HomeBad Ass AsiansRafu Shimpo: Japanese American Civil Rights Pioneer Dead at 89
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Rafu Shimpo: Japanese American Civil Rights Pioneer Dead at 89

Jerry Enomoto and his wife Dorothy
Jerry Enomoto and his wife Dorothy

The two time president of the National Japanese American Citizens League and the first Asian American to head the California Department of Corrections is dead at the age of 89, reports Rafu Shimpo.

Jerry Enomoto’s leadership is credited with helping to win redress for Japanese Americans incarcerated in World War II.

“As a corrections officer, I can tell you that the incarceration of the American Japanese was not for their protection … It was a ‘lock-down,’” Ronald Ikejiri  recalls Enomoto testifying. “And, as the head of corrections for the State of California, I know what a ‘lock-down’ implies. This was a ‘lock-down.’”

Enomoto graduated as valedictorian of his high school, Lowell High in San Francisco, while incarcerated at Tule Lake. He went on to serve in the U.S. Army.

You can learn more about his life and legacy in Rafu Shimpo.




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