We Hereby Refuse: Japanese American Acts of Resistance During World War II
Three Japanese American individuals with different beliefs and backgrounds decided to resist imprisonment by the United States government during World War II in different ways.
Jim Akutsu, considered by some to be the inspiration for John Okada's No-No Boy, resisted the draft and argued that he had no obligation to serve the US military because he was classified as an enemy alien. Hiroshi Kashiwagi renounced his United States citizenship and refused to fill out the "loyalty questionnaire" required by the US government. He and his family were segregated by the government and ostracized by the Japanese American community for being "disloyal." And Mitsuye Endo became a reluctant but willing plaintiff in a Supreme Court case that was eventually decided in her favor.
These three stories show the devastating effects of the imprisonment, but also how widespread and varied the resistance was.
Frank Abe is writer/director of the film on the largest organized resistance to incarceration, Conscience and the Constitution (PBS), and co-editor of JOHN OKADA: The Life and Rediscovered Work of the Author of No-No Boy (University of Washington Press).
Tamiko Nimura is a Sansei/Pinay freelance writer, editor, and public historian, contributing regularly to Discover Nikkei and the International Examiner.
Ross Ishikawa is a cartoonist and animator living in Seattle.
Matt Sasaki is the artist on Fighting for America: Nisei Soldiers by Lawrence Matsuda.
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