A concert held to remember the 80th anniversary of Japanese incarceration

Smithsonian Folkways

A concert will be held at the Getty Center in Los Angeles to remember and honor those taken to the Japanese incarceration camps. 

Today marks the 80th anniversary of the executive order 9066 signed by Franklin Roosevelt. 

Nobuko Miyamato, a community artist and a third-generation Japanese American from Los Angeles, is performing a concert in Brentwood. She plans to present songs from her album titled 120,000 Stories, representing the estimated 120,000 Japanese Americans who were imprisoned at the time of incarceration, according to the ABC 7

Miyamato said to ABC 7 that the concert “honors that moment and that period of time, Day of Remembrance when Roosevelt signed the executive order that put us in camp, but the stories that came out of it.”

Densho, a nonprofit organization in Seattle whose mission is to preserve the history of Japanese American incarceration, is hoping for more action taken by the current Japanese American community to preserve these stories from World War II.

“The Nisei generation [second-generation Japanese Americans] really emphasized not forgetting the stories,” the founder and executive director of Densho Tom Ikeda said to the Seattle Times. “My generation [sansei, or third-generation] found ways to then preserve them. And in terms of how the story will exist in the future, it’s up to new generations.”

Miyamato added that her concert is not just about remembering the Japanese incarceration camps, but also representing the voices that are still repressed.

“It is also a path into understanding the stories that are coming out today,” said Miyamoto to ABC 7. “People are still struggling in camps, people are still wanting to have voice and wanting to have redress and reparations the way we did. So I think it’s about empathy.”

Miyamoto will be joined by producers Quetzal Flores, Derek Nakamoto, and a group of musicians that also believe music can tell powerful stories, according to the Gettty Center.

The opening night for the concert will be today and will continue throughout the weekend.

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