Hawaii’s Nisei Soldiers: Their Legacy Continues

About This Video

The Japanese attack on Oahu in 1941, and the subsequent Presidential Executive Order 9066, forever changed the lives of Japanese Americans in Hawaii and on the mainland. Despite the racial discrimination, Nisei (second generation Japanese) were determined to prove their loyalty by bravely entering the World War II battlefields in Europe and the Pacific Basin and to uphold the honor of their families. They went on to serve honorably and prove their loyalty to the United States beyond all doubt.

Now, about 80 years later, the specter of prejudice and inequity still haunts us. We see a rise in anti-Asian violence across America. The horrific past that seemed a distant memory has suddenly become painfully real.

This video was presented in July 2021, as a live-streamed educational program that celebrates the contributions of Nisei Soldiers, their ganbari (persevance) spirit, and their lasting contributions after the war to help rebuild Japan as a democracy and transform Hawaii into a more equitable society.

It is a story that serves as the intersection of history and culture, and of Hawaii and Japan, and is offered to spur deeper reflection and action to ensure history does not repeat itself.

To view the video, click here.

Our Speakers

The show is emceed by Steve Uyehara and Liz Chun and features:

  • Lynn Heirakuji, President, Nisei Veterans Legacy
  • Warren Haruki, CEO, Grove Farms
  • Jennifer Okubo Polido, estate planning attorney
  • Lory Dillon, teacher, St. Louis School
  • Kristen Nemoto Jay, writer
  • William Kaneko, attorney focusing on government and public affairs; past President of the Honolulu Japanese American Citizens League, and founder of the Hawaiʻi Institute for Public Affairs; and
  • Geoff Sogi, attorney and President of the Honolulu Japanese American Citizens League

Collectively, their perspectives tell a poignant story and perpetuate the legacy of the Nisei Soldiers.

Mahalo to Our Major Sponsors

  • AD2 International, Inc.
  • Fidelity National Title & Escrow of Hawaii Inc.
  • First Hawaiian Bank
  • Hawaii Tribune-Herald
  • Honolulu Star-Advertiser
  • Island Insurance
  • Koga Engineering & Construction
  • Law Office of Jennifer R. Okubo Polido LLLC
  • Servco Foundation


If you would like to support Nisei Veterans Legacy with presenting more educational programs to the community, please consider making a donation. Your contribution will used to further the mission of our 501(c)3 nonprofit organization by creating exhibits, educational materials, virtual events, and for community outreach.

BY ONLINE CREDIT CARD: To make your donation online, click here.

Please make check payable to the “Nisei Veterans Legacy” and mail to:
Nisei Veterans Legacy
2454 S. Beretania Street, Suite 302
Honolulu, Hawaii 96826.

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