Maui Arts & Entertainment

Nisei Veterans Memorial Center hosts book signing and lecture by Dr. Gail Okawa

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“Remembering Our Grandfather’s Exile: US Imprisonment of Hawaiʻi’s Japanese in World War II”

The Nisei Veterans Memorial Center hosts a book signing and lecture with Dr. Gail Okawa on Saturday, May 21 at 1:30 p.m. at the Stanley Izumigawa Resource Center on the NVMC campus. 

The event is free and open to the public but reservations are required. Call 808-244-6862 to reserve a seat. Social distancing measures will be in place. 

Dr. Gail Y. Okawa, emeritus professor of English at Youngstown State University in Ohio, and a visiting scholar at the Center for Biographical Research at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, will present her book “Remembering Our Grandfather’s Exile: US Imprisonment of Hawaiʻi’s Japanese in World War II”, a composite chronicling of the Hawaiʻi Issei (first generation) experience in mainland Internment Camps during WWII, told through the eyes of a granddaughter and researcher born during the war. 

Dr. Gail Okawa

Since her time as a visiting scholar at the Smithsonian Institution, Dr. Okawa has been engaged in research on the experiences of Japanese immigrants from Hawaiʻiincluding her maternal grandfather, a Christian minister on Maui and the Big Island—who was imprisoned during WWII in internment camps on the mainland run by the Justice and War departments. 

This was an arduous journey from local facilities like the Wailuku Jail to Sand Island Internment Camp on Oʻahu to prison camps in Louisiana, Texas, Montana, and New Mexico, among others.  Her research has expanded to include the visits of military sons (100th/442, MIS) to their interned fathers, and internee sons (100th/442, MIS) who were killed in action in Europe and the Pacific.

She has published numerous essays in national journals and collections and has presented papers and lectures nationally and internationally. 


Guests will be able to visit the NVMC exhibit Internment: Stories from Maui after the talk. 

NVMC’s mission is to ignite the potential in people by inspiring them to find the hero in themselves through the legacy of the Nisei Veterans.

The Nisei Veterans Memorial Center is a nonprofit organization that aspires to a world where people act selflessly for the greater good. NVMC owns and manages an intergenerational campus on Go For Broke Place in Kahului that serves as a home for Kansha Preschool, Maui Adult Day Care Center’s Oceanview facility, the Stanley Izumigawa Resource Center and the NVMC Education Center.


To learn more, visit

For a weekly listing of Maui music and other events, go to Maui Entertainment, Arts, Community, May 19-May 25 and click here.


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