Many Japanese Americans who've grown up since World War II -- myself included -- dreaded December 7 every year. As kids (and sometimes as adults) we've been taunted with hateful calls to "Go home, Jap!," "Go back where you cam from!" and the classic, "Remember Pearl Harbor!"
All my life, I've instinctively sought out elders. I longed for their patient, thoughtful scrutiny -- to be truly seen by someone who is wise. Someone who is critically detached, perceptive and yet very fond.
I was just five years old, and would spend much of my childhood behind barbed wire in that camp and, later, another in California called Tule Lake. One hundred twenty thousand other Japanese Americans from the West Coast suffered a similar fate.
Sen. Inouye holds a special place in the hearts of those of us working to support the U.S.-Japan partnership. His story reminds us of our shared history and how far we have come. It is fitting that the senator's last word was "aloha."
This was a good year for Japanese and Japanese-Americans in Colorado. A lot of the credit goes to Ikuhiko Ono, the consul general who came to Denver late last year and has made a concerted effort to reach out to the local Japanese-American community.
Today the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors took a small step toward correcting a large mistake, and in doing so, we can remind ourselves that there are plenty of civil rights questions today that must be handled justly and courageously.
The King hearings do little to keep our country secure and do plenty to increase prejudice, discrimination and hate. I thought we learned a lesson or two from my internment camp experience in Colorado. I hope I am not proven wrong.