Northwest Asian Weekly
Japanese American civil rights hero Minoru Yasui will be recognized in two events in Seattle this weekend, as part of a nationwide centennial celebration.
A film screening of “Never Give Up! Minoru Yasui and the Fight for Justice” will take place at the Wing Luke Museum on June 25 at 7 p.m., followed by a panel discussion and audience participation. Seating is limited.
The following day, on June 26 at 2 p.m. at the Blaine Memorial United Methodist Church on Beacon Hill, there will be a reading of the play “Citizen Min.” The two-hour play will be followed by a brief question-and-answer session. Both events are free and Holly Yasui, Min’s daughter, is expected to attend.
Yasui is most famous for his legal challenge during the World War II incarceration of people of Japanese ancestry. Along with 120,000 others, Yasui was forcibly removed from his home to the Portland Assembly Center and then imprisoned at the Minidoka concentration camp in Idaho. He then spent nine months in solitary confinement as his case made its way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled against him. Upon his release, Yasui continued to fight for the human and civil rights of all people. Some call him the Martin Luther King Jr. of the Japanese American community.
In 2015, Min Yasui was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the country.