Grant Ujifusa Awarded Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays
26 January 2012
Grant Ujifusa, the renowned founding editor of The Almanac of American Politics and advocate for Japanese-American issues, has been awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays by the Government of Japan at a ceremony held on January 26th held at the Official Residence of the Ambassador and Consul General of Japan in New York.
Ambassador Shigeyuki Hiroki offered congratulatory remarks for Mr. Ujifusa and gave a brief account of his career. Ambassador Hiroki mentioned how Mr. Ujifusa's talent for writing started while an undergrad at Harvard and continued as the co-author of The Almanac of American Politics. He then described Mr. Ujifusa's efforts in getting the US government to support for redress of those Japanese-Americans who were interned during World War II. After these short remarks, Ambassador Hiroki officially presented Mr. Ujifusa with the award, reading the inscription bearing the Imperial seal.
Following this, Mr. Ujifusa offered an inspirational acceptance speech where he mentioned those members of the Japanese-American activist community who he felt were worthy of the same distinction he was receiving himself. He then related the emotionally moving story of Kazuo Masuda, a Japanese-American soldier who lost his life in World War II and with the support of General Vinegar Joe Stilwell, was buried in his hometown. Present to offer Mr. Masuda's eulogy was then Captain Ronald Reagan, who would go on to be President of the United States in the 1980s, right when Mr. Ujifusa was working hard in the movement for redress.
With the help of then Governor of New Jersey, Mr. Thomas Kean, Mr. Ujifusa was able to convince the President Reagan to support redress by offering him a letter from Mr. Masuda's sister. Remembering being there for Mr. Masuda's funeral, President Reagan decided to support the redress bill.
Fittingly, Governor Kean was in attendance at the award ceremony as the Guest of Honor, along with Angus MacBeth, who served as Special Counsel to the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians, the first time the US government held public, official testimony from formerly interned Japanese-Americans.
- Mr.Ujifusa and his family
- From left, Gov.Kean, Mr.Macbeth, Mr.Ujifusa, and Amb.Hiroki