Jan Yoshiwara—International Liberation Reference Person for Japanese and Okinawan Heritage People

Japanese-Heritage People

Going public with RC is working. Since 2009, Japanese- and Okinawan-heritage RCers have participated in United to End Racism (UER) projects at the Tule Lake Pilgrimage.* We have led workshops and listening projects there and taught RC to Japanese and Okinawan individuals and families. It has been a good leadership-development activity for us. Our confidence as community leaders and pride in openly sharing RC grow with every project. Our UER team t-shirts now identify us as go-to problem solvers, and the events we lead are among the most popular parts of the program. Many of us are now more deeply involved in Asian activist organizations and are beginning to bring folks from these organizations into local RC classes. We have also successfully tackled fundraising. We were able to financially support our last UER project almost completely with our own fundraising efforts. Our next step is to work on including younger RCers on the Tule Lake team and expanding our fundraising efforts—and we are making progress on both!

Discharging on our significance and fighting for ourselves are key for our constituency. Ancient cultural conditioning to selflessly focus on the good of the group and our families, plus the message of capitalism that productivity and profit are more important than the person, have made us vulnerable to confusion about our inherent value as human beings. Most of us believe that our value is based on what we do for others; we willingly sacrifice ourselves to do good for our families and communities. A hint: This can operate in RC Communities as well. We are hardworking, reliable organizers, roster keepers, and bedding and transportation coordinators. We rarely say no when asked, because we are grateful to the RC Communities and want to give back. It is easy to ask us to do work for our Areas, but it may not always make sense for us to do it.

Eliminating the effects of capitalism and class oppression is essential for us to have a more accurate picture of our significance and our inherent goodness, and for our re-emergence.

Jan Yoshiwara

International Liberation Reference Person for Japanese-Heritage PeopleOlympia, Washington, USA

(Present Time 188, July 2017)


* The Tule Lake Pilgrimage is a pilgrimage, every two years, to the Tule Lake Segregation Center, in California, USA—one of the ten concentration camps in which the U.S. government incarcerated Japanese Americans during World War II.


Last modified: 2019-05-02 14:41:35+00