February update

February 4, 2016

 

With a very generous donation of $2,500 from the Oregon Historical Society, we’ve collected almost $30,000 to date during our fundraising campaign, well over half our goal. But please continue to tell your friends about our film and our website, www.minoruyasuifilm.org.

 

We’re in contact with Rob Buscher of the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, through supporter Don Kajioka, about the possibility of screening our film there this fall. If anyone else has any distribution tips or would like to organize a screening of our film, please let us know.

 

This month our associate producer, Kelley Baker, is leaving our team due to health reasons. We are sorry to see him go, and appreciate the work he has done. If there is anyone who can help with social media, budgeting, licensing and distribution, we’re now hiring!

 

We had a great day on Feb 1 at the Oregon State Capitol in Salem. House Bill 4009, which proposes March 28 as Minoru Yasui Day in Oregon, passed unanimously in committee and is scheduled for a vote on the floor of the House this week.

 

Twenty members of Min Yasui’s extended family were present, and also visited Governor Kate Brown, representing four generations – Nisei (second generation) Homer Yasui, Min’s youngest brother; Sansei (third generation) including several of Min’s nieces and their husbands; Yonsei (fourth generation) who are the children of the sansei; and Gosei (fifth generation) who are the children of the Yonsei.

 

A distinguished panel also gave testimony – about their World War II experiences (Homer Yasui and George Nakata), post-war experiences (Joan Yasui Emerson), the educational importance of Minoru Yasui Day (grandniece Kendra Wilkins Yasui; Hood River Middle School teacher Sarah Segal and two students, Emma Kelly and Michelle Kinoshita; Dr. Samuel Henry of the state Board of Education), and the legacy of Min Yasui (Dave Fidanque former Executive Director of the ACLU and Kerry Tymchuk, Executive Director of the Oregon Historical Society). If you’d like to see the testimony, it is available for viewing at:

http://oregon.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?clip_id=10494

 

This footage and photographs taken that day, and subsequently during the legislative process, will most likely make their way into our film, as they illustrate the ongoing legacy of Minoru Yasui – thanks to our community supporters including our fiscal sponsor, the Oregon Nikkei Endowment and many others.

 

If Minoru Yasui Day is indeed established in Oregon, as all our advisors agree is most likely (possibly with unanimous votes in the Oregon House and Senate!), the first official MY Day on March 28 will be a very special one. We are planning to film the march from Min’s first law office in the former Foster Hotel in Portland’s old “Chinatown” district to the Police Headquarters where he turned himself in for violation of the military curfew. We hope this scene will make a great opening and closing frame for the film. Stay tuned!

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