Northern California Time of Remembrance
Inspiring Play of Internment Resistance:
The Journey of Gordon Hirabayashi
Confronted with the daunting might of the police, courts, army, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt, University of Washington college student and Quaker Gordon Hirabayashi chose to courageously say “No” to the curfew, evacuation, and World War II internment of Japanese Americans in 1942. This amazing story of resistance in the face of injustice comes for its Sacramento premiere through the one-person play, “Dawn’s Light” from L.A.’s East West Players on Feb. 20 1 p.m. at the Secretary of State’s Auditorium at 1500 11th Street (11th and O. Streets) in Sacramento. This is also Northern California’s premiere of “Dawn’s Light.”
Admission is $15 with $10 for students under 18. This one-time performance is expected to sell out. Advance tickets can be ordered by February 10th at “NCTOR” c/o Joanne Iritani, 400 Munroe Street, #26, Sacramento, 95825. For more information or ticket order forms, please go to www.nctor.org or call (916) 685-6747 or at (916) 427-2841.
Set in Seattle during World War II, this play by Jeanne Sakata is based on a true story of a University of Washington student, Gordon Hirabayashi, as he agonizes over the U.S. Government’s orders to forcibly remove and imprison persons of Japanese ancestry on the West Coast. As he struggles to reconcile his country’s betrayal of Constitutional rights, Gordon journeys toward an understanding of America’s triumphs – and a confrontation with its failures.
Ryun Yu, a Los Angeles-based actor, created the role and will star in this one-person play. Yu artfully portrays many characters brought to life in Gordon Hirabayashi’s poignant story. Playwright Jeanne Sakata developed the play through numerous interviews with Gordon Hirabayashi in Seattle. The play skillfully blends historical fact with fiction using dramatic license.
Gordon Hirabayashi is known as the “Rosa Parks of Japanese Americans” for his civil rights stand. He is one of four Japanese Americans to challenge the curfew, evacuation, and internment all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The others were Fred Korematsu, Min Yasui, and Mitsuye Endow.
The Time of Remembrance also features an award-winning exhibit “Uprooted: The Japanese American World War II Experience” at the California State Museum of History Women and the Arts at 10th and O. Streets (adjacent to the play auditorium). The audience is invited to tour the exhibit led by docents, many of whom are former Japanese American internees.
This community event is sponsored by the Northern California Time of Remembrance Committee (NCTOR) of the Florin, Lodi, Placer County, and Sacramento JACL Chapters in partnership with the California State Museum of History, Women, and the Arts. It commemorates the February 19, 1942 Executive Order #9066 that ordered the imprisonment of 120,000 Japanese Americans. This Time of Remembrance event seeks to promote the lessons from our past to protect the rights of today’s Americans and our country’s future.