JAPANESE AMERICAN VETERANS ASSOCIATION
1749 Old Meadow Road, Suite 500, McLean, VA 22102 (Bob Nakamoto, President)
July 3, 2009
CONTACT: Terry Shima 301-987-6746;
PHOTO: Photo accompanies this press release
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ERIC SAUL COMMISSIONED TO BUILD JAPANESE AMERICAN EXHIBIT AT ELLIS ISLAND, NEW YORK. EXHIBIT WILL LATER BE DISPLAYED AT OTHER LOCATIONS.
Japanese American Veterans Association
Rosslyn, Virginia. In a presentation at a recent Japanese American Veterans Association luncheon, Eric Saul, former curator of the Military Museum at the Presidio of San Francisco, publicly outlined his ideas for the exhibit on the Japanese Americans experience during World War II to open early next year at the Ellis Island Immigration Station Museum, New York. Commissioned by the National Park Service, which estimates some 7,000 visitors to Ellis Island daily during the warm months, Japanese American soldiers who served during World War II and the 120,000 who were interned for the duration of the war, will be honored. The theme of the exhibit will be “Go For Broke: Japanese Americans soldiers fighting on two fronts, the enemy abroad and prejudice at home.” Saul said he would like “this exhibit to be a Japanese American community project and would welcome any participation and suggestions and loan of photographs and memorabilia.”
JAVA members lunch with Saul. Front row, L-R: Hiroko Kiriishi; Lillian
Yamamoto; Etsu Masaoka; Abibail
Endicott; Mary Murakami; Irene Mori; Second Row, L-R: Aki Konoshima, Grant Hirabayashi; Dr. Warren Tsuneishi,
Akira Yoshida, BettyTsuneishi; Gerald Yamada, Calvin Ninomiya; Dr. Ray Murakami, Grant Ichikawa; 3rd row:
L-R: William Encicott, Dwight Gates (below Endicott); Terry Shima, Eric Saul, Stanley Sagara. Photo by Irene Mori.
Saul explained that the exhibit will be divided into the following components: (1). Japanese Immigration to the United States, 1885-1924; (2). Prewar Japanese Experience in Hawaii and the Mainland, 1924-1941; (3). Pearl Harbor and Japanese American Evacuation and Internment on the West Coast; (4). Japanese American Soldier in World War II; (5). Soldiers Returning Home and the Closing of the Internment Camps; (6). Japanese American Veterans and the Civil Rights Movement; (7). Japanese American Veterans and the Redress Movement – Passage of House Resolution 442; and (8). The Legacy.
“The exhibit will tell the history of the 100th Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion, and Military Intelligence Service (MIS). It will tell this story in the wider context of the role of Japanese American soldiers in influencing the postwar Japanese American experience. The war record of the Nisei soldier had a significant impact on the postwar civil rights of Japanese Americans, and contributed to the successful passing of the House Resolution 442, the Civil Liberties Act of 1988.
“The exhibit will feature many new photographs, oral histories and new documents. The exhibit consists of approximately 175 photographs, text panels, quotes and facsimiles of historic documents. Following the New York premier, the exhibit will later be shown at the Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. It will then tour the United States and Canada.”
Saul served as founding curator of the Military Museum at the Presidio of San Francisco from 1973-1986. He has designed and circulated a number of exhibits on the contribution of minorities to the US military. Included among them were exhibits on African American soldiers, women in the military, Filipinos in the US Army, and the Nisei soldiers of the 100th Battalion, 442nd Regiment, and the MIS. The Japanese American military exhibit toured to numerous venues in the United States, and was adapted as a major exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution entitled A More Perfect Union: Japanese Americans and the Constitution. The exhibit opened in 1987. For this exhibit, he was a technical advisor and consultant.
In 1980, Saul co-founded the Go For Broke 100th/442nd/MIS Foundation, later called the National Japanese American Historical Society (NJAHS) in San Francisco. He was curator from 1981 to 1987, producing exhibits including East to America, which chronicled the story of Japanese American immigration to the United States. Saul has also produced an exhibit entitled Unlikely Liberators on the Japanese American soldiers of the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion, which liberated a sub camp at Dachau extermination center in March 1945. In the 1990’s, Saul served as a consultant for the Japanese American National Museum. In 2002, he created a national project, the Kansha Project, to honor people who risked their reputations to help Japanese Americans during World War II.
Saul has a number of other achievements to his credentials, such as Guest Curator at the Simon Wiesenthal Center – Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles since 1994; founder of Visas for Life: The Righteous and Honorable Diplomats Project to document and honor Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara; and a number of traveling exhibits.
Saul’s principal colleagues in this endeavor are Ted Tsukiyama, Esq., a historian of Japanese American WW II experience, and Daisy Uyeda Satoda, a Japanese American community leader in San Francisco.
The initial cooperating organizations include the National Park Service; Ellis Island Statue of Liberty National Historic Site; Japanese American Veterans Association (JAVA), Washington, DC; Survivors of the Outer Camps of Dachau Concentration Camp, Israel; and Simon Wiesenthal Center – Museum of Tolerance, Los Angeles, California. 30
Eric Saul can be contacted at 810 Windwood Pl; Morgantown, WV 26505; 304-599-0614; firstname.lastname@example.org. 30