Sue Kunitomi Embrey Legacy Award

Since 2009, the Sue Kunitomi Embrey Legacy Award, named after the late chair of the Manzanar Committee who was one of the founders of the annual Manzanar Pilgrimage and was the driving force behind the creation of the Manzanar National Historic Site, has been awarded to those who have contributed greatly to the protection and preservation of Manzanar, the creation and development of the Manzanar National Historic Site, ensuring that the history, stories and issues surrounding the forced removal and unjust incarceration of over 120,000 Japanese/Japanese Americans during World War II is never forgotten, as well as to those who have dedicated themselves to the fight to protect the Constitutional rights of all people.

The award also has a much more colloquial name, the Baka Guts award.

Baka Guts can best be described as having courage, no matter the odds and the grit to stick with it. It was a term that was often applied to Embrey during her years of dedicated struggle to preserve Manzanar and establish it as a National Historic Site.

Sue Kunitomi Embrey Legacy Award Recipients

2009 – Takenori “Tak” Yamamoto

2010 – Keith Bright (awarded posthumously) and Bill Michael

2011 – Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga

2012 – Rose Ochi

2013 – Warren Furutani

2014 – Dr. Arthur A. Hansen and Mas Okui

2015 – Rev. Paul T. Nakamura

2016 – Bob Gracey

2017 – Alan Nishio

2018 – Wilbur Sato

LEAD PHOTO: Alan Nishio (second from left), shown here with Manzanar Committee Co-Chairs Bruce Embrey (left) and Jenny Chomori (right), and program emcee traci ishigo (second from right), was presented with the 2017 Sue Kunitomi Embrey Legacy Award during the 48th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage on April 29, 2017, at the Manzanar National Historic Site. Photo: Gann Matsuda/Manzanar Committee.

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