March update

March 5, 2016

Last month we received several donations including a second very generous anonymous contribution from the Vanguard Charitable Trust, which has put us within shouting distance of our fund-raising goal - $39,465. This is a godsend because it frees up time to work on the film itself!

 

We plan to apply for additional grants after our April 23 work-in-progress screening at the Portland Symposium The Life and Legacy of Minoru Yasui: Initiating Action and Igniting Justice.

This donation also means that we have a small amount of funds to hire an associate producer to help with the budget, permissions, publicity, outreach and distribution and to generally assist the co-directors of the film. If anyone knows an experienced producer who might be interested in working on our film, please let us know at info@minoruyasuifilm.org

 

The 2016 Day of Remembrance in Portland, Oregon was dedicated to Minoru Yasui, and the trailer for our film was screened as an opener for a panel that discussed the life and legacy of Minoru Yasui: Homer Yasui on Min Yasui’s youth in Hood River; Heath Hyun reading a new monologue entitled EO9066; a screening of Mike Goldfein’s video Citizen Min; Holly Yasui on Min Yasui’s life in Denver; and Peggy Nagae on Min Yasui’s legacy. A number of people asked about the film and we distributed postcards.

 

 

 

Please feel free to download and distribute this postcard electronically, or if you would like a high-resolution image for hard-copy distribution at events, please let us know.

On February 24, the Oregon legislature unanimously passed a bill designating March 28 as Minoru Yasui Day, recognizing Yasui’s lifelong defense of human and civil rights of all people. The legislative campaign, led by Kimberly McCullough of the ACLU of Oregon and Peggy Nagae of the Min Yasui Tribute committee, was a real team effort, involving the Oregon Historical Society, the Oregon Nikkei Endowment / Legacy Center, Hood River Middle School, and the Yasui family and friends. We have footage of the very moving testimony and statements made at both House and Senate hearings and on the floor, which we will probably use in the film.

 

 Students of Hood River Middle school seated behind family and friends of Minoru Yasui at the Oregon State Legislature.

 

The Governor of Oregon has already expressed her support for a permanent Minoru Yasui Day in Oregon, so the signing of the bill into law is something of a formality.

 

Plans are underway for the first Minoru Yasui Day “Walk for Justice” in Portland that will trace Min’s Yasui’s steps as he defied the World War II curfew on March 28. The marchers will gather at 4:30 p.m. at the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center (121 NW 2nd Ave) and will set out at 5:00 p.m. at Yasui’s former law office and will end up at the former Police Headquarters where he was arrested – SW 2nd Street and Oak Street, now office off the law film Stoll Berne, which is hosting a reception. We have scheduled a shoot of the walk and also on-the-street interviews for the film. If you are in the Pacific Northwest, please join us! Participants will be coming from Seattle, Hood River and Eugene. We want to have a great diversity of marchers, all ethnicities, all ages, all walks of life. For more information write to: minyasuitribute@gmail.com.

 

In other news, the Smithsonian Institute is interested in acquiring a portrait of Minoru Yasui for the National Portrait Gallery for their permanent exhibition, “The Struggle for Justice,” which tells the stories of Americans who fought against discrimination and for civil rights. Yuka Yasui Fujikura, Min’s youngest sister is offering an original photograph from the 1940s autographed by Min Yasui and inscribed to his mother and father (this photo will appear in the film). And in Denver, the Colorado Supreme Court is naming a conference room after Minoru Yasui; a bronze plaque with an etching and description is being cast (his plaque may also appear in the film). In 1944, the Colorado State Bar denied Minoru Yasui entry due to his criminal record, but he appealed to the highest state court and they ruled in his favor, enabling him to practice law in the state.

 

In the meantime, script revision and editing of the film continues …

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