During the 46th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage on April 25, 2015, we honored the Reverend Paul T. Nakamura, pastor of Lutheran Oriental Church in Torrance, California as the recipient of the 2015 Sue Kunitomi Embrey Legacy Award.
The award was named after the late chair of the Manzanar Committee who was also one of the founders of the annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, and was the driving force behind the creation of the Manzanar National Historic Site.
Rev. Paul, as he is known to his parishioners and just about everyone else who knows him, is a seminal figure in the Southern California Japanese American community, most notably for his involvement with the Manzanar Committee and the Manzanar Pilgrimage since its earliest days. He was also involved with the struggle for redress and reparations for the survivors of the World War II American concentration camps in which over 120,000 Japanese Americans and their immigrant parents were unjustly incarcerated, also from its earliest days.
For more details on Rev. Paul and his story, check out:
- Rev. Paul Nakamura: “A Ministry Bound With The Quest For Justice And Civil Rights For All” – Part 1
- Rev. Paul Nakamura: “A Ministry Bound With The Quest For Justice And Civil Rights For All” – Part 2
In May 2014, Rev. Paul was interviewed by the staff at the Manzanar National Historic Site for a rather lengthy, detailed oral history that covered just about everything from growing up in Wailua, Oahu, Hawai’i, the impact of the attack on Pearl Harbor on his family and the local community, family life, his military service, his ministry, and his community and political activism, including his involvement with Manzanar and the redress struggle.
Thanks to the cooperation of the National Park Service staff at Manzanar, and with Rev. Paul’s blessing, we’ve made his entire oral history available here. Check it all out below…
LEAD PHOTO: Rev. Paul T. Nakamura. Photo: Mark Kirchner/Manzanar Committee.
Oral History of Rev. Paul T. Nakamura
Video courtesy of the National Park Service/Manzanar National Historic Site via YouTube
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