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, and to 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

2019 – Jim Matsuoka

2018 – Wilbur Sato

2017 – Alan Nishio

2016 – Bob Gracey

2015 – Rev. Paul T. Nakamura

2014 – Dr. Arthur A. Hansen and Mas Okui

2013 – Warren Furutani

2012 – Rose Ochi

2011 – Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga

2010 – Keith Bright (awarded posthumously) and Bill Michael

2009 – Takenori “Tak” Yamamoto

LEAD PHOTO: Jim Matsuoka (center), shown here with Manzanar Committee Co-Chairs Bruce Embrey (right) and Jenny Chomori (left), was presented with the 2019 Sue Kunitomi Embrey Legacy Award during the 50th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage on April 27, 2019, at the Manzanar National Historic Site. Photo: Mark Kirchner/Manzanar Committee.

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