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Go For Broke National Education Center




In 1986, a group of Japanese Americans who had served in military units during World War II embarked on a mission that would prove to be one of the most important and rewarding missions of their lives. Led by Colonel (Ret.) Young Oak Kim and Yoshio Buddy "Y.B." Mamiya, the group sought to bring recognition to the Nisei men who had served with them. The national loyalty of these Nisei had been questioned during wartime. The impact of this distrust on their lives, and the lives of those around them, had been devastating, and was still felt. Yet despite this, these men had far surpassed the challenge to their allegiance through acts of extraordinary valor. Nearly forty years after the war's end, they remained largely unacknowledged by the government and unknown to most Americans.

In 1989, the 100th/442nd/MIS World War II Memorial Foundation was established. Over the next ten years, the Foundation worked tirelessly to raise awareness about the Nisei veterans. They held their first teachers' training workshop, began an oral history program and raised funds for a monument to honor their fellow Nisei veterans. On June 5, 1999, the Go For Broke Monument was dedicated in Los Angeles. The granite monument remains a striking tribute to the Nisei soldiers who fought overseas in World War II. With the monument in place, the Foundation shifted its focus to preserving the veterans' histories so that others might learn from their experiences.

Beginning in 1998, using studio quality camera and sound equipment, the foundation began video recording oral histories of the Japanese American veterans. Today, we have more than 1,200 of these Hanashi (“to talk”) interviews, the largest collection of its kind in the country.

Today, the Foundation, renamed Go For Broke National Education Center, continues its work of educational outreach to share the legacy of the Nisei veterans. Collaborating with organizations that share our vision, we continue to promote educational programs about the Japanese American World War II experience. Through these life stories, we hope to inspire today's generation and those of tomorrow to live the core values embodied by these Nisei soldiers.