About the Project

Project Credits

Emi Kuboyama - Project Creator, Interviewer

Todd Holmes - Project Co-Creator, Videographer

Jon Ayon - Film Editor, Producer

Heidi Holmes - Web Designer

anthony antonio - Project Consultant


Project Summary

Emi Kuboyama initiated this project to document the history of the Office of Redress Administration in 2018. A native of Hawaii, she was no stranger to the history of Japanese internment or the impact that dark period still held in Japanese American communities. She also had a direct link to the redress work conducted by the ORA, as she began her legal career with the agency in 1994. While that experience had a profound impact on her personally, she began to increasingly appreciate the historic nature of both the redress program and the ORA as her career evolved from practicing law to working in higher education.

In 2017, Kuboyama attended the University of California, Berkeley’s Advanced Oral History Institute with the idea of recording oral histories on redress. There she met Todd Holmes, a historian with UC Berkeley’s Oral History Center. With the support of a Japanese American Confinement Sites grant from the National Parks Service, Kuboyama and Holmes set out to conduct interviews with former ORA staff and community leaders affiliated with the program, which resulted in The Office of Redress Administration Oral History Project. This project aimed to capture and preserve the first person recollections of those tasked with carrying out the historic redress program, as well as the community leaders that made it possible. In many respects, these interviews represented the first step in documenting that history. The transcripts and recordings of these oral histories are available at the Densho Digital Repository.

The short film, Redress, arose from recognizing the need to put the history of the ORA into conversation with the experience of the Japanese American community in its forty-six year journey from internment to redress. With the generous support of the Henri and Tomoye Takahashi Foundation, Kuboyama and Holmes teamed up with filmmaker Jon Ayon to do just that. The film offers the first in-depth look at the history of redress, narrated by those who took part in the program. It is hoped that the documentary will contribute to further discussions on Japanese American redress and the lessons it holds for future movements. It is also hoped that the film, and project as a whole, fulfills the aim of honoring those who fought for the historic program, as well as the government professionals who carried it out.


Sponsors

Henri and Tomoye Takahashi Charitable Foundation

National Park Service, U.S. Department of Interior

This material is based upon work assisted by a grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of the Interior. This material received Federal financial assistance for the preservation and interpretation of U.S. confinement sites where Japanese Americans were detained during World War II. Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended, the U.S. Department of the Interior prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability or age in its federally funded assisted projects. If you believe you have been discriminated against in any program, activity, or facility as described above, or if you desire further information, please write to:

Office of Equal OpportunityNational Park Service1849 C Street, NWWashington, DC 20240


Special Thanks

Dale Minami

Tom Ikeda and the staff of Densho

Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress (NCRR), formerly known as the National Coalition for Redress/Reparations

Japanese American Citizens League (JACL)

Visual Communications

The Oral History Center at University of California, Berkeley

Geoff McGhee

Stanford University, Graduate School of Education