Japan Week celebrates Japanese culture

Throughout the entire week of Oct. 4, Japan Week has been in full swing. Japan Week is a weeklong celebration of Japanese culture and history, beginning on Monday with a game of “Go” and ending on Saturday with a fully-fledged celebration throughout all of campus with various activities and lectures to attend. Other events include origami, documentaries, and various demonstrations.
The events were held in various locations around Bellevue College campus and were open to anyone interested.
One event that went on was the showing of a documentary titled “Never Give Up” about one man named Minoru Yasui and his fight against social injustice.
“It’s the story about his fight for social justice. Particularly around the incarceration of Japanese-Americans during World War II,” said Barbara Yasui, the niece of Minoru Yasui and speaker at this particular event. “Even after, he still fought for social liberties and injustices of other people.”
Yasui was one of the people who fought against the incarceration of Japanese-Americans and his fight went all the way to the supreme court. Afterwards, he went to Chicago and began to advocate for other people, and then even later he was acknowledged by Obama after his death.
“The reasons [Japanese Internment] happened were world war time hysteria, racism and lack of political leadership. So, as we look at current events today, we have to look at those same three things and say ‘are those happening in our country today? And if they are, how do we prevent a repeat of what happened in 1942?” said Yasui.
In another talk, one student said, “I didn’t know about Japanese history until I moved to Seattle, and I was shocked to find out all of this information.” The student also added, “And when I spoke to people here about it, I was surprised to find that very few people knew about it here, too.”
For the final event of the week, a man came into Carlson theater and gave a lecture where he talked about Taiko and then demonstrated it. He explained the history of Taiko in the U.S, which began in San Francisco, and talked about how he spent 10 years in Japan learning about Taiko.

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