Activist James Akira Hirabayashi Passes Away

People need to know who James Akira Hirabayashi was. A scholar and an activist, he was one of the professors who “risked their jobs when they went on strike in 1968, a historic social movement that led to the creation of the first autonomous school of ethnic studies” at San Francisco State University. He later became the chair of the department. He was also an earlier advisor and employee of the Japanese American National Museum and according to one of my colleagues, helped shape the “philosophical foundation of the museum that continues to guide our work today.” This is just a way of saying that Mr. Hirabayashi in my hero and he is proof that not heroes are made on a battle field.

For more on Mr. Hirabayashi, check out this article.

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About Koji Steven Sakai

Writer/Producer Koji Steven Sakai is the founder of Little Nalu Pictures LLC and the CEO of CHOPSO (, the first Asian English streaming video service. He has written five feature films that have been produced, including the indie hit, The People I’ve Slept With. He also produced three feature films, a one hour comedy special currently on Netflix, and Comedy InvAsian, a live and filmed series featuring the nation’s top Asian American comedians. Koji’s debut novel, Romeo & Juliet Vs. Zombies, was released in paperback in 2015 and in audiobook in 2016 and his graphic novel, 442, was released in 2017. In addition, he is currently an adjunct professor in screenwriting at International Technological University in San Jose.
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