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February 18, 2024, 5:30 - 7:00 pm
San Jose Buddhist Church
Betsuin Annex
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On Sunday, February 18, 2024, 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, from 5:30 – 7:00 pm. 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. 

The 2024 theme "Youth Activism: Building Community" takes on additional meaning as the war in Gaza has 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 WWII Topaz camp survivor, will share his remembrances of his family's 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 through Japantown will honor those who were incarcerated in America's concentration camps.

Seating is limited.  Masks are encouraged.  This event is free of charge but donations are welcome.

Nina Chuang

In this preview trailer for the 2024 San Jose Day of Remembrance, Nina Chuang, former SJSU student body president, talks about the student movement to get SJSU to acknowledge its role in the incarceration of those in the local Japanese community.

Dr. Yvonne Kwan

Veronica Martinez, a member of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band Land Trust Board of Directors, speaks about the importance of protecting Juristac.  Clip courtesy of  Amah Mutsun Tribal Band.

Samir Laymoun

Sumi Tanabe was born in Long Beach, California. She and her family were incarcerated at Jerome, Arkansas and Gila River, Arizona. After their release they settled in Fowler, ten miles south of Fresno, where she attended grammar school and high school. She earned an AA degree from Fresno City College and a BS in Organizational Behavior from University of San Francisco.  Sumi has been involved with the Buddhist Church for 50 years in many roles. She is the first woman President of the San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin and board member, Dharma School teacher and Minister Assistant. Sumi volunteers at Fuji Towers as a member of the board and served as President of the Board; and as President of the American Association of University Women, serving on the committees for homeless, legal advocacy, and scholarships.

San Jose Taiko

Continuously innovating, San Jose Taiko has been collaborating with performers from other communities and integrating other forms of artistic expression into their set in recent years.

Athar Siddiqee

Athar Siddiqee is currently the Chairman of the South Bay Islamic Association (SBIA), which is the longest-running Muslim organization in the South Bay Area.  He has also served on the boards of the Council of American-Islamic Relations - San Francisco Bay Area chapter and the West Valley Muslim Association.


The traditional candlelight procession through historic Japantown allows participants to remember how the incarceration of Japanese Americans devastated the community and to reflect on what that event means to us today.

Reparative Justice: Together We Rise

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Courtesy of

J-Town Community TV

Courtesy of

NBC Bay Area News

Courtesy of

Pro Bono Photography

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