Home About News and Events Chapters Projects Contact
 

Hoosier Chapter History

Hoosier JACL ... In the Beginning

On Saturday, January 24, 1976, an historic meeting took place in Indianapolis, Indiana. The first general meeting of the Hoosier Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League was held on this memorable date at the Heritage House Smorgasbord with over 50 in attendance. George Umemura served as master of ceremonies. The meeting marked the emergence of the 94th Chapter of JACL as well as the 9th chapter in the Midwest District.


The featured speaker at the first general meeting was Shig Wakamatsu, who had served in numerous capacities in the National JACL dating back to its beginning. Mr. Wakamatsu began with a recollection of his personal expe­riences including the formation of the Puyallup Chapter when he was a youngster. He discussed the trials and tribu­lations as well as successes experienced by JACL in the in­ternment camps during WorId War II and the new role emerging for JACL due to the changing needs and member­ship of upcoming generations of Sansei (3rd generation), Y onsei (4th generation), and others of allied interests enter­ing the JACL picture.


The first Board of Directors of the Hoosier Chapter, elected on February 10, 1976, included Dr. George Ume­mura (president), Dr. Terry Ishihara (vice president), Mrs. Shigeko Tachiki (secretary), Rev. Masaichi Katayama (treasurer), Mr. William R. Alexander (historian), Mr. Dale N. Schroeder (public relations), Mrs. Keiko Nolan (Fujin­kai), Mrs. Yaeko Alexander, Dr. Charles Matsumoto, Dr. Ken Tachiki, Mr. Ernest Takamoto, Rev. James Sugioka, and Miss Mary Sato.

Charter Members
William & Yaeko Alexander
Hiroshi & Martha Arashi
John & Toshiko Buck
Tsuru (Betty) Bunnell
Donal & Chieko Campbell
Kenneth & Keiko Casady
Frank & Yoko Chase
Fusako (Nadine) Clawson
Lynn Cohee
Ayano Everts
David Fukuda
James & Noriko Gines 
George & Elinor Hanasono
Charles & K. Sue Hannel
Kenneth & Jane Ikeda
Terry & Simiko Ishihara
Chieko Jacobs
Teruko James
Masaichi Katayama
James & Doris Maeda
Charles & Mary Matsumoto
Gerry & Marie Matsumoto
Ken & Yasuko Matsumoto
Thomas & Amy Migaki
Walter & Shirley Nakatsukasa
David & Keiko Nolan
Mako Pekarski
Herman & Fusako Penner
Mary Sato
Katsuko Scott
Michiko Selby
Robert & Fumiko Togasaki
Michiko Turner
George & Jean Umemura
Masako Urquhart
Mitsuyo Woodward
Stanley & Marge Yamafuji

Past Presidents
1976   George Umemura
1977   Bill Alexander
1978   George Hanasono
1979   Shirley Nakatsukasa
1980   Yasuko Matsumoto
1981   Norman Selby*
1982   Katsuto Kojiro
1983   Ken Matsumoto  
1984   Sue Hannel
1985   Kate Ase
1986   Walter Nakatsukasa
1987   George Umemura
1988   George Umemura
1989   Bill Ridge
1990   Yasuko Matsumoto
1991   Mike Katayama*
1992   Mike Katayama*
1993   Mimi Hirata
1994   Charles Matsumoto
1995   Charles Matsumoto
1996   Charles Matsumoto
1997   David Suzuki
1998   David Suzuki
1999   David Suzuki
2000   David Suzuki
2001   Tom Yamamoto

*1n Memoriam

SOURCE: 25th Anniversary Celebration, 1976-2001
[program prepared for anniversary luncheon at Five Seasons Country Club, Indianapolis, Indiana, March 10, 2001]

 

Forming a Japanese American Community – The Hoosier JACL1

The total Japanese American population in Indiana tripled between 1950 and 1960, then doubled between 1960 and 1970 to a count of 2,279 in the 1970 census. By the early 1970s people began to think about forming ethnic organizations. In 1976 the U.S. Bicentennial provided the catalyst for the formation of many new ethnic organizations in central Indiana, including the Hoosier Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL).2

