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[PROFILE] George Aratani - Philantropist

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  • madchinaman
    BIOGRAPHY (Ms. Melissa Aratani Kwee - Grand Daughter) http://www.uwcsea.edu.sg/head_site/UWCSEA%20TODAY/aug_melissa.htm The more you have, the more you give Ms
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 16, 2004
      BIOGRAPHY (Ms. Melissa Aratani Kwee - Grand Daughter)
      http://www.uwcsea.edu.sg/head_site/UWCSEA%20TODAY/aug_melissa.htm

      The more you have, the more you give
      Ms Melissa Aratani Kwee could have led the life of a socialite but
      chose to be a social activist. The child of a property tycoon and
      granddaughter of the Kenwood electronics-empire founder says money is
      only a tool - use it but do not let it use you.

      By Susan Long; POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, The Straits Times, Singapore,
      July 27th, 2001


      Members of a community should help each other out, says Ms Kwee, who
      is grateful for her family's support. -- WANG HUI FEN

      ONE label that will never stick on Ms Melissa Aratani Kwee is 'poor
      little rich girl'.

      The eldest child of property tycoon Kwee Liong Tek, chairman of
      Pontiac Land, and his Japanese-American wife exudes a quiet
      conviction, self-confidence and a social conscience money cannot buy.

      There is nothing 'mis-spent' or 'lost' about her.

      At 29, beneath the well-cut clothes and transatlantic accent, this
      Harvard anthropology graduate has a definite idea of how she wants to
      spend the rest of her life - to make a difference in other people's
      lives.

      As a girl, she says, she was always hatching plans to 'solve the
      world's problems'.

      While her teenage counterparts were making romantic forays, she spent
      her wonder years pursuing an array of social service projects, such
      as raising funds for flood victims, trying to save the rainforests in
      Malaysia and reading to depressed teenagers at Woodbridge hospital.

      She even worked with a conservation group in Nepal, where she learnt
      Nepali and taught English at a local high school.

      As soon as she graduated from Harvard university, she returned here
      in 1995 and set up a non-profit group for the development of women
      and youth called Project Access.

      She attributes her heightened social consciousness to the school she
      attended here, United World College, and its 'incredibly-compelling
      vision of young people being a positive force in their communities'.

      It helps that she really likes people.

      She makes it a point to chirp a breezy 'Hi' to counter staff and
      everyone else who meets her eye at Millenia Walk, which her family
      owns, along with other posh properties like the Ritz Carlton and
      Conrad International.

      Another strong influence was her family, which imbued in her a 'very
      strong ethic or value of playing your part, doing your bit and
      contributing what you have'.

      She and her three younger sisters and brother made it a point to do
      thoughtful things for each other, like writing little notes, giving
      flowers, putting toothpaste on each other's toothbrush in the
      morning.

      'They are just small, stupid things but there was always a sense that
      you can do a small thing to make somebody's day,' she says.

      She remembers many balmy summers spent in Los Angeles horseback
      riding, doing arts and crafts and getting to know her Japanese-
      American grandfather, Mr George Aratani, the founder of the Kenwood
      electronics empire and an avid philanthropist, who became her role
      model.

      When her grandfather turned 80 last year, she adopted his surname,
      Aratani, as her middle name as a sign of respect.

      YOGA AND FUND-RAISERS

      THE three tenets of this self-assured woman's life are to
      be 'peaceful, social and find something to learn'.

      These days, she spends half her waking hours doing corporate
      communications for the Pontiac Land group.

      To unwind, she hangs out with friends, 'checking out new and
      different things, whether it's food or places or activities', runs
      and goes for yoga classes.

      She also sits on a slew of committees, such as the United Nations
      Development Fund for Women (Unifem), the Singapore Repertory Theatre
      and the United World College school board, either doing review work
      or 'organising, advocating or connecting people'.

      Otherwise, she is speaking to youths or conducting workshops on
      various topics like volunteering, global awareness, leadership and
      family, or dabbling in schemes from Aids awareness projects to
      fundraisers for East Timor.

      Of course, she knows people can be snide about her monied background
      and her lack of a 'real job', and pin her public-spiritedness down to
      a rich girl having too much time on her hands.

      'What can I say? If I believed it I would feel bad about it, but I
      don't believe it so it just rolls off my back,' she says.

      'A lot of people I went to school with in the US were very well-
      educated and came from very affluent backgrounds but they tried so
      hard to refute the fact that they were from that background. I saw
      that as such a waste. I thought that there was a lot more they could
      be doing with their lives than trying to prove to people that they
      were no different.

      'It doesn't mean that I shouldn't try to make a living, it doesn't
      mean I should sit at home and do all kinds of frivolous activities. I
      think it's a responsibility, and it's something I don't feel obliged
      to do but it's something I want to do.

