If you have trouble viewing the images in this message, you may have to enable the viewing of images
in your mail program or you can click here
SJNoc Logo Image


Nihonmachi Outreach Committee (NOC)
                           Equality, Justice and Peace



In this Issue

California Supreme Court Decision
San Jose Pride

Sake San Jose

A Gathering of Friends

NOC Summer Picnic

Tule Lake Pilgrimage Essay Contest
Graphic: San Jose Pride Banner
After the California Supreme Court's historic decision last Thursday, my wife remarked, "It's a great victory for them." I replied, "It's a great victory for all of us." I believe that the landmark ruling is a great victory for all of us who believe deeply in promoting equality and civil liberties. It's a great victory for all of us who desperately want America to fulfill her promise in defending liberty and justice for all and in eradicating discrimination, intolerance and homophobia from our communities. 

Yet, I also believe that many people will view this ruling as a victory that is exclusively for them or as a despicable act that was made against the will and morals of the people and must be overturned.

Many people have already referred to this ruling as an act of  "judicial activism" (by the same standards, one could apply the same label to the Court's 1948 decision to strike down California's ban on interracial marriage or to the U.S. Supreme Court's historic Brown v. Board of Education decision on segregation). Opponents are currently mobilizing to place a measure on the November ballot that could write discrimination into our state Constitution and the outcome may very well be in their favor.

Only eight years ago, the Defense of Marriage Act (Proposition 22) passed with 61% of the vote. Another large turnout by social conservatives could overturn this latest decision and similarly to the 2004 election, their numbers will jeopardize candidates and issues that they feel run counter to their philosophies.  

Photo: Los Altos, CA 2006
Hate in our backyard: Los Altos, CA in 2006

The Times They Are A-Changin',  but they can't change on their own. We have to make it happen. Support organizations that will fight against this initiative. If your school, church, employer, health-care plan, or city doesn't have an anti-discriminatory policy, make it happen. Work in your communities to fight bigotry and intolerance.  Obtain the resources you need to achieve LGBT equality today.

NOC believes that LGBT rights are basic human rights and since we are the recipients of redress (the U.S. government's apology for internment), that we must defend all people on issues of equality and justice. Last year, we co-presented the film, "In God's House: Asian American Gay & Lesbian Families in the Church,"  and we helped promote a hate crime bill that would include "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" into existing provisions (the bill was ultimately defeated). NOC will continue to bring these important issues to the community. We hope that you will join us in our efforts to fight against homophobia and intolerance in our community and we hope to see you at this year's San Jose Pride celebration.

“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.” - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Will Kaku
NOC Vice-Chair


Sake San Jose 2008
Thursday, May 22
5:30 pm-8:30 pm
San Jose Japantown

A Sake Tasting Walk though San Jose Japantown benefiting Yu Ai Kai Senior Services.

  Graphic: Sake San Jose Poster Photo: Sake Vessel
For more info: http://www.sakesanjose.com/      

A Gathering of Friends
Sunday, June 8, 2008
The Chai House, San Jose, CA

Shared stories between Holocaust Survivors and Japanese American Internees

The Japanese American Museum of San Jose (JAMsj) is looking for former internees or their descendents to share their stories at this event that is co-hosted by the Silicon Valley Holocaust Survivors. Contact JAMsj at 408-294-3139 or mail@jamsj.org.



NOC Summer Picnic
June 22, 2008
Kelley Park, San Jose

Event is free and all are welcome

The NOC Summer Picnic is a time to see old friends and to meet new ones.

There will also be several of us  at the picnic who have been on the Tule Lake Pilgrimage so if you have questions about the Pilgrimage, you can ask us!


RSVP preferred but not necessary


Gary Jio (408-374-2722) or
Will Kaku (408-505-1186)

Click here for more info.


2008 Tule Lake Pilgrimage
The Segregation Center
July 3-6, 2008

Please register by May 31, 2008

More Info: http://www.tulelake.org


  Photo: Guard Tower    
Photo: Taiko
Photo: In front of Castle Rock
Photographs courtesy of Gary Jio
The Tule Lake Pilgrimage is a four-day journey to the former site of the Tule Lake Segregation Center, located near the California-Oregon border. The program includes:
  • A bus tour of the former camp site location.
  • An evening of cultural performances.
  • Panel discussions with former internees and community activists.
  • A memorial service.
  • Intergenerational discussion groups.
  • Many community-building activities to learn the history of Tule Lake and its relevance to the present day.

Essay Contest
Commemorating Redress and
The 20th Anniversary of the Civil Liberties Act

Sponsored by the JACL, San Jose Chapter

Entry deadline: All entries must be postmarked by July 4, 2008.

In honor of the 20th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), San Jose Chapter is sponsoring an essay contest for high school and college students. Submitted essays should address the significance of this landmark legislation or the state of civil liberties today.  Information on the contest guidelines and awards can be downloaded here.

For more information, please contact Kenzo Kimura at kenzo.kimura@yahoo.com
or at 408-476-2166

San Jose Nihonmachi Outreach Committee (NOC)
P.O. Box 2293, San Jose, CA  95109

E-Mail: info@sjnoc.org

"In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."
                                                                           - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.