2024 SAN JOSE DAY OF REMEMBRANCE
Sunday, February 18, 2024
5:30 - 7:00 pm
San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin Annex
On February 18, 2024 from 5:30 - 7:00 pm, the Nihonmachi Outreach Committee (NOC) will present the 44th annual San Jose Day of Remembrance program in the San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin Annex, 632 North 5th Street, San Jose. This event commemorates Executive Order 9066, which led to the World War II imprisonment of more than 120,000 people of Japanese descent, two-thirds of whom were American citizens.
The theme of the program is "Youth Activism: Building Community." Over the past several years, we have seen students and young people advocate for change on many issues including gun violence legislation, climate change policy, and racial injustice. Several months ago, students at San Jose State University mobilized to have SJSU formally acknowledge its role in violating the civil rights of local Japanese Americans. As part of this historical reckoning, a permanent mural depicting that civil rights tragedy will be constructed at Uchida Hall, the location where Japanese Americans were processed before they were forcibly removed from their community.
Nina Chuang, one of the student leaders of this movement, will speak at the San Jose Day of Remembrance along with Dr. Yvonne Kwan, Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of Asian American Studies at SJSU. In 2023, Chuang and Kwan partnered with several Japantown organizations to host SJSU's first annual Day of Remembrance.
"Youth Activism: Building Community" takes on additional meaning as the events of October 7 and the war in Gaza have ignited strong emotions and protests on college campuses. Samir Laymoun, an organizer of Santa Clara County's annual Palestinian Culture Day and frequent lecturer on Palestine, will express his thoughts about the current situation.
Susumu Ikeda, a Poston camp survivor, will share remembrances of his family's WWII incarceration and the difficult years of resettlement after their release. Athar Siddiqee from the South Bay Islamic Association will make a statement of solidarity from the Muslim community.
Also featured are performances by San Jose Taiko and the traditional candlelight procession through Japantown. The candle lighting ceremony and procession will honor those who were incarcerated in America's concentration camps.
Seating is limited. Masks are recommended. This event is free of charge but donations are welcome.
In this preview trailer for the 2024 San Jose Day of Remembrance, Nina Chuang, former SJSU Associated Students President, talks about the student movement to push SJSU to acknowledge its role in the incarceration of those of Japanese descent from the local community.
Susumu Ikeda recalls how his family did not return to Salinas after their release from the camps because they felt that their hometown was a hotspot for post-war racial tension. The Ikeda family, like many others, made their way to San Jose Japantown where they felt that the climate was more accepting.
Nichi Bei Café Interview
In this episode Time of Remembrance, Will Kaku from NOC and guest speaker Nina Chuang were interviewed about the upcoming San Jose Day of Remembrance and the theme "Youth Activism: Building Community." Courtesy of the Nichi Bei Foundation.
San Jose Taiko
Last year, San Jose Taiko celebrated its 50th anniversary with captivating performances. Continuously innovating, San Jose Taiko has been collaborating with performers from other communities and integrating new forms of artistic expression into their set.