      'In this sense, it's expected but it's expected really out of a
      recognition that we have a lot,' she says. 'As the proverb goes: To
      those to whom much has been given, much is expected. So you give out
      of recognition of what you have.'




      http://goldsea.com/Bookview/Nonfiction/Son/son.html

      An American Son
      a biography of George Aratani
      Japanese American National Museum, 2001, 321 pp

      EXCERPT:
      trangers don't travel to Guadalupe, and if they happen to stop, they
      don't stay for long. There's no hotel in this California seaside
      town located 170 miles north of Los Angeles, and there's barely any
      mention of it in any tourist book. Of course, there are those who
      are drawn to such places, those who seek out historic spots lacking
      neon or fancy signs which contain clues to buried stories.
      Guadalupe's modest cemetery, surrounded by an iron fence, is one
      such spot.
      The graves of Swiss Italians, Portuguese, and Irish date back
      to the nineteenth century. A large section of the cemetery, maybe
      one quarter of its area, has granite headstones marked with such
      names as Ito, in both cursive Japanese kanji characters and English.
      Among them is a large, simple tombstone with these names: "Setsuo
      Aratani, 1885-1940," and "Yoshiko Aratani, 1889-1935."

      At one time, before World War II, Japanese farmers dominated
      this region. There were the Big Three -- Aratani, Minami, Tomooka --
      Japanese immigrants who tilled thousands of acres of farmland and
      harvested tons of carrots, lettuce, peas, and chili peppers; the
      produce was packed in ice and shipped as far as Texas and the East
      Coast. In town, boardinghouses were full of bachelors from Hawai'i,
      their lower arms and faces tanned dark as molasses. Country wives
      fermented boiled rice in wide, wooden barrels to produce powerful
      wine for their husband and friends.

      Today, little evidence remains of all this activity. Guadalupe
      Boulevard, the town's main drag, reveals only remnants of a heyday
      gone by. Everyone knows the local police chief and the former mayor,
      who helps operate an ice factory that stands next to the former site
      of the Guadalupe Produce packing shed.

      Before the arrival of the Big Three farmers, Chinese laborers,
      hoes in hand, broke the arid ground and planted sugar beets for the
      Union Sugar Mill in Betteravia, established in 1899. "All that's
      left of that era is a line of old tin buildings," explains Jose
      Rubalcaba, the co-founder of the Rancho de Guadalupe Historical
      Society.

      Jose, who is past 70, is the resident historian, with keys to
      all the important spots in town. He unlocks an old adobe jail that
      his group has restored and proudly points to bricks with donors'
      names at the top of the building. Later he guides us into the empty
      senior citizen center, where he takes from his briefcase colorful
      crate labels touting "Home Run King" and "All Star"
      vegetables. "These came from Guadalupe Produce," he says, "Aratani's
      place."

      All the old-timers know of Setsuo Aratani and his son George.
      Of the Big Three farmers, Setsuo was probably the most ambitious. He
      began one of the first packing operations, and he always thought
      big. He diversified his crops and his businesses, dabbled in the
      sale of sake (rice wine), from his hometown, and he launched a hog
      farm, a chili dehydrating plant, and a fertiliser plant, as well as
      investing in a wholesale produce market in Los Angeles.

      While other farmers had wood-framed homes with peeling paint
      battered by the weather, Setsuo resided in a Spanish-style house
      complete with a Japanese garden and goldfish pond. He was known
      as "Ace", both for his golfing and poker expertise. He played with
      the Japanese and he played with European Americans, and his passion
      for sports was infectious. Soon the whole town was baseball crazy,
      and everyone participated in golf tournaments held at the Santa
      Maria Country Club. For two decades in Guadalupe, the town -- at
      least superficially -- disregarded color barriers and joined
      together for picnics where Japanese, European Americans, Mexicans
      and Filipinos sat together to eat mesquite barbecue and watch
      performances by locals.





      http://www.imdiversity.com/villages/asian/Article_Detail.asp?
      Article_ID=8740

      George T. Aratani Endows $100,000 for APAICS Fellowship
      Release from APAICS Daniel K. Inouye Fellowship Program




      Washington, D.C. - 12/17/01 - The Asian Pacific American Institute
      for Congressional Studies (APAICS) has announced that George T.
      Aratani has endowed $100,000 for the Daniel K. Inouye Fellowship
      Program.
      The fellowship program is named after U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye
      of Hawaii, who is a decorated combat veteran of World War II who has
      served our nation with distinction in the United States House of
      Representatives and Senate for nearly 40 years. The nine-month
      program is designed to encourage a graduate student who has a
      commitment to the Asian Pacific American community to pursue a
      public policy career.
      George T. Aratani commented, "This is an excellent program. I know
      Senator Inouye personally, and he is doing a wonderful job for our
      community. I want to support the organization in his honor. " Mr.
      Aratani is currently Chair of the Aratani Foundation in Los Angeles,
      California. In 1994, the Aratani Foundation was created to help
      support non-profit organizations that serve the Asian Pacific
      American community. The Foundation was named after George Aratani
      who founded three international corporations: Mikasa - a leading
      tableware company, Kenwood - a high fidelity electronics enterprise
      and AMCO - a medical supply business.
      William H. (Mo) Marumoto, APAICS Chair stated, "I have known George
      Aratani for a long time, and he has always been a strong supporter
      of the Asian Pacific American community. We are deeply grateful that
      he has chosen to support APAICS by endowing one of the most
      prestigious Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) fellowship
      programs in Washington, DC."
      APAICS Executive Director, Daphne Kwok stated, "Last year, APAICS
      was proud to honor Mr. Aratani with a Lifetime Achievement award in
      appreciation for his long and distinguished career, and his
      commitment in support of Asian Pacific American political issues and
      candidates. This endowment reflects his continuing dedication to
      advancing our community."
      Mr. Aratani's generosity enabled APAICS to inaugurate the Daniel K.
      Inouye Fellowship Program in 2001. The first Inouye Fellow for the
      2001-02 Program year is Ms. Snehal Majithia of Chappaqua, New York.
      Ms. Majithia graduated in May of 1999 from New York University with
      a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, Gender Studies, and
      Asian American Studies. For the duration of her fellowship, Ms.
      Majithia is working with the Center for Policy Alternatives, a non-
      profit, nonpartisan public policy and leadership development center.
      Senator Daniel K. Inouye was elected to the U.S. House of
      Representatives in 1959 as Hawaii's first Congressman, and then to
      the U.S. Senate in 1962, where he has served ever since. Senator
      Inouye was a member of the celebrated Japanese American 442nd
      Regimental Combat Team during World War II. He lost his right arm
      during the war, and earned the Distinguished Service Cross, Bronze
      Star, Purple Heart, and 12 other medals and citations.
      The Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies
      (APAICS) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, educational organization based
      in Washington, D.C., that seeks to build a politically empowered APA
      community, to fill the political pipeline for Asian Pacific
      Americans to enter and advance into elected office, and to be a
      resource to Congress about the APA community. For more information
      contact Daphne Kwok (202) 296-9200

