OSA Nisei Project

Office of Student Affairs & Wellness

Nisei History

Japanese-American internment was the relocation and internment by the United States government in 1942 of about 110,000 Japanese Americans and Japanese who lived along the Pacific coast of the United States to camps called "War Relocation Camps," in the wake of Imperial Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor. The internment of Japanese Americans was applied unequally throughout the United States. 

President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the internment with Executive Order 9066, issued February 19, 1942, which allowed local military commanders to designate "military areas" as "exclusion zones," from which "any or all persons may be excluded." This power was used to declare that all people of Japanese ancestry were excluded from the entire Pacific coast, including all of California and much of Oregon, Washington and Arizona, except for those in internment camps. In 1944, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the exclusion orders, while noting that the provisions that singled out people of Japanese ancestry were a separate issue outside the scope of the proceedings. In 1988, Congress passed and President Ronald Reagan signed legislation which apologized for the internment on behalf of the U.S. government. The legislation said that government actions were based on "race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership".

Nisei is a Japanese language term used in countries in North America, South America and Australia to specify the children born to Japanese people in the new country.The Nisei are considered the second generation; and the grandchildren of the Japanese-born immigrants are called Sansei. 

Nisei at CCSF

Thanks to the facilitation and perseverance of former CCSF employees Martha Lucy and Dean Rod Santos, City College of San Francisco is proud to be part of the California Nisei College Diploma Project (CA Nisei Project). The CA Nisei Project provides support for Assembly Bill 37, authored by Assemblymember Warren Furutani that bestows honorary college degrees to American citizens of Japanese ancestry - or a surviving family member - who were forced to leave their college studies and relocate to internment camps during World War II. The CA Nisei Project estimates that at least 2,500 former students are eligible, including students at the University of California, California State University, and Community College systems.

CCSF seeks to identify former Japanese-American students, or family representatives, who are eligible to benefit from AB 37 so that they may be honored during the college’s commencement exercises in May. It is estimated that hundreds of CCSF students were affected by Executive Order 9066. If you or a family member was a former CCSF student and affected by the internment order, please contact our office.

Kimiko

First Nisei Project Honorary Degree Recipient in the state of California was honored here at CCSF.

Ms. Kimiko Yamaguma, 2009

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Questions/Concerns

If you have questions regarding the Nisei project please contact our office.