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JABA Applauds the CA Supreme Court Order Granting Sei Fujii’s Posthumous Admission to the California State Bar



May 25, 2017
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Mark Furuya, President


JABA Applauds the California Supreme Court Order Granting Sei Fujii’s Posthumous Admission to the California State Bar

 LOS ANGELES — The Japanese American Bar Association (JABA) applauds the California Supreme Court for recognizing the accomplishments of civil rights activist Sei Fujii and granting the joint petition of JABA and the Little Tokyo Historical Society (LTHS) to have Fujii posthumously admitted to the California State Bar. This order is not just a symbolic one but one that JABA hopes will further its mission to continue our country’s discussion about diversity and what it means to be “American” Fujii exhibited true American values by courageously resisting prejudice and oppression and battling for what was right. It is no coincidence that this order was granted in the same year that marks the 65th anniversary of Fujii v. California, which overturned the Alien Land Law that prohibited aliens ineligible for citizenship (e.g., immigrants from Asian countries) from owning land.

“Although he was barred from practicing law, Sei Fujii was a tireless advocate of justice”, says JABA President, Mark Furuya. “He was an important voice for the Japanese American community and told their stories as a journalist and radio show host. He fought against laws fueled by xenophobia with the help of his law school classmate, J. Marion Wright. Even after being interned and enduring severe prejudice, the fact that he became a U.S. citizen less than two months before his death challenges the traditional and narrow view of what it means to be an American.” The Court said it best in its order: “Fujii’s work in the face of prejudice and oppression embodies the highest traditions of those who work to make our society more just.” A copy of the full order can be found here: Sei Fujii Order

The California Supreme Court order culminates from the collective efforts of many who worked for years to make this happen. JABA thanks its partners and supporters: LTHS, the firm of McGuireWoods and its partner Sid Kanazawa, Kim Nakamaru, Jeffrey Chin, and JABA’s own members for participating in this effort, as well as the support from over 86 community and legal organizations that signed onto the petition. JABA urges everyone to learn more about Sei Fujii’s story by watching the award-winning short film directed by Chin, “Lil Tokyo Reporter” (http://www.ltreporter.com/blog/), and reading the forthcoming official English biography of Fujii, “A Rebel’s Outcry.”