“Lives and Legacy: Three Generations of Japanese American Women at Cal” (A Panel Discussion)

On Thursday, November 20th, the Japanese American Women Alumnae of U.C. Berkeley (JAWAUCB) and the Asian American & Asian Diaspora Studies Program (AAADS) will present a panel discussion entitled, “Lives and Legacy: Three Generations of Japanese American Women at U.C. Berkeley.” This discussion is being held to commemorate the recent publication of a monograph by Dr. Joyce Takahashi on the history of Japanese American women at Cal. Panelists include Dr. Takahashi, Patti Iiyama, Nina Ichikawa, and Kelly Hamachi.

When: Thursday, November 20th, 2014, from 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Where: The Alumni House, U.C. Berkeley Campus

Admission is free and open to the public.

For additional information about the event please contact Dr. Lisa Hirai Tsuchitani at lhtsuchitani@berkeley.edu.

About Japanese American Alumnae of the University of California, Berkeley: Lives and Legacy

The JAWAUCB recently published a monograph, Japanese American Alumnae of the University of California, Berkeley: Lives and Legacy, written by Dr. Joyce Takahashi on the history of Japanese American women at Cal in honor of her mother, who was instrumental in organizing the campus and community at large in raising enough funds to purchase a dormitory for Issei and Nisei (first and second generation Japanese American) women on campus. The sale of this dormitory would become the basis for a fairly sizable endowment from which the club has been able to provide scholarships to undergraduate and graduate women of Japanese and Asian ancestry since its inception.

About the Panelists

– Cal alumna Joyce Nao Takahashi (’55) was born in Berkeley, California, the second daughter of alumni, Henry (’26) and Barbara (’30) Takahashi. She grew up in Berkeley with the exception of the “war years,” which she spent in Tanforan, California; Topaz, Utah; and Chicago, Illinois. She graduated from Berkeley High School and the University of California, Berkeley and received a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles. In retirement, she is an Emerita Adjunct Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Davis and a volunteer with the Time of Remembrance program at the California Museum in Sacramento. As a board member of the JAWAUCB she participated in the club’s oral history project, which is the basis for her monograph, Japanese American Alumnae of the University of California, Berkeley: Lives and Legacy.

– In the earliest stages of the student movement in the 1960s, virtually no Japanese Americans were involved, and certainly no Japanese American women. But when Patti Iiyama entered Cal in 1961 she became active in the early student movement around
such issues as nuclear disarmament, anti-discriminatory housing laws, and the civil rights movement. She also was a member of the Friends of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee. Her activism on campus included helping to organize Vietnam Day at Cal, anti-Vietnam war protests including Stop the Draft Week, and the Third World Liberation Front (TWLF) strike to establish Ethnic Studies as well. Together with Frank Chin she eventually would teach the first Asian American Studies course at the University of California, Davis. Since leaving Cal in 1970, Iiyama has continued to be an active socialist, fighting for the right to unionize, for women’s rights, against racial discrimination and police brutality, and against U.S. wars around the world.

– Nina F. Ichikawa studied food policy at UC Berkeley and Tokyo’s Meiji Gakuin University. Her education also includes working as a restaurant dishwasher, making corsages at her family’s 107-year-old flower shop, and helping to establish the nation’s first high school Asian American Studies program. Her writing on food, health, and Asian American community has been published in Grist, Civil Eats, Rafu Shimpo, Al-Jazeera America, and Hyphen magazine, where she launched the Food & Agriculture section in 2009. Her chapter on Asian American farmers and retailers was published in “Eating Asian America” (NYU Press: 2013). She is an at-large board member of the JAWAUCB, a third-generation Cal graduate, and former director of the Achievement Award Program, a California Alumni Association need-based scholarship program.

– Kelly Hamachi is a yonsei (fourth generation Japanese American) from Mountain View, California, studying Public Health and minoring in Asian American Studies at UC Berkeley. She has been an active member of the Nikkei Student Union, a Japanese American interest group on campus, and served as the Membership Chair for the Berkeley Chapter of the Japanese American Citizen’s League (JACL) last year. She is also a program and research assistant for the AAADS program at UC Berkeley.

We look forward to seeing you there!