In 1975 a small group of Japanese American residents began exploring the possibility of forming an Indiana chapter of the JACL. The decision to found an organization that was affiliated with a branch of a national Japanese American organization grew out of their previous residence in other parts of the country and, in some cases, their prior experience with the JACL. The Rev. James Sugioka, for example, had been president of the San Benito (California) chapter of the JACL and was elected national secretary, a post he held at the outbreak of World War II. He was assigned by his church, the Disciples of Christ Church (headquartered in Indianapolis),  to help resettle Japanese-American internees in the Midwest near the end of WWII. In this regard, he played a major role in the resettlement of pioneering families of interned Issei and Nisei to the Midwest region. 3


Those interviewed for this study agree, however, that the main organizer of Indiana’s JACL chapter was Mary Sato, a civil service employee at Fort Benjamin Harrison. She also knew Japanese Americans who worked at Eli Lilly and Company, a firm that had been hiring Asian American scientists and professionals since at least the 1920s.4

One of the oral history interviewees for this study, George Umemura, was born in 1923 in Seattle. He was attending the University of Washington when the war broke out, and he was taken with his family to Minidoka, an internment camp in Idaho. Through the National Japanese American Student Relocation Council (NJASRC), he was able to attend Ohio Wesleyan University. After earning his M.B.A. and doctorate in business administration at Indiana University, Umemura found a job in New York City with The Conference Board. There he met some executives from Eli Lilly and Company who recruited him to work for their firm. He accepted the job and moved with his wife, Jean, and their children to Indianapolis in 1957.5

Charles Matsumoto, another interviewee, was born in San Jose, California, in 1932. One of twelve brothers and sisters, he came from a farm background in a community that had a large Japanese American population. In 1942 the Matsumoto family moved to Ault, Colorado, where they again went into farming. Charles Matsumoto was able to return to California after the war and finish his schooling, earning degrees from San Jose State University and the University of Idaho before getting his doctorate in pharmacology from the University of Washington. After a post-doctoral appointment at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, Matsumoto was hired by Eli Lilly and Company in 1965. He and his wife Mary moved to Indianapolis where he worked in Lilly’s downtown research complex for 27 years, retiring in 1992.6

A third interviewee, George Hanasono, was born in San Francisco in March 1941. His family, a branch of the Sugioka clan, left the state when they learned that they were going to be interned, moving to Colorado before the government could evacuate them. After the war, the family returned to California. Hanasono attended UCLA, receiving his undergraduate degree in 1964, and then joined the U.S. Navy, serving at the Naval Medical Research Center in Bethesda, Maryland. In 1972 he completed his doctorate in pharmacology at the University of Iowa, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Montreal. Hanasono then joined the toxicology division of Eli Lilly and Company, working at the laboratory in Greenfield, Indiana. Coming to Indiana in the 1970s, he found a number of Asian and Japanese Americans working for the company, especially at its downtown branch.7

All of these early Hoosier JACL leaders came to Indiana from major urban areas that were generally more cosmopolitan than Indianapolis, which did not have an ethnic community per se. The historian Justin Libby has pointed out that Japanese Americans, like other mid- and late-twentieth century immigrants and ethnic group members settling in Indianapolis, did not cluster in ethnic neighborhoods. The first membership roster of the Hoosier Chapter bears out this observation. The 31 addresses on the roster, representing a total of 54 members, are distributed into 14 different Indianapolis zip codes, plus Carmel, Franklin, New Palestine, and Terre Haute, Indiana.8

Along with Mary Sato, Professor Terry Ishihara of Rose-Hulman University, and others, these employees from Lilly formed the core group that established the Hoosier Japanese American Citizens League. What did they hope to accomplish by starting an organization for Japanese Americans in Indiana?
The first objective of the new group was simply to create a means of fostering social encounters among Japanese Americans. In the absence of institutions such as ethnic churches and neighborhoods, there was little occasion to get together with people of like ethnicity. Until the JACL was formed, there was really no venue for any social interactions with other Asians at all.9

