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‘Never Give Up’ film screened Sunday at CCA

MINORU Yasui Legacy Stone is lowered Friday at 7 a.m., with Nathan Smith left, and Mark Van Metre guiding the 5,300-pound engraved basalt into its place on Oak Street just inside the Georgiana Smith gardens next to Hood River Library. Mike Honald of Honald Crane operated the hoist while Maija Yasui, grand-niece of Minoru Yasui, watched along with Rachael Fox, library director. In the foreground is the original homestead stairway, now providing access to the Yasui stone, engraved with a quote by Yasui, and the family orange blossom symbol, or “tanibachi.”

Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea.
MINORU Yasui Legacy Stone is lowered Friday at 7 a.m., with Nathan Smith left, and Mark Van Metre guiding the 5,300-pound engraved basalt into its place on Oak Street just inside the Georgiana Smith gardens next to Hood River Library. Mike Honald of Honald Crane operated the hoist while Maija Yasui, grand-niece of Minoru Yasui, watched along with Rachael Fox, library director. In the foreground is the original homestead stairway, now providing access to the Yasui stone, engraved with a quote by Yasui, and the family orange blossom symbol, or “tanibachi.”

Columbia Center for the Arts, Gorge Owned, the Hood River County History Museum, the Hood River County Library District, and the Yasui family of Hood River have co-sponsored a special screening of the film “Never Give Up!”

The screening will take place on Sunday, April 2 at 2 p.m. at the Columbia Center for the Arts, located at 215 Cascade Ave., Hood River. Director Holly Yasui will speak and host a Q and A after the screening. This event is open to the community with a suggested donation of $5 to further expand the reach of Minoru (Min) Yasui’s story.

“Never Give Up! Minoru Yasui and the Fight for Justice (Part One)” tells the story of Yasui, son of Japanese immigrant parents, born in 1916 and raised in the farming community of Hood River. He was the first Japanese American attorney in Oregon, and during World War II, he initiated the first legal test challenging the forced removal from the West Coast and subsequent incarceration of over 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry in U.S. internment camps. The film documents his and his family’s experiences during the war and his nine months in solitary confinement awaiting his appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. This version of the film also contains a brief summary of Part Two ─ Yasui’s postwar life, including his ongoing defense of the human and civil rights of all people, his leadership role in the Japanese American Redress movement, the reopening of his legal case, and the posthumous award of a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015.

The co-directors of the film, Holly Yasui, Min Yasui’s youngest daughter, and Will Doolittle, decided to release Part One of the film in 2017 in order to contribute to the discussions surrounding the Japanese American World War II experience and the issues of immigration, racial profiling, and due process of law.

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