The Power of Words

Post written by Chris Brusatte, Exhibit Manager at Go For Broke National Education Center

Words are powerful. That is why our Hanashi oral history collection is so rich. Words carry meaning, inspiration, and impact. Words connect people across cultures and across generations. They both educate and motivate.

For our new interpretive exhibition – set to open next spring in Los Angeles – we are leaning heavily on our oral histories, using hundreds of the most powerful quotes found in our collection. These quotes are words that speak of courage, integrity, sacrifice, selflessness, and patriotism. They are the words of the heroic Japanese American veterans of World War II. And although they fought over 70 years ago, their words speak directly to young adults today.

Here below is a sampling of the quotes that we are featuring in the exhibition. These are the words that visitors will see when they leave the space, and we hope that they will motivate visitors to make a difference in the world.

Stand up and fight for what you think is right. Because if you don’t, who is? The next guy? Maybe you are the next guy.

Harry Fukuhara

You can’t wait for something to happen, you must make it happen yourself.

Rudy Tokiwa

 I was one of many thousands. I played a very small part. But I guess if you add up those thousands, it adds up to quite a few.

Tony Koura

 Americans, you are free. So teach your children and their children what we went through, and keep on going, so that this world can be one.

Larry Kodama

 Don’t be afraid of challenges. Don’t be afraid of working in environments that you’re not familiar with…Give it a shot.

Fujio Matsuda

Which quotes above are your favorites? Which speak directly to you? Leave us your thoughts and comments!


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