michi-nishiura-weglyn

Michi Nishiura Weglyn, 1926-1999

Michi Nishiura Weglyn, 1926-1999

Michi Nishiura Weglyn, 1926-1999
Born in Stockton to parents of Japanese descent, Michi Nishiura lived peacefully on her father’s farm in Brentwood, California, until she and her family were interned at Rivers Relocation Center (Gila River) in Arizona at the start of World War II. Despite the terrible conditions in the camp, she thrived and became a leader. She organized a day-long Girls League Convention that brought over 500 high school girls from towns and cities throughout Arizona to the camp.They discussed issues of the day, toured the camp, and took the message home to their families that the internees “were as American as anybody else.” As the war drew to a close, she won a full scholarship to attend Mount Holyoke College. Unfortunately, she had contracted tuberculosis while in the concentration camp, and her health was poor even after leaving the camp, so she did not finish college. In 1950, she married a Holocaust survivor. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Weglyn designed costumes for Broadway and television. However, in the late 1960s, Weglyn became increasingly engaged with antiwar protests and concerned that the US government publicly denied having used concentration camps during World War II. After eight years of Weglyn’s exhaustive research and writing, Years of Infamy: The Untold Story of America’s Concentration Camps, was published in 1976, bringing to light the abuse of power that resulted in the internment of Japanese Americans. Her book was a catalyst for the Japanese American reparations movement of the 1980s and 1990s, and Weglyn continued to be a leader in the Japanese American community until her death in 1999.

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  1. Michi Nishiura Weglyn, 1926-1999
    Born in Stockton to parents of Japanese descent, Michi Nishiura lived peacefully on her father’s farm in Brentwood, California, until she and her family were interned at Rivers Relocation Center (Gila River) in Arizona at the start of World War II. Despite the terrible conditions in the camp, she thrived and became a leader. She organized a day-long Girls League Convention that brought over 500 high school girls from towns and cities throughout Arizona to the camp.They discussed issues of the day, toured the camp, and took the message home to their families that the internees “were as American as anybody else.” As the war drew to a close, she won a full scholarship to attend Mount Holyoke College. Unfortunately, she had contracted tuberculosis while in the concentration camp, and her health was poor even after leaving the camp, so she did not finish college. In 1950, she married a Holocaust survivor. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Weglyn designed costumes for Broadway and television. However, in the late 1960s, Weglyn became increasingly engaged with antiwar protests and concerned that the US government publicly denied having used concentration camps during World War II. After eight years of Weglyn’s exhaustive research and writing, Years of Infamy: The Untold Story of America’s Concentration Camps, was published in 1976, bringing to light the abuse of power that resulted in the internment of Japanese Americans. Her book was a catalyst for the Japanese American reparations movement of the 1980s and 1990s, and Weglyn continued to be a leader in the Japanese American community until her death in 1999.

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