80th anniversary of Japanese internment camps in US is marked by concert at Getty Center

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Saturday, February 19, 2022
Concert marks 80th anniversary of Japanese internment camps in US
A concert at the Getty Center in Brentwood marked 80 years since one of the more shameful moments in American history.

BRENTWOOD, Calif. (KABC) -- Nobuko Miyamoto is a community artist and a third-generation Japanese-American born in Los Angeles. "I was two years old when World War II broke out," said Miyamoto.

She and her family were among the roughly 120,000 Japanese Americans who were forcibly removed from their homes and imprisoned. This weekend, she's performing a concert drawing from her album titled "120,000 stories."

The concert "honors that moment and that period of time, Day of Remembrance when Roosevelt signed the executive order that put us in camp, but the stories that came out of it," she said.

Miyamoto said that those stories came later in life. "Our families didn't want to speak about it. It was a trauma that was maybe a shame and something they wanted to leave behind," she said.

After being a dancer and performer, she found a new purpose writing and singing.

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"It connected us with other struggles that were going on," she said. "The Black struggle, the Latino struggles in this country."

Opening night is Saturday, February 19, the 80th anniversary of the date President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066.

"Day of Remembrance is our story as Japanese Americans. But it is also a path into understanding the stories that are coming out today," said Miyamoto. "People are still struggling in camps, people are still wanting to have voice and wanting to have redress and reparations the way we did. So I think it's about empathy."

The Japanese American National Museum is co-sponsoring the free concert. It is part of The Getty's concert series, Sounds of L.A., which is coming back for the first time since the pandemic.

"I'm so happy that we can say that Japanese Americans, Asian Americans have a sound to give to LA, to share with LA, and that we have the privilege of being here and being able to do it with these beautiful musicians."