      An American Son - $22.00
      The story of George Aratani
      By Naomi Hirahara

      Decades before trade moved at its present pace between the United
      States and Japan, there was a Japanese immigrant's son with an
      American dream. Born to a prosperous farmer in California, George
      Aratani was forced to leave the family business behind when
      incarcerated with more than 120,000 other Japanese Americans during
      Would War II. After the war, he traveled to Japan with only a vague
      idea about what he would import from the war-devastated nation. What
      followed was the development of two powerful businesses, Mikasa and
      Kenwood. The story of the man who founded these companies not only
      reflects the economic rebuilding of Japan, but it also reveals the
      ability of Japanese Americans to create their own American success
      stories.

      George Aratani is recognized nationally for his visionary
      entrepeneurship. He is one of the most respected members of our
      business community. Because of his business ties with Japan, he has
      always been sensitive to the necessity of maintaining a strong and
      healthy relationship between Japan and the United States. His
      involvement in support of cultural exchange between these two
      nations is legendary.
      -The Honorable Daniel K. Inouye, U.S. Senator, Hawai'i
      In reading this book, one is struck by the determination of George
      Aratani and his colleagues to create their own business, despite the
      tragic setback of World War II when so many Japanese Americans lost
      everything. That George Aratani and his fellow businessmen were able
      to prevail in the face of such odds is a great credit to them and
      our American way of life.
      - The Honorable Norman Y. Mineta, former member of Congress and
      first Asian Pacific American Cabinet member

      George Aratani is a remarkably successful and innovative business
      leader. His legacy extends well beyond the name brand powerhouse
      companies he founded. For decades he has been a towering leader in
      the Japanese American community in Los Angeles as well as
      nationwide. Through his philanthropic generosity and commitments, he
      has played a singularly decisive role in supporting major
      cornerstone programs that will enrich the lives of Japanese
      Americans, indeed all Americans, for generations to come.
      - Don T. Nakamishi, Ph.D., Professor and Director, UCLA Asian
      American Studies Center




      TRANSFORMING TRAGEDY THROUGH PHILANTHROPY
      http://www.afpnet.org/tier3_cd.cfm?
      content_item_id=2845&folder_id=1525

