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Minoru Yasui Documentary to Be Screened at JANM

Holly Yasui, Minoru Yasui’s daughter, and Peggy Nagae, lead attorney in the reopening of Minoru Yasui’s wartime Supreme Court case, gave a presentation at the Japanese American National Museum in September 2014. (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)

The Los Angeles premiere of “Never Give Up! Minoru Yasui and the Fight for Justice (Part 1)” will take place on Saturday, July 29, at 2 p.m. at the Japanese American National Museum, 100 N. Central Ave. in Little Tokyo.

This new documentary by Holly Yasui traces the early life of her father, a noted civil rights activist. Born in 1916 to Japanese immigrant parents, Min Yasui was raised in the farming community of Hood River, Ore., and became that state’s first Japanese American attorney. During the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans by the U.S. government, he set up a practice to help the Japanese immigrant community with their legal needs.

He also decided to make himself into a legal test case by purposely violating the curfew that had been imposed on Japanese Americans; he took his appeals all the way to the Supreme Court.

This film, the first of a two-part documentary, ends with Yasui and his family’s experiences during the war. The presentation will include a preview of the forthcoming Part 2, which will cover Yasui’s postwar life as a relentless civil rights activist, a leader in the Japanese American redress movement, and the posthumous winner in 2015 of a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Q&A to follow with Holly Yasui. Included with museum admission. RSVPs are recommended. For more information, call (213) 625-0414 or visit

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