Second, the interviewees for this study talked about their hope that the organization would help to preserve a sense of ethnic heritage in their children. Many Hoosier JACL members who were war brides grew up in a Japanese environment but now lived in mixed marriages. They saw the new Japanese American organization as a means of incorporating ethnic art forms and traditions into the lives of their children in a group situation. To that end, the new Hoosier JACL leaders wanted to provide opportunities to practice their ethnic culture and lifestyles. Sharing home-cooked foods by gathering at pitch-in luncheons and dinners was clearly an important focus of Hoosier JACL meetings. These experiences were often arranged as part of a traditional occasion, such as a summer picnic or Christmas party.10

The role of cultural representative was also important since the organizers of the JACL felt that a formal association could be a vehicle to enlighten the general public in Indiana about Japanese culture and Japanese American issues. The need to do so was emphasized in the course of planning for activities surrounding the first International Festival, at a time when Hoosiers were beginning to notice the increasing diversity in their communities. Some JACL leaders, however, had long felt the desire to share elements of their heritage with their peers.

Jean (Kanno) Umemura, for example, came from a family that produced educators. Her maternal grandfather had been a school principal in Japan, where her mother was also a teacher. Before the war, the Kanno family lived in the Green Lake area, a suburb of Seattle. During the war years, Jean’s sister was enrolled at the University of Michigan, and the Kanno family later left Minidoka and relocated to Michigan. Jean herself attended Michigan State Normal (now Eastern Michigan) University in Ypsilanti, and while in Michigan, she became reacquainted with George Umemura who had first met the Kanno family in Seattle. After their marriage, Jean moved to Indiana with her husband, earned her master’s degree, and taught at Allisonville School in Indianapolis’ Washington Township for 30 years.11

The Umemuras and other Hoosier JACL organizers were enthusiastic about sharing Japanese culture with their fellow citizens. Dale N. Schroeder wrote in the first newsletter:

The Hoosier Chapter of JACL will be a moving, vibrant organization that will epitomize those principles that make American Tradition and Japanese Heritage respected throughout the world . . . . We are located at the crossroads of America. What better place to show, in this our Bicentennial Year, that Japanese American citizens are fully involved in community activities.12

The first meeting of the Hoosier Chapter of the JACL took place on January 24, 1976, at the Heritage House Smorgasbord in Indianapolis. The chapter was to be chartered as the 94th chapter of the national JACL and the 9th in the Midwest District, which was represented at the meeting by Tom Hibino, the JACL’s Midwest Regional Director. The Midwest District Council already included chapters in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Dayton, Detroit, Minneapolis-St. Paul, St. Louis, and Wisconsin, as well as a large chapter in Chicago, all areas where the War Relocation Authority had worked to place resettlers. These other chapters, however, had been formed during the period from 1945 to 1949; the Hoosier Chapter was the first new midwestern chapter in nearly three decades.13

The first board of directors of the Hoosier Chapter included 13 members. Two were clergymen; four held Ph.D. degrees; most were Nisei or Sansei. Officers included George Umemura, president; Terry Ishihara, vice president; the Rev. Masaichi Katayama, treasurer; and William Alexander (who later became the chapter’s second president), historian. Four women served on this board: Mrs. Shigeko Tachiki, Mrs. Keiko Nolan, head of the Fujinkai (women’s association), Mary Sato, and Alexander’s wife, Yaeko Alexander.14

The initial meetings of the Hoosier Chapter were aimed at helping members and prospective members to become familiar with each other. Hence, the board planned a Let’s Get Acquainted Dinner, a Family Pitch-In Dinner, and a Family Potluck Picnic for spring and summer of 1976, but it promised to diversify its agenda into “non-social” program areas in subsequent meetings. A survey of the membership showed that a majority favored engaging in activities that dealt with Japanese customs, heritage, and/or language. The chapter also immediately began to participate in regional and national JACL meetings and affairs, and it joined the Nationalities Council, a “sounding board and steering group” of the International Center of Indianapolis (ICI). The ICI was in charge of two major events in 1976:  the July 4th Bicentennial Jubilee in downtown Indianapolis and the International Bicentennial Festival, held October 7-10 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.15

