USJC Collaborates with JACL and the Japanese American Storytelling Program To Learn More About the Appropriate Terminology to Describe the Japanese American Incarceration Experience

On August 11 (August 12 Japan time), the U.S.-Japan Council, the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), and USJC’s Japanese American Storytelling Program (JASP) held a joint event titled The Power of Words: Euphemisms and the Japanese American Experience. 

The event featured Matthew Weisbly, Education and Communications Coordinator for JACL National based out of Los Angeles. Mr. Weisbly walked the audience through common terms utilized to describe the Japanese American experience, how that terminology failed to accurately describe the Japanese American experience during World War II and offered more accurate terminology to utilize in place of those inaccurate terms to more accurately depict the Japanese American community’s experience.

Following the presentation, Mr. Weisbly engaged in a question and answer session with the participants. Topics discussed included how best to correct individuals should they utilize inaccurate terminology, the equivalent for those accurate terms in Japanese and the impact the use of the correct terminology could have on history and future educational curriculum.

Thank you to our event organizers including our speaker Matthew Weisbly, USJC’s Membership Engagement and Regional Coordinator Lauren Matsumoto, USJC Council Leader and JASP organizer Jim Minamoto, and JASP interns Sarina Noma and Ako Degawa.  

To watch the recorded portion of the event, click here.