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
- Keith Bright To Receive Manzanar Committee’s Sue Kunitomi Embrey Legacy Award Posthumously
- Bill Michael’s Long-Term Commitment To Manzanar Recognized With Sue Kunitomi Embrey Legacy Award
2011 – Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga
- Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga To Receive 2011 Sue Kunitomi Embrey Legacy Award at 42nd Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage
- Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga – Acceptance Remarks
- Manzanar Commitee Lauds Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga With Sue Kunitomi Embrey Legacy Award On July 17, 2011
2012 – Rose Ochi
2013 – Warren Furutani
2014 – Dr. Arthur A. Hansen and Mas Okui
- Dr. Arthur A. Hansen Named Co-Recipient of 2014 Sue Kunitomi Embrey Legacy Award
- Mas Okui Named Co-Recipient of 2014 Sue Kunitomi Embrey Legacy Award
2015 – Rev. Paul T. Nakamura
- 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
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.