collaborations and on-going partnerships, ever mindful of our limited resources and valuable volunteers.

I am grateful to our dedicated board, staff and volunteers who rose to the occasion and led NJAHS’s day-to-day operations while I was on maternity leave. I am especially thankful to Ruth Tamura for providing guidance and support to the staff as interim director.

Next year, we can look forward to moving onto Phase Two of our Building 640 feasibility study with an unprecedented $580,000 grant from the National Park Service for design development. Project 640 team led by Project Manager Gerald Takano and Ken Kaji is most commendable.

As our members, we are truly indebted to you for your continuing support. Your ideas inspire us and you are always welcome to come by and visit.

Very sincerely yours,

Rosalyn Tonai, Executive Director

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