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Issei internment stories at UH Hilo

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Date: Thursday, July 2, 2009
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 974-7642

For Immediate Release

Gail Y. Okawa, professor of English at Youngstown State University in Ohio, shares her research and personal stories of Japanese immigrants interned during World War II on Saturday, July 11, at 10:30 a.m. at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo UCB 100. Her presentation is sponsored by the UH Hilo College of Continuing Education and Community Service and there are no admission and parking charges.

Okawa’s maternal grandfather, who was the minister at the Ola‘a Japanese Christian Church in 1941, was interned, although Okawa herself never learned the details.

“I don’t think my grandfather was unusual, in terms of his silence,” Okawa said.

Starting in 2002, Okawa began interviewing internment survivors and families of internees, including many from the Big Island. She has lectured nationally and internationally on issei internment and is currently working on a book-length study on the subject.

Okawa’s presentation will include time for questions and the sharing of stories from the audience.

For more information, contact CCECS at 974-7664.

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