      This is an excerpt from the July/August 2001 Advancing Philanthropy
      feature, "The Donor's Turn."
      Japanese American philanthropist George Aratani grew up in a small
      agricultural town in central California, never expecting to leave
      the family farming business. Then World War II intervened, and
      Aratani's entire family was interned. They lost everything they
      owned.
      This searing experience lies at the root of Aratani's giving: His
      goal is to help institutions involved with Japanese Americans help
      others with similar legacies of discrimination and loss. "They, too,
      went through trying and difficult times," he explains simply. That's
      a modest description of the price Japanese Americans paid during the
      internment and its aftermath, but then, his colleagues agree that
      George Aratani is a modest man.
      William H. "Mo" Marumoto, president of Interface Group, a
      Washington, DC, executive search firm, has served on several boards
      with Aratani over three decades. "Although he has made numerous
      major contributions to a number of organizations, he keeps a low
      profile about his giving," Marumoto says. "But he is incredibly
      generous.
      " In the postwar era, Aratani founded two highly successful American
      businesses, Mikasa Chinaware and Kenwood Electronics. Aratani wanted
      others to share the benefits of his success when, as he says, "I
      became fortunate enough to be in a position to help." Using the
      wisdom gained from his wartime tragedies, Aratani began the work
      that 30 years later has enriched and changed untold lives.
      A vision comes to life
      Aratani and the institutions he supports see the history of Japanese
      Americans as one of overcoming prejudice and fear. Telling that
      story will benefit all Americans by fostering a climate of mutual
      understanding and respect. Although Aratani supports some Pan Asian
      and some national causes, he directs his giving predominantly to
      Japanese American organizations in the greater Los Angeles area —
      many in that city's historic Little Tokyo district. Through major
      contributions, continuing support, and everyday ventures like
      raffles, his generosity spans the entire spectrum. The beneficiaries
      are too numerous to name, but the following three stand out:
      • The Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo.
      • The National Japanese American Memorial in Washington, DC.
      • The Asian American Studies Center at UCLAA.
      New legacy of hope
      In the words of Don Nakanishi, Ph.D., professor and director of the
      Asian American Studies Center, "The image and knowledge that most
      Americans had of Japanese Americans was so limited and distorted
      that it was possible to make wild things believable. So it's up to
      Japanese Americans to tell their story. The Center makes history
      come alive."
      "George has a real passion and unflinching commitment to the
      Japanese American community," Nakanishi says. "He takes his
      responsibilities as a board member very seriously. Having seen how
      isolated Japanese Americans were from the mainstream and how easy it
      was to demonize them, he feels he has to do this for the community."
      "The breadth of George's giving is unusual," agrees Irene Hirano,
      president and executive director of the Museum. "He looks across the
      range of Japanese American organizations and supports them at
      varying levels." Noting that Aratani's contributions go far beyond
      money, Hirano relates that Aratani was a major architect of the
      Museum's philosophy. "He knew it was critical to build a strong base
      of support for the museum within the Japanese American community
      first," she says. "Without that in place, there would have been no
      hope of success in soliciting other sectors, such as foundations and
      corporations."
      The impressive breadth of his vision is matched only by his
      extraordinary ability to effect change. From prejudice and
      injustice, desolate concentration camps, impounded wealth, and
      savaged spirits, he has created a living legacy of fulfillment and
      achievement. Marumoto sums up the view of the people and
      institutions fortunate enough to know and work with
      Aratani: "Everything about George is positive."
      ***


      UCLA's Asian American Studies Center Establishes First Endowed Chair
      Focusing on Japanese American Interment


      Date: February 17, 2004
      Contact: Letisia Marquez ( lmarquez@... )
      Phone: 310-206-3986
      http://newsroom.ucla.edu/page.asp?RelNum=4917

      The UCLA Asian American Studies Center has established the first
      endowed academic chair to focus on the World War II internment of
      120,000 Japanese Americans and their campaign to gain redress. The
      chair, which is the first of its kind in American higher education,
      was created with the generous donation of two internment survivors.
      The George and Sakaye Aratani Chair on the Japanese American
      Internment, Redress and Community also will focus on the decades-
      long campaign to gain redress and a national apology, which
      culminated with the passage of the 1988 Civil Liberties Act. In
      addition, the chair will examine the historical and contemporary
      trends and issues facing the Japanese American population, and
      support research, teaching and professional service activities on
      these topics by existing or newly recruited UCLA faculty.
      "The purpose of the chair is to ensure the World War II
      incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans, as well as their
      subsequent efforts, will always be remembered, taught and written
      about for generations," George Aratani said. "There are many
      important lessons that Americans and other peoples can learn so that
      similar tragedies never happen again."
      As a young man, George Aratani and his mother were forced to leave
      the family farm in the central California town of Guadalupe and
      enter the internment camp in Gila River, Ariz. His family lost
      everything they owned. Aratani went on to become the founder and
      chairman of Mikasa Dinnerware and Kenwood Electronics, two
      internationally recognized corporations. Over the years, George
      Aratani and his wife, Sakaye, who was interned in the Poston, Ariz.,
      camp, have made significant contributions to numerous nonprofit
      organizations and educational institutions.
      "We are greatly honored that the Aratanis have endowed this academic
      chair," said Don Nakanishi, director of the UCLA Asian American
      Studies Center. "It will ensure that the unjust removal and
      incarceration of thousands of Japanese Americans during World War
      II, as well as their extraordinary campaign to gain redress, will be
      taught to future generations of students at UCLA and will be the
      focus of continued research and public education by UCLA scholars
      for many years to come."
      "We are also thrilled that this academic chair will support
      teaching, research and public service dealing with historical and
      contemporary trends and issues facing Japanese American
      communities," Nakanishi said. "Clearly, the aftermath of 9/11
      demonstrated the importance of learning and applying the lessons
      from the Japanese American experience to current and future
      situations."
      George and Sakaye Aratani have supported the UCLA Asian American
      Studies Center for many years, and previously have established
      endowments for undergraduate scholarships, graduate fellowships and
      undergraduate community internships. They also have established
      endowments with UCLA's Center for Japanese Studies.
      "George and Sakaye have supported many organizations in the
      community, and have taken active voluntary leadership roles to build
      and enhance these programs," Nakanishi said. "They have left an
      unmatched legacy of commitment and generosity."
      Annually, the chair holder will be expected to teach at least one
      undergraduate or graduate course on the Japanese American interment,
      redress and community, or one in which major emphasis is placed on
      the three topics to illuminate broader societal lessons and issues.
      He or she will be expected to organize or participate in a public
      educational program designed to share the history and lessons of
      Japanese American internment, redress and community with the general
      public.
      The George and Sakaye Aratani Chair is the third endowed academic
      chair to be established at the UCLA Asian American Studies Center.
      The other two chairs also were the first of their kind. The Korea
      Times-Hankook Ilbo Chair for Korean American Studies was the first
      one dedicated to supporting Korean American Studies. The Chair in
      Japanese American Studies was established in the late 1970s by
      Japanese American alumni and friends of UCLA to promote Japanese
      American Studies.
      The latter chair was first held by the late Harry Kitano, a
      professor of social welfare and sociology and a pioneer in the
      social scientific study of Japanese Americans and other minority
      populations in the United States. The chair is currently held by
      Robert Nakamura, a professor of film and Asian American Studies and
      a renowned filmmaker who has produced award-winning documentaries on
      Japanese Americans and other Asian Pacific Americans for more than
      three decades.
      The center was established in August 1969 as one of four ethnic
      studies centers at UCLA. It has become the foremost national
      research center on Asian Pacific Americans. The center's mission is
      to interpret, define and forge the separate collective identities of
      Americans of Asian and Pacific Island heritage, and to integrate
      multidisciplinary approaches to the understanding of significant
      historical and contemporary Asian and Pacific American issues.
      George Aratani was 24 years old. His family was forced from their
      land
      in Central California and was sent to live behind barbed wire.




