Remembering the Japanese American Internment

A mindful reflection on vulnerability and courage in the face of extreme external situations that you cannot change.

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How do we act when life gives us a situation that we feel is beyond our control? Humans repeatedly are forced to deal with such conditions. If we are mindful at these moments, wisdom may emerge that will help us to know if we should accept what is happening or try to change it.

On February 19, 75 years ago, an executive order from President Roosevelt lead to the mass incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans. This moment in history is particularly resonant this year because of the recent executive order that banned people from certain countries from entering the United States. One way to honor the lessons of the Japanese American experience, which was called a injustice based on “race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership,” is to reflect on how people responded at that time.

The Essential Gift of Agency

As a person of both Japanese and American roots and experiences, I honor my heritage by reflecting on my relationship with Kiyo Morimoto, a man who became a mentor for me at a critical time in my life when I was trying to…