TORRANCE — The Japanese American Historical Society of Southern California will present a reading from “A Principled Stand: Hirabayashi v. United States” on Saturday, April 5, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Katy Geissert Civic Center Library, 3301 Torrance Blvd., Torrance, in the community meeting room.

Lane Hirabayashi,Johnny Kwon
Lane Hirabayashi, Johnny Kwon

Prof. Lane Hirabayashi, director of the UCLA Asian American Studies Department, will comment on the book co-written with his late father, James Hirabayashi.

In 1943, Gordon Hirabayashi was convicted and imprisoned for defying the curfew and mass removal of Japanese Americans on the West Coast. Drawing from his unpublished letters and diaries, his brother James and nephew Lane use his own words from this period to detail the events of Hirabayashi v. United States, the Supreme Court case that in 1943 upheld his conviction. In 1987, a federal court vacated his conviction.

To introduce the program, actor Johnny Kwon will portray Gordon Hirabayashi as a college student when the curfew for Japanese Americans was imposed. The sketch, written by actor/playwright Jeanne Sakata, is from the one-man show “Hold These Truths,” originally titled “Dawn’s Light,” which premiered at East West Players in 2007. The sketch was performed at JANM last fall to complement the Smithsonian exhibit “I Want the Wide American Earth.” The excerpt is part of “Our American Voice,” a six-part show coordinated by East West Players.

The program is free and open to the public. Heritage Source will offer copies of the book at a 20 percent discount.

For further information, contact Iku Kiriyama at (310) 326-0608.

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