The new JACL chapter did not have the capacity to take on both events, so the board decided to forego the Bicentennial Jubilee and concentrate on the fall festival. In preparation for the International Festival, Keiko Nolan and Etsuko Oba formed a Japanese folk dance or “minyo” group, inviting women and men from the chapter to join. Other festival activities included mounting a cultural display booth—with demonstrations of Japanese ink painting (sumi-e), flower arrangement (ikebana), and tea ceremony (sadou)—and selling homemade teriyaki chicken as a fundraiser. After the event, the chapter celebrated its achievement with a pitch-in dinner in November featuring movies and snapshots of festival activities. The Hoosier JACL had been successfully launched.16

Despite the early focus on cultural activities, festival participation, and fund raising, the Hoosier JACL board had not forgotten its commitment to delve into more substantive issues and concerns of the Japanese American populace. In 1977 the Hoosier Chapter challenged the JACL’s Midwest District Council (MDC) Governor Lillian Kimura to address the question of programming for intermarried members, especially “Caucasian American men with wives born and raised in Japan.”  In a letter reprinted in the August 1977 issue of the chapter’s newsletter, Kimura responded that the MDC had asked the Cincinnati Chapter to convene a committee with representatives from the Cincinnati, Dayton, and Hoosier chapters to consider this issue. She went on to suggest that the group under discussion be broadened to include “children of such marriages, interethnic union [probably marriages with non-Japanese Asians], Niseis/Sanseis who have married non-Japanese, and American women married to Japanese nationals.”  Kimura also made the point that the nine Midwest District Councils, “from their very inception over thirty years ago” (i.e., immediately after World War II), had had the participation of intermarried couples, many in leadership roles.17

It is interesting to note that the Midwest was, for once, on the cutting edge of a hot ethnic topic, one which did not gain national recognition until the 1990s when an outmarriage rate that exceeded 60 percent impacted the Japanese American population as a whole. The Cincinnati committee planned a workshop, held on August 26, 1978, to consider the needs and interests of interracial families. Lida Fukumura (Cincinnati Chapter) and Bill Alexander (Hoosier Chapter) sent a letter of invitation wherein the rationale for the workshop was explained as follows:

It has been said that the Midwest JACL is unique. It can be distinguished from National in many respects. One manifestation of this difference may be found in the relative composition of membership at the local chapter level in such areas as proportion of interracial marriages, number of post WWII immigrants vis-à-vis the Issei/Nisei/Sansei categories, number of non-Nikkei members, etc. Such uniqueness has prompted this exploration of who we are, what our special needs [are], and how they are being met.

In addition to language barriers, social and cultural needs, and racial discrimination, the workshop agenda included topics of special interest to midwestern JACL members: acceptance or recognition of Japanese Americans in their communities as Americans and concerns for children of interracial marriages.18      

The next challenge taken up by the young organization was the campaign for Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week (APAHW). On October 5, 1978, the 95th Congress adopted a Joint Resolution (HJR-1007) proclaiming the first week in May “Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week.”  May was selected because of two significant dates in history:  the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants in the U.S. on May 7, 1843, and the driving of the “golden spike” on May 10, 1869, a date symbolizing the contribution of Chinese laborers to the building of the transcontinental railroad. In March 1979 the Hoosier Chapter received a memorandum from J.D. Hokoyama, JACL associate national director, urging that each chapter participate in APAHW with appropriate activities and events.19

