Two events to honor Japanese heritage at WSU Vancouver

Washington State University Vancouver will be a busy place on Mar. 29, with two events scheduled to take place that day. The first event is “The Life and Legacy of Minoru Yasui.” Occurring later in the day is a Marquee Diversity Event titled “Insatiable” and will feature live performances.

“The Life and Legacy of Minoru Yasui” will take place in the Dengerink Administration Building room 110 from 12-1:15. Yasui received a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama in Nov. 2015 for challenging the forced Japanese internment camps in World War II as well as his lifelong commitment to civil rights and social justice. Yasui, who passed away in 1987, is the first Oregonian to be honored with a named day. Mar. 28 is Minoru Yasui Day.

The event honoring Yasui will feature George and Darren Nakata, a father and son from Portland. Together they will share stories of Yasui and explore how the lessons of his life can be applied to social justice work today.

Admission to the Yasui event is free and open to the public. There are a limited number of parking passes for guests. For more information please contact Amanda Shannahan at 360-546-9182 or amanda.shannahan@wsu.edu.

The second event scheduled for the day is The Marquee Diversity Event, “Insatiable,” which will take place in the Firstenburg Student Commons from 7-8:30. This event will feature the ancient practice of taiko-Japanese drumming and will be performed by UNIT SOUZOU, a professional company from Portland.

According to the UNIT SOUZOU website, “with over 20 years of professional experience, Michelle Fujii and Toru Watanabe, co-directors of UNIT SOUZOU are relentless innovators known for their fusion of taiko and Japanese folk dance.” At this event there will be drumming, choreography, and singing to interpret life issues such as hungers and desires, reoccurring cycles and repetitions, and the impact of the universal experience and emotion.

This event is free and open to the public; however, seating is limited. To RSVP please visit vancouver.wsu.edu/events and click on the Mar. 29 event link. To learn more about UNIT SOUZOU please visit their website at unitsouzou.com.

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