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Letter to the Editor

By April 21, 2023May 5th, 2023No Comments

Dear Editor,

The JACL resolution relating to the recognition of and apology to Tule Lake resisters was passed four years ago, but little has happened that we know of to keep their promise.

Led by the JACL, during and many decades after World War II, former Tule Lake Resisters have been stigmatized as the “trouble makers.”

On Aug. 1, 2019, the progressive membership of the JACL, at their National Convention in Salt Lake City, passed a resolution offering a sincere apology to former Tule Lake Resisters for their acts of resistance and dissent.  Also, the resisters suffered shame and stigma during and after the war due to JACL’s attitudes and treatment toward individuals unfairly labeled “disloyal.” 

The JACL resolution further resolved that all JACL chapters gain a greater understanding of the issues surrounding the imprisonment, mistreatment and resistance of Tule Lake Resisters; further resolved to include a Tule Lake narrative in an updated JACL Curriculum Guide in both printed and online format and for the syllabus for Teacher Training Workshops; and further resolved that the National Council will  recognize Tule Lake Resisters at an appropriate public ceremony during the 2020-21 biennium.

The curriculum guide shows 415 words describing the facts around Question 27 and 28, although the questions are not written out. More information about the short timeline to respond and versions would explain the chaos and misinformation that caused some families to break apart.

This letter reminds JACL leaders and members to fulfill their obligations set forth in their adopted Resolution of Apology to Tule Lake Resisters that includes the recognition of the resistors.

An educational panel at the upcoming National Conference and at local Teacher Workshops are needed for new generations to be informed.



Yukio Kawaratani and Nancy Kyoko Oda,

Members of the San Fernando Valley JACL Chapter and former Tule Lake Inmates