The Hoosier Chapter organized a campaign to have Governor Otis R. Bowen and Indianapolis Mayor William H. Hudnut III issue official proclamations designating May 4-10, 1979, as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week. The chapter began by contacting six other Asian groups that belonged to the Nationalities Council and enlisting their support. Alfred Tsang, the president of the Indianapolis Association of Chinese Americans (IACA), was at that time also vice president of the Nationalities Council and as such was able to get George Hanasono appointed chairman of an ad hoc committee of the International Center of Indianapolis (called the Asian/Pacific American Heritage Committee), hence ensuring the endorsement of the ICI. A successful letter-writing campaign by all these organizations quickly secured the gubernatorial and mayoral proclamations.20

The Hoosier Chapter found itself in a leadership position with respect to the APAHW campaign and became a conduit of information largely because in 1979 it was  Indiana’s only Asian American group with national ties. The IACA was not at that time affiliated with the Organization of Chinese Americans, the parallel national organization to the JACL. The JACL’s pan-Asian approach to the APAHW campaign was suggested, of course, by the Congressional Resolution itself; the concept was to celebrate Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week. The proclamation drafts submitted to the mayor’s and governor’s offices, both of which were accepted verbatim, spoke of how Asian/Pacific Americans had contributed to the “growth and progress” of the city and state through “their pursuit of education, their industry and enterprise.”21

When the movement for Redress began, the Detroit JACL chapter sponsored a Midwest District Council Redress Conference, held on the campuses of the University of Michigan and Wayne State University on March 16 and 17, 1979. The keynote speaker was U.S. Representative Norman Mineta from California’s 13th Congressional District. “Civil liberties,” he told the delegates, including Charles Matsumoto and George Hanasono from the Hoosier Chapter, “do not sustain themselves.”  The Hoosier Chapter decided to ask John Tateishi, chairman of the JACL National Committee for Redress, to speak in Indiana. Tateishi spoke at the Warren Branch of the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library on January 18, 1980, and at about this time the Hoosier Chapter formed a Redress Committee that began making regular reports at chapter board meetings. Tateishi asked the chapter to participate in the Redress campaign by educating their communities on the issues, eliciting endorsements from other human rights organizations, and raising funds. The chapter’s vice president, Lieutenant Colonel Norman D. Selby, sent a letter to U.S. Representative David W. Evans asking that a flag be flown over the United States Capitol on February 19, 1980, on the 38th anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066, and that the flag be sent to the Hoosier Chapter to be used in observances and educational programs. Representative Evans fulfilled this request.22

Japanese Americans in Congress, led by Senator Daniel Inouye, advised the national JACL to call for a commission to investigate the circumstances of the internment before trying to get Redress legislation through the Congress, a strategy that ultimately proved effective. In August 1979 George Hanasono, as the Hoosier Chapter’s legislative chairman, sent a letter to its members urging them to write to their congressmen in support of such a measure. The following year a bill to form the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians (CWRIC) passed the House and the Senate and was signed by President Jimmy Carter on July 31, 1980.23

The Hoosier Chapter’s Redress Committee was chaired by Shirley Nakatsukasa. Her committee had been working hard, and, as reported in the chapter’s newsletter, had “done a phenomenal job, under Shirley’s determined, aggressive leadership.”  The MDC had outlined a five-point approach for the campaign:  fundraising, witness identification, organizational endorsements, media contact, and resolutions from governmental bodies. Indiana could count successes in three of these areas:  the chapter had raised over $1,500 for the cause, three people had agreed to serve as witnesses (Terry and Simi Ishihara of Terre Haute and Constance Yasuda of Bloomington), and endorsements had been secured from the Indiana Interreligious Commission on Human Equality and the Urban League.24

The CWRIC hearings brought the issue of Redress to the attention of the press throughout the nation, and Indianapolis was no exception. On July 17, 1981, the Indianapolis Star carried an AP wire story which it headlined “Japanese-Americans want cash for internment,” reviewing the testimony of witnesses before the commission in Washington, D.C. For a July 19 article, Star reporter Thomas Leyden interviewed two Hoosiers who were internees, George and Jean Umemura. Although media contact proved to have mixed results, Leyden’s article did cover the facts of the relocation and internment and tell the Umemura’s stories of their wartime experiences. Reviewing the facts was an important initial step. The Redress movement was not taught in schools at that time, and it was not well understood even by some Hoosier JACL members. The first objective of the Redress campaign was, in fact, to raise the level of awareness about the Internment in the general population.25

