I feel compelled to respond to the Letter to the Editor by Grant Ujifusa (Pacific Citizen, April 3-23, 2020), unfairly attacking John Tateishi’s new book without reading it. I am the researcher/writer of “Right of Passage,” the documentary by Janice Tanaka, a film that Mr. Ujifusa spread malicious rumors about without seeing. It is only fair we get to respond.
I researched and wrote “Right of Passage,” the documentary every level-headed Japanese American (except Mr. Grant “Legend in His Own Mind” Ujifusa) considers an unbiased and factual retelling of the story — which credits a whole lot of community organizations, not just the JACL, for making redress possible.
Declassified White House documents and interviews with Ken Duberstein (President Ronald Reagan’s chief of staff) and Alan Simpson — who had daily contact with President Reagan — completely debunk Mr. Ujifusa’s narrative and minimize him as a peripheral player.
He played a part — a small part — not the giant hand he claims he had. Of course, Mr. Ujifusa never read Mr. Tateishi’s book or saw the film, yet he has spewed ill-informed opinions about both.
A first step, before he shoots off his next ignorant letter, would be to actually have first-hand knowledge of what he’s criticizing.
Writer/Researcher/Editor, ‘Right of Passage’