      http://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/mercurynews/news/local/states/cal
      ifornia/counties/alameda_county/7961611.htm

      UCLA gets $500,000 to study World War II internments

      Associated Press

      LOS ANGELES - A wealthy Japanese-American who was sent to an
      internment camp is donating $500,000 to study the massive World War
      II imprisonment.
      UCLA is expected to announce this week that George Aratani's
      donation will establish the nation's first endowed academic chair to
      study the internment and the decades that followed it.
      "Japanese Americans suffered terribly with the forced evacuation,"
      Aratani said. "And a guy like me, fortunate enough to have succeeded
      in business, should help keep the memories alive."
      There also is room for research on how Japanese-Americans rebuilt
      their communities after the war and on current issues affecting
      those communities, said Don Nakanishi. He directs the University of
      California, Los Angeles, Asian American Studies Center, which will
      house the chair.
      On Feb. 19, 1942, then-President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive
      Order 9066 authorizing the internment of Japanese-Americans into
      segregated camps out of the mass hysteria and paranoia sweeping the
      United States.
      Over the next three years, 120,313 people were sent to 10 camps
      throughout the West. It wasn't until 1988 that Congress issued an
      apology and President Reagan signed a bill authorizing reparations
      of $20,000 for each surviving camp veteran.
      Aratani ran his family's Central Valley farm, farm equipment,
      shipping and packing businesses. He estimated that he lost an
      estimated $20 million when he was forced into a camp and left the
      business to non-Japanese associates.
      He ended up losing most of it but never sued his partners.
      "If the president of the United States could put us behind barbed
      wire, what chance would I have in court when the war was going on?"
      he said.
      He later became wealthy by founding the Mikasa chinaware firm and
      the Kenwood electronics corporation.
      Aratani, 86, estimated that he and his wife have donated more than
      $10 million to Japanese-American causes, ranging from politicians to
      museums, sports programs and retirement homes.
      George Aratani founder of Mikasa China and Kenwood Electronics, was
      born in the Santa Maria Valley in a small town called Guadalupe.



      http://www.synergos.org/globalgivingmatters/briefs/0110roundup.htm
      Using philanthropy to fight prejudice
      California-born George Aratani, the Japanese-American founder of
      Mikasa Chinaware and Kenwood Electronics, has been a "quiet" but
      high-impact philanthropist. As the result of his experience being
      interned with his family during World War II, Aratani decided, when
      he became successful, to fund institutions that address issues of
      prejudice and fear so many Japanese Americans lived through.
      (Advancing Philanthropy, July/August 2001)