The chapter’s attempt to gain a resolution from a governmental body, on the other hand, led to one of the most startling and dramatic episodes in its history. Matters came to a head in a heated confrontation between Shirley Nakatsukasa and Don E. Christensen, a member of the Indianapolis-Marion County Human Rights Commission. After weeks of debate on whether the commission would hear an address from the JACL, Nakatsukasa was given ten minutes to speak before the commissioners at a meeting on September 17, 1981. In an attempt to keep her from speaking, Christensen sought to adjourn the meeting, but his motion failed for lack of a second. He then held aloft a copy of the December 7, 1941, Honolulu Bulletin and asked, “Is it any wonder that people at this time considered them an enemy?” He followed up this question by arguing that the internment was done to protect Japanese Americans from harm and added that if Mexico were to invade the U.S., Mexican Americans might be justifiably interned. Others present, including several commission members, felt that Nakatsukasa should be heard, whether or not the commission had any jurisdiction over the grievance, and Barta Hapgood Monro, representing the National Conference of Christians and Jews, charged that arguments against hearing the JACL’s presentation were based on racism. Nakatsukasa was finally allowed to speak, and she certainly got media coverage, for the Star reported the entire incident under the headline, “Dark part of U.S. history is aired.”  The Hoosier Chapter later complained to Mayor Hudnut about Christensen’s behavior, but the mayor replied that any member of the commission had a right to express his views.26

The Redress campaign in Indiana was a series of moderate successes. A meeting was arranged with an aide of Senator Richard Lugar. The aide was not able to give much time to discussing the issue, which disappointed the Hoosier JACL delegation, yet it eventually turned out that Senator Lugar supported Redress.27

Clearly, the post-World War II migration of Japanese Americans from other parts of the country to Indiana has been driven by jobs, especially professional opportunities. When these Niseis and Sanseis came to Indiana, they brought with them the background and connections that led them to form the Hoosier Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League. The Hoosier JACL quickly became a cornerstone of the Japanese American community in the state.28

 

References

1 This chapter history was adapted from a master’s thesis by Nancy Nakano Conner, Forming a Japanese American Community in Indiana, 1941-1990, Indiana University, 2005.

2 U.S. Bureau of the Census, Table 26, “Age and Sex for Selected Racial Groups: 1990,” 1990 Census of Population, General Population Characteristics:  Indiana (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1992), 89; Susan McKee, “Nationalities Council of Indiana, Inc.,” October 15, 2008, <http://hosted.liberalarts.iupui.edu/~spmckee/nci.html> (December 2, 2008).

3 Nancy Nakano Conner, “From Internment to Indiana: Japanese Americans, the War Relocation Authority, the Disciples of Christ, and Citizen Committees in Indianapolis,” Indiana Magazine of History 102 (2006): 101. Available online at: http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/imh/view.do?docId=VAA4025-102-2-a01 (as of 1/4/09).

4 George Umemura, interview by author, September 25, 2003. All oral history interviews conducted for this study have been deposited in the collection of the Center for the Study of History and Memory at Indiana University (Bloomington)

5 George Umemura interview..

6 Charles Matsumoto, interview by author, January 14, 2004.

7 George Hanasono, interview by author, December 3, 2003.

8 Justin Libby, “Japanese,” in Peopling Indiana:  The Ethnic Experience, ed. Robert M. Taylor, Jr., and Connie A. McBirney (Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society, 1996), 309; The Hoosier JACL Newsletter 1 (June 1976), Hoosier Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League papers, in possession of the author, Indianapolis (hereafter “Hoosier JACL papers”). All copies of The Hoosier JACL Newsletter (the newsletter of the Hoosier Chapter, renamed Bamboo Heritage beginning with the April 1977 issue) that are referenced herein are in the Hoosier JACL papers.  

