Yuri Kochiyama [Mary Yuriko Nakahara]

September 28, 2010 in 1940s-1950s, 1950s-1960s, 1960s-1970s, Military history, Social history

We too often think of civil rights activists as black or white. There were persons of other races and ethnicities who were very much involved in the civil rights movement, one being Yuri Kochiyama (born Mary Yuriko Nakahara) a Japanese-American. She was born in San Pedro, CA. Her father, an immigrant, was arrested in 1941 by the FBI after the bombing of Pearl Harbor during WWII. Kochiyama’s family was sent to an internment camp in Arkansas. The prejudice Kochiyama witnessed against Japanese Americans, led to her becoming a civil rights activist. She was present when Malcolm X was killed; she held his head as he was dying. Kochiyama was not new to the civil rights movement when Malcolm X died in 1965.

She is the author of ”Passing it On”.

To read more about Yuri Kochiyama, visit the following links:

Civil rights activist Yuri Kochiyama

Her devotion

Yuri Kochiyama

2 responses to Yuri Kochiyama [Mary Yuriko Nakahara]

  1. I’m glad you mentioned this because during this whole class so far I’ve only been thinking of prominent black or white females of Kentucky. It’s important to remember that all women were once discriminated against, not just black or white.

  2. Very good point, it never crossed my mind until I read your journal. I had been thinking in such black and white terms. The fact that our government treated the Japanese like Hitler treated the Jews is a valid point. We must find continuing ways to take color and race out of the equation and focus more on how all people from all class syatems and racial backgrounds can be given equality in life and education.

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