      http://www.afpnet.org/tier3_cd.cfm?
      content_item_id=2845&folder_id=1525
      TRANSFORMING TRAGEDY THROUGH PHILANTHROPY
      This is an excerpt from the July/August 2001 Advancing Philanthropy
      feature, "The Donor's Turn."
      Japanese American philanthropist George Aratani grew up in a small
      agricultural town in central California, never expecting to leave
      the family farming business. Then World War II intervened, and
      Aratani's entire family was interned. They lost everything they
      owned.
      This searing experience lies at the root of Aratani's giving: His
      goal is to help institutions involved with Japanese Americans help
      others with similar legacies of discrimination and loss. "They, too,
      went through trying and difficult times," he explains simply. That's
      a modest description of the price Japanese Americans paid during the
      internment and its aftermath, but then, his colleagues agree that
      George Aratani is a modest man.
      William H. "Mo" Marumoto, president of Interface Group, a
      Washington, DC, executive search firm, has served on several boards
      with Aratani over three decades. "Although he has made numerous
      major contributions to a number of organizations, he keeps a low
      profile about his giving," Marumoto says. "But he is incredibly
      generous.
      " In the postwar era, Aratani founded two highly successful American
      businesses, Mikasa Chinaware and Kenwood Electronics. Aratani wanted
      others to share the benefits of his success when, as he says, "I
      became fortunate enough to be in a position to help." Using the
      wisdom gained from his wartime tragedies, Aratani began the work
      that 30 years later has enriched and changed untold lives.
      A vision comes to life
      Aratani and the institutions he supports see the history of Japanese
      Americans as one of overcoming prejudice and fear. Telling that
      story will benefit all Americans by fostering a climate of mutual
      understanding and respect. Although Aratani supports some Pan Asian
      and some national causes, he directs his giving predominantly to
      Japanese American organizations in the greater Los Angeles area —
      many in that city's historic Little Tokyo district. Through major
      contributions, continuing support, and everyday ventures like
      raffles, his generosity spans the entire spectrum. The beneficiaries
      are too numerous to name, but the following three stand out:
      • The Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo.
      • The National Japanese American Memorial in Washington, DC.
      • The Asian American Studies Center at UCLAA.
      New legacy of hope
      In the words of Don Nakanishi, Ph.D., professor and director of the
      Asian American Studies Center, "The image and knowledge that most
      Americans had of Japanese Americans was so limited and distorted
      that it was possible to make wild things believable. So it's up to
      Japanese Americans to tell their story. The Center makes history
      come alive."
      "George has a real passion and unflinching commitment to the
      Japanese American community," Nakanishi says. "He takes his
      responsibilities as a board member very seriously. Having seen how
      isolated Japanese Americans were from the mainstream and how easy it
      was to demonize them, he feels he has to do this for the community."
      "The breadth of George's giving is unusual," agrees Irene Hirano,
      president and executive director of the Museum. "He looks across the
      range of Japanese American organizations and supports them at
      varying levels." Noting that Aratani's contributions go far beyond
      money, Hirano relates that Aratani was a major architect of the
      Museum's philosophy. "He knew it was critical to build a strong base
      of support for the museum within the Japanese American community
      first," she says. "Without that in place, there would have been no
      hope of success in soliciting other sectors, such as foundations and
      corporations."
      The impressive breadth of his vision is matched only by his
      extraordinary ability to effect change. From prejudice and
      injustice, desolate concentration camps, impounded wealth, and
      savaged spirits, he has created a living legacy of fulfillment and
      achievement. Marumoto sums up the view of the people and
      institutions fortunate enough to know and work with
      Aratani: "Everything about George is positive."


      http://www.emediaplan.com/admunch/Brands/kenwood.asp
      Kenwood
      It was in 1961 that three Southern Californians, George Aratani,
      Bill Kasuga, and Yoichi Nakase decided that what the country needed
      was a better stereo. Rather than building something from scratch,
      the three looked around to find who was already making advanced
      stereo equipment that they might market themselves. What they found
      was a Japanese corporation called Trio. Trio had a track record.
      Founded in 1946, they'd built Japan's first FM tuner and its first
      all-transistor amplifier, and plenty of other respected stereo
      equipment. A deal was made, and soon the three were importing and
      marketing their new line, which they decided to call Kenwood. What
      neither could have guessed was just how successful the upstart Los
      Angeles company would become. Within a few years Kenwood was making
      the most popular receiver in the country, and by 1986 the Kenwood
      name was so well known that the Trio corporation in Japan changed
      its name to Kenwood worldwide. That combination of ambition and
      engineering excellence has characterized Kenwood ever since. Dozens
      of groundbreaking products came to market because of the company's
      unusual way of developing products, with the American side
      discovering what people wanted and the engineers in Japan designing
      and building it. Thus, Kenwood built the first audio/video amplifier
      for home theater way back in 1981 and the first anti-theft car
      cassette deck that could be slid out of the dash.

      Kenwood tries to pay attention to what people want, not just what is
      possible to build. For example, Kenwood developed the Stage 3
      products after spending three years listening to what people said
      about home theater. What they wanted was an easier way to control
      their system. Another exciting achievement was the creation of MASK,
      the world's first self-hiding car stereo.

      In the meantime, Kenwood continued to improve and invent
      technologies that made their products sound or work better. Like
      DRIVE, a circuit that all but eliminates digital distortion, DualMag
      car speakers, which use two opposing magnets to increase accuracy,
      and K-STAT, the world's only output transistor with built-in heat
      sensors, which significantly reduces distortion and improves musical
      detail. Today, Kenwood products are distributed in over 120
      countries around the world, and Kenwood USA markets more than 250
      products.



      http://www.today.ucla.edu/2004/040224news_internees.html
      Former internees make sure no one forgets
      BY LETISIA MÁRQUEZ and
      WENDY SODERBURG
      UCLA Today
      During World War II, 25-year-old George Aratani was trying his best
      to run his late father's California produce and shipping businesses
      from the Gila River, Ariz., internment camp where he was being held
      with other Japanese Americans. He remembers well the shock of being
      forced to sell the businesses at an absurdly low price a year later,
      in 1943.
      "It was highway robbery, but we had to go along with it," Aratani
      recalled ruefully. "We lost everything."
      Sixty-one years later, Aratani and his wife, Sakaye, who was
      interned in the Poston, Ariz., camp, are making sure that the
      difficulties of that time are not forgotten. Through their gift, the
      UCLA Asian American Studies Center (AASC) has established the George
      and Sakaye Aratani Chair on the Japanese American Internment,
      Redress, and Community, the first endowed academic chair in the
      nation to focus on the World War II internment of Japanese Americans.
      The chair also will focus on the decades-long campaign to gain
      redress and a national apology, which culminated with the passage of
      the 1988 Civil Liberties Act, and on historical and current trends
      among Japanese Americans.
      "The purpose of the chair is to ensure that the World War II
      incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans, as well as their
      subsequent efforts, will always be remembered, taught and written
      about for generations," George Aratani said. "There are many
      important lessons that Americans and other peoples can learn so that
      similar tragedies never happen again."
      Aratani went on to become founder and chairman of Mikasa and
      Kenwood, two internationally recognized corporations. Over the
      years, he and Sakaye have endowed undergraduate scholarships,
      graduate fellowships and undergraduate community internships in the
      AASC and the Center for Japanese Studies.
      "We are thrilled that this academic chair will support teaching,
      research and public service dealing with historical and contemporary
      trends and issues facing Japanese-American communities," said Don
      Nakanishi, director of the AASC. "Clearly, the aftermath of 9/11
      demonstrated the importance of learning and applying the lessons
      from the Japanese-American experience to current and future
      situations."