9 Charles Matsumoto interview.

10 George Hanasono interview.

11 Jean Umemura interview by author, September 25, 2003.

12 The Hoosier JACL Newsletter 1 (Mar. 1976).

13 JACL Midwest District Council Board Member’s Handbook, July 1997, Hoosier JACL papers.

14 The Hoosier JACL Newsletter 1 (Mar. 1976); The Hoosier JACL Newsletter 1 (June, 1976).

15 The Hoosier JACL Newsletter 1 (June 1976).

16 The Hoosier JACL Newsletter 1 (Nov. 1976).

17 Bamboo Heritage 2 (Aug., 1977).

18 Harry H.L. Kitano and Roger Daniels, Asian Americans:  Emerging Minorities, 2d ed. (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1995), 187-8; Lida Fukumura and Bill Alexander to MDC Chapter Presidents and Board Members and to MDC Staff, Letter [photocopy], [1978], Hoosier JACL papers. The August 1978 issue of Bamboo Heritage carried an announcement of the workshop in English, the usual language of the newsletter, and beside it a rare handwritten translation in Japanese. The title of the workshop in English is “Interracial Marriage Workshop,” but the term used in Japanese is “kokusai kekkon,” meaning “international marriage,” which would of course be the case for Japanese-speaking readers. Tipton, Indiana, native William Alexander, who co-chaired the workshop, was married to Yaeko Alexander, who came to Indiana from Yokohama in 1958 (Indianapolis News, December 2, 1977).

19 J.D. Hokoyama to Chapter Presidents, District Governors, Regional Directors, NYCC Board, “Asian/Pacific Heritage Week,” Memorandum, March 5, 1979, Hoosier JACL papers.

20 Bamboo Heritage 4 (June 1979); George K. Hanasono to Alfred Tsang, Dorothy Alfonso (Philippine American National Association), Yun Song (Korean Society), Victor Chiu (Chinese Association of Indiana), Felixberto Garcia (Barangue Club of Indianapolis), Hoe Ngu Yen Xuan (Vietnamese and Friends Association), 6 letters [photocopies], March 30, 1979, Hoosier JACL papers; Alfred K.B. Tsang to George K. Hanasono, Letter [photocopy], April 3, 1979, Hoosier JACL papers.

21 “Sample Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week Resolution,” enclosure to Hokoyama memorandum, March 5, 1979; George K. Hanasono to Governor Otis R. Bowen and to Mayor William H. Hudnut III, 2 letters and enclosures (“Proposed Draft for the Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week Proclamation”) [photocopies], April 9, 1979, Hoosier JACL papers. A photograph in the Hoosier JACL archives shows the mayor signing the proclamation, with Shirley Nakatsukasa prominently posed with him in the center of this photograph.

22 Bamboo Heritage 4 (Apr., 1979); Bamboo Heritage 5 (Jan.-Feb. 1980); Redress Committee Report in Secretary’s Book 1976-80, February 10, 1980, Hoosier JACL papers; Norman D. Selby to David W. Evans, Letter [photocopy], January 26, 1980, Hoosier JACL papers.

23 Maki, Mitchell T., Harry H. L. Kitano, and S. Megan Berthold, Achieving the Impossible Dream: How Japanese Americans Obtained Redress (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1999), 86, 99; George Hanasono to Hoosier JACL Chapter Members and Friends, Letter [photocopy], August 21, 1979, Hoosier JACL papers.

24 Bamboo Heritage 6 (June-July 1981).

25 Indianapolis Star, July 17, 19, 1981; George Hanasono interview; Charles Matsumoto interview.

26 Indianapolis Star, September 18, 1981; minutes of the November 18, 1981, Board Meeting, Secretary’s Book, 1980- , n.d., Hoosier JACL papers.

27 George Hanasono interview.

28 Charles Matsumoto interview.

Back

2009 Midwest District Japanese American Citizens League. All Rights Reserved.