A book party for “Beyond the Betrayal: The Memoir of a WWII Japanese American Draft Resister of Conscience” (University Press of Colorado) by Yoshito Kuromiya (1923-2018) will be held on Saturday, June 4, at 2 p.m. at the Japanese American National Museum’s Tateuchi Democracy Forum, 100 N. Central Ave. (at First Street) in Little Tokyo.
This is the only book-length memoir written by a World War II Japanese American draft resister of conscience. Join editor Arthur A. Hansen, a leading scholar of Japanese American history, and Lawson Fusao Inada, a renowned poet, in conversation with Kuromiya’s family around the groundbreaking publication.
“A Hero’s Hero,” a short documentary by Robert Shoji about Kuromiya and his nephew Kiyoshi, as well as a few interview clips from Yoshito, will also be shown during the discussion.
This event is free thanks to the generosity of members and audiences. Use the “Additional Donation” option when reserving tickets to donate what you can or become a member by visiting janm.org/membership.
Raised in Monrovia, Kuromiya was studying art at Pasadena Junior College when he and his family became inmates at Wyoming’s Heart Mountain concentration camp. He resisted the military draft on the grounds that the U.S. government had deprived him of his fundamental rights as an American citizen. Although a total of some 300 other inmates in the 10 War Relocation Authority-administered incarceration centers made the same choice on similar grounds, Kuromiya alone has produced an autobiographical volume that explores in-depth the short- and long-range causes and consequences of his wartime action.
“Beyond the Betrayal” is a book that makes it abundantly clear that the unjustly imprisoned World War II Nisei could and did exercise their patriotism not only by serving in the military, but also by the act of refusing to do so in the name of civil liberties and social justice.
“It was a very personal decision for me as it was my name on that draft notice,” said Kuromiya, who spent his 21st birthday in Cheyenne County Jail after being convicted along with 62 others in the largest mass trial in Wyoming history. “As an American citizen, I was insulted by what my government did to us.”
The book includes an epigraph written by the draft resistance movement’s most prominent postwar promoter, Frank Chin; a preface by the draft resistance movement’s most notable historian, Eric L. Muller; and a poetic foreword and afterword (the latter dedicated to Kuromiya) written by another significant postwar promoter of the draft resistance movement who is arguably the most reputed extant third-generation Japanese American poet, Lawson Inada.
The book was edited by Art Hansen, one of the leading scholars and noted historians of the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II and professor emeritus of history and Asian American studies at CSU Fullerton.
“Beyond the Betrayal” is available in the JANM Store.
To RSVP for the in-person or virtual event, call (213) 625-0414 or go to: https://www.janm.org/events/2022-06-04/author-discussion-beyond-betrayal-arthur-hansen-lawson-inada