We are actively working to preserve the physical artifacts as well as the stories and memories of life in one of America's concentration camps located at Poston, Arizona. It was named "Poston" or the "Colorado River Relocation Center", located on the Colorado River Indian Reservation during World War II. The Poston Community Alliance is a 501(c)(3)non-profit group.
Japanese Americans Given Honorary Degrees Six Decades Later
By Ana Tintocalis
May 17, 2010
SAN DIEGO — Carl Yoshimine walks slowly down an aisle during a special ceremony at San Diego State.
Photo: Carl Yoshimine (Poston 322-2-A) (right) and June Kushino (Poston 329-2-B) (left) stand with top-ranking San Diego State University officials on Monday after receiving their honorary degrees on May 17, 2010. Yoshimine and Kushino were denied a college education at San Diego State in 1942 after they were forced into Japanese internment camps.
He's dressed in a black cap and gown. Bright purple flowers hang over his head.
Yoshimine, 82, was a business and economics student at SDSU in 1942. But his college dreams were cut short after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. That's when Yoshimine and other Japanese American students were forced into American internment camps.
“I turned to religion and faith and that seemed to settle things,” Yoshimine recalled. “From that point I was able to forgive, not to forget, but to forgive and to move on.”
Yoshimine is one of a few surviving members from that 1942 class. San Diego State University officials are now making amends more than six decades later. They awarded honorary degrees to more than 20 Japanese Americans. Many family members received the award on behalf of their parents who passed away.
Barbara Mukai's mother Viola Takeda (Poston block 329) passed away just a month ago. Mukai says her mother internalized a lot of the emotional pain from her time in an internment camp. She also didn't share much about her broken college dreams.
“I knew she went for a little bit, I wasn't even sure where or what she studied. So it was a surprise,” Mukai said.
SDSU is the first of six Cal State University campuses to honor Japanese Americans. It's part of the California Nisei College Diploma Project to award honorary degrees to Japanese Americans who were robbed of a college education during World War II.