The daughter of a World War II Japanese American veteran, purple heart and bronze star recipient has made it her life’s work to carry on her father’s story and countless like him (Photo from Stockton Assembly Center).
The Stockton Record reports Jill Hatanaka will oversee a grant from the National Park Service’s Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program for professional development of teachers in the Stockton, California area to teach the story of Japanese Americans during World War II.
“I tell his story to honor every single person who was interned,” said Hatanaka. “To honor not just our family story, but all 120,000 individuals who were interned.”
The $180,836 grant will be used to train educators to teach the story of incarceration camps, the Fred Korematsu story, the stories of California Assembly Centers and the personal stories of presenters in six regions in California.
“With every family and every person that was interned, there are hundreds of stories,” said Hatanaka, whose father Ben Hatanaka died in 2012. “Every family has a story about their families being interned, and this is the opportunity for us to share those stories and honor our grandparents, our aunts and uncles, their parents, those family members.”
You can read about the role Stockton played in Japanese American history and the Legacy Voices project in the Stockton Record.