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March 10 Program Recognizes Those Who Battled World War II ‘Fake News’

By February 23, 2018March 7th, 2018No Comments

While President Trump may have popularized the term, “fake news,” the late Nisei journalist Jimmie Omura and the draft resisters were battling fake news long before Trump was even born.

During a special program on March 10 at the Mezzanine meeting area of Sakura Square in Denver, Arthur A. Hansen, professor emeritus of history at California State University, Fullerton, will share excerpts from an upcoming memoir of Omura, which will touch upon the journalist’s World War II court trial that stemmed from his support of the Heart Mountain draft resisters, his subsequent ostracism from the Nikkei community and his re-emergence as a civil rights leader during the 1980s.

“Nisei Naysayer,” a book about the life of journalist James “Jimmie” Matsumoto Omura, is set to be published this year.

Omura’s memoir, “Nisei Naysayer,” will be published by Stanford University Press in late 2018 and is based, in part, on journals kept by the Bainbridge Island, Wash.-born Omura, who moved to Denver, Colo., to avoid camp incarceration and lived out his post-war years in the area.

The program, set to begin at 1 p.m., is being co-sponsored by the Japanese American Resource Center of Colorado, the Japanese American Association of Colorado and the UCLA Asian American Studies Center’s Eiji Suyama Endowment, which strives to preserve the history of Japanese American dissent during World War II.

This 60-minute program will begin with a short introduction about the Suyama Project by Professor David K. Yoo, vice provost for the Institute of American Cultures and professor of Asian American Studies and History at the University of California, Los Angeles. There will also be a website presentation on the Suyama Project.

Yoo will then be followed by Hansen, in dialogue with Lane Hirabayashi, professor emeritus of Asian American Studies and the former George & Sakaye Aratani Endowed Chair at UCLA.

In addition, there will be a question and answer session, as well as a light reception.

The Sakura Square Mezzanine meeting area is located at 1905 Larimar St. in downtown Colorado. To get to the meeting room, the Sakura Square Mezzanine is located at ground level on Larimer Street, between 19th and 20th streets, and not at the regular Sakura Square address.

For more information or to RSVP, please contact Marge Taniwaki at or call (303) 333-2130.