The Power of Words: Euphemisms and the Japanese American Experience

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The Power of Words: Euphemisms and the Japanese American Experience
Date: August 11 (U.S.) / August 12 (Japan)
Time: 5:00pm (PT) / 9:00am (JT)
Location: Virtual Event
Registration: This event is members-only. If you are interested in joining, please contact Lauren Matsumoto at [email protected]

This event is a collaboration between the U.S.-Japan Council (USJC) and the Japanese American Citizen League (JACL). Event organizers are also working with the U.S.-Japan Council’s Japan American Storytelling Program (JASP) .

The Power of Words is an educational campaign by JACL aimed to help others understand language euphemisms used to describe the Japanese American World War II experience and the preferred terminology that more accurately describes the dire realities of the experience. This workshop will feature a brief presentation, followed by discussion groups and a Q&A session.

The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) is a national organization whose ongoing mission is to secure and maintain the civil rights of Japanese Americans and all others who are victimized by injustice and bigotry. The leaders and members of the JACL also work to promote cultural, educational and social values and preserve the heritage and legacy of the Japanese American community. For more information about JACL, you can visit their website here.

The Japanese American Storytelling Program (JASP) is a group of USJC members including English-speaking Nikkei Sansei, Yonsei and Gosei (multi-generational Japanese Americans), “Shin Issei,” “Shin Nisei” (Japanese American generations emigrated after WWII), and Bi-Racial/Multi-Ethnic Nikkei. They are native English, native Japanese or proficient bi-lingual speakers residing in Japan, Hawaii, California, and other parts of the U.S. Mainland. JASP delivers presentations to students at universities throughout Japan in English and Japanese, based upon Host Professor requests. For more information about JASP, you can view their webpage here

Featured Speaker

Matthew Weisbly
Education and Communications Coordinator, Japanese American Citizens League National, Los Angeles

Matthew Weisbly is the current Education and Communications Coordinator for the Japanese American Citizens League National in Los Angeles. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California with a degree in Japanese and Japanese American history, and a double minor in East Asian Languages and Cultures, and cinematic arts. His senior honors thesis explored demographic data and oral histories of Nisei soldiers with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. A long-time JACL member, he also served as the Youth Representative for the Arizona Chapter and as the inaugural Ted T. Namba fellow for the Pacific Southwest District, and as the former Daniel K. Inouye Fellow for JACL National in Washington, D.C. Outside of work, he’s a member of Nikkei Rising, the young adult branch of JA Memorial Pilgrimages as a co-host of the Yon-Say podcast, and helps create educational and cultural content.