      George Aratani lost millions when he was forced to leave behind his
      family's lucrative Central California agribusiness during the World
      War II internment of 120,000 people of Japanese descent.

      He later made millions back as a hard-driving entrepreneur who
      founded the Mikasa chinaware firm and the Kenwood electronics
      corporation.

      But Aratani, 86, never forgot his shattering wartime experience, and
      a new gift to UCLA from him and his wife, Sakaye, will help preserve
      the memory of the internment for generations to come.

      UCLA is set to announce this week that a $500,000 Aratani donation
      will establish the nation's first endowed academic chair to study
      the internment and the decades-long, successful campaign to gain
      redress for it.

      The internment was authorized 62 years ago this week when President
      Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 to remove all
      Japanese Americans and Japanese nationals from the West Coast after
      Tokyo's attack on Pearl Harbor.

      In 1982, a national commission concluded that war hysteria and fear
      had prompted the internment.

      Six years later, President Reagan issued a national apology, and
      Congress authorized reparations payments of $20,000 per internee.

      "Japanese Americans suffered terribly with the forced evacuation,"
      Aratani said, "and a guy like me, fortunate enough to have succeeded
      in business, should help keep the memories alive."

      Numerous academic chairs have been established around the country to
      study the Holocaust, and at least one is dedicated to research the
      massacre of Armenians in the early 20th century. Aware of such
      efforts, UCLA Asian American studies professor Don Nakanishi said he
      had begun seeking support for a chair on the Japanese American
      internment a few years ago.

      Nakanishi is also director of the UCLA Asian American Studies
      Center, which will house the chair. He said myriad avenues of
      research could be opened.

      Scholars say that relatively little is understood about the
      experience of the Japanese immigrants who were detained first —
      before the mass incarceration — or of detainees in Hawaii and Latin
      America.

      Nakanishi said the postwar period — how Japanese Americans managed
      to rebuild their broken communities and rebound to become a
      relatively affluent and educated minority group — is also ripe for
      research.

      He said the holder of the chair, who has not yet been named, would
      also focus on contemporary issues, such as how the community's rapid
      assimilation and shifting demographics will affect its survival.

      "There is no end to the lessons we can learn from one of this
      country's greatest mistakes and tragedies," said Nakanishi, whose
      center is home to the nation's largest Asian American studies
      program.

      Franklin Odo, who directs the Smithsonian Institution's Asian
      Pacific American program, said the Aratani gift would elevate the
      study of the wartime internment by conferring the backing of a major
      research institute.

      Odo said the chair would shine a light on the nation's ongoing
      struggle to balance individual rights and national security.

      Comparisons could be explored between the Japanese American
      experience and those of other groups, including Vietnam War
      protesters and black revolutionaries, as well as Arabs and Muslims
      in the current war on terrorism, he and Nakanishi said.

      The chair represents the latest contribution from the Aratanis,
      Southern California's biggest donors to Japanese American causes.
      The couple have helped sustain Japanese American retirement homes
      and cultural centers, museums and sports programs. They are
      Buddhist, but they also support Japanese American Christian
      churches. They are Republicans, but they also support Japanese
      American Democratic politicians.

      "I like to see Japanese Americans get to Washington, even if I don't
      believe in their philosophy," George Aratani said with a chuckle
      during an interview.

      A slender man with an easy smile and casual mien, Aratani figures he
      has given a total of more than $10 million to a handful of causes:
      the Japanese American National Museum, Japanese American Cultural &
      Community Center, Keiro Senior HealthCare, and UCLA's Asian American
      and East Asian studies programs, among others. His Aratani
      Foundation helps support about 100 recipients.

      "Their highest priority is to ensure the continuity of the Japanese
      American community," said Irene Hirano, the national museum's
      executive director.

      She added that George Aratani had given, not only money, but also
      time, heading up fundraising efforts in Japan for the museum and
      other causes.

      Hirano said such commitment is crucial in sustaining Japanese
      American institutions at a time when many are struggling to attract
      the support of younger, more assimilated generations.

      For his part, Aratani says his giving is inspired by the example of
      his father, Setsuo.

      A Hiroshima native, Setsuo Aratani overcame racist land laws to
      become a prosperous farmer and entrepreneur in the California
      seaside town of Guadalupe, near Santa Maria.

      According to "An American Son," an Aratani biography by Naomi
      Hirahara, the father grew lettuce, carrots, strawberries and other
      produce on 5,000 leased acres in the Santa Maria and Lompoc valleys.
      He also sold farm equipment, ran a packing and shipping business and
      launched other entrepreneurial ventures.

      He quickly became known as "Boss," sharing his leadership and
      wealth. According to Hirahara's book, he gave — not loaned — money
      to friends, bought a new car for the local Buddhist monk and
      organized a Japanese cooperative to raise money for local schools.

      His California-born son George did not intend to follow in his
      father's farming footsteps. After injuring his leg and dashing hopes
      of a professional baseball career, he was accepted at Stanford. But,
      at his father's urging, he studied instead at Keio University, a
      prestigious private school in Tokyo.

      The senior Aratani died a year before the war started, forcing the
      son to return home and run the family agribusiness. Then Pearl
      Harbor hit, and Aratani's life was changed.

      Forced by the Roosevelt order to evacuate, he left the business in
      the hands of non-Japanese associates and ended up losing most of it —
      in all, a value at that time of more than $20 million, he figures.

      He never sued his partners or attempted to recoup his losses.

      "If the president of the United States could put us behind barbed
      wire," he said, "what chance would I have in court when the war was
      going on?"

      Today, he expresses no bitterness. "What are you going to gain from
      being bitter?" he asked. "You have to be realistic and say you have
      nothing, and you have to put yourself together and get something
      going after the war."

      He did — in a big way.

      After serving in the U.S. Army's Military Intelligence Service
      teaching Japanese to American soldiers, he started Mikasa, Kenwood
      and a third business in Japan to import U.S. medical equipment.

      He has since retired from all three and spends most of his time on
      philanthropic activities, serving as a community godfather of sorts.

      Despite his high-profile giving — and a circle of friends that has
      included U.S. senators, university presidents, Japanese political
      leaders and the late Akio Morita, who founded Sony Corp. — Aratani
      is described by friends as modest and down-to-earth.

      He and his wife, who have two daughters, have lived in the same
      three-bedroom home for more than 40 years: a retreat in the
      Hollywood Hills featuring a Japanese garden and tatami room. He says
      he is just as happy at Burger King as at the finest geisha houses in
      Japan. And when he was shown his family name inscribed on the George
      and Sakaye Aratani/Japan America Theatre in downtown Los Angeles'
      Little Tokyo, the first thing he recalls saying is, "The name's too
      long."

      But the Aratani name is so common on buildings in Little Tokyo that,
      says museum spokesman Chris Komai, an archeologist in the distant
      future excavating the place would surely find his first question to
      be: Who is George Aratani?

      The answer, Aratani said, is "just a regular guy who tried to help
      his community."


      By Naomi Hirahara with an Introduction by Daniel I. Okimoto. Decades
      before trade moved between the United States and Japan at its
      present pace, there was a Japanese immigrant's son with an American
      dream. Born to a farming tycoon in California, George Aratani was
      forced to leave the family business behind when incarcerated with
      over 100,000 over Japanese Americans during World War II. After the
      war, he traveled to Japan with little idea of what he would import
      from the war-devastated archipelago. What followed was the
      development of two powerful businesses, Mikasa and Kenwood. The
      story of the many who founded these companies not only reflects the
      economic rebuildling of Japan, but also the struggle of Japanese
      Americans to make significant contributions to American history.
      First in the American Profiles series published by the Japanese
      American National Museum. Paper: 320 pp.


      EXCERPTS FROM AN AMERICAN SON: THE STORY OF GEORGE ARATANI, FOUNDER
      OF MIKASA AND KENWOOD BY NAOMI HIRAHARA:

      At one time, before World War II, Japanese farmers dominated this
      region [Guadalupe, California]. There were the Big Three-Aratani,
      Minami, Tomooka-Japanese immigrants who tilled thousands of acres of
      farmland and harvested tons of carrots, lettuce, peas, and chili
      peppers; the produce was packed in ice and shipped as far as Texas
      and the East Coast.

      Setsuo was responsible for farming close to 5,000 acres in both the
      Santa Maria and Lompoc valleys, and he operated two packing sheds,
      including Guadalupe Produce. Poised to inherit this agricultural
      kingdom was his only son, George Tetsuo, but the glory days of
      Guadalupe proved to be fleeting. It was then up to the son to take
      the lessons of Guadalupe and apply them to an arena that involved
      factories rather than fields.

      ---------------------------------------------------------------------
      ---

      [By 1928, Setsuo's business was doing so well that he sent his
      company baseball team to Japan.] Setsuo had spent $3,000 on the
      tour, a small fortune at that time. Weeks later, when he took George
      for a walk through fields of cauliflower and broccoli, he explained
      his business philosophy to his son. "Joji, if you want to get into
      business and continue to grow, you have to surround yourself with
      capable people," Setsuo said. "You must treat them as part of the
      company. There are only 24 hours in a day. When the business gets
      bigger and bigger, there are so many things to do. You need good
      people to take on various important responsibilities. Then you can
      continue to make progress and grow bigger. But first you have to
      work as a team, just like the team that went to Japan." This
      philosophy, which had been crucial to the success of the elder
      Aratani, would become the foundation of George's future empire.

      ---------------------------------------------------------------------
      ---

      In spite of the differences between the Guadalupe of old and the
      Little Tokyo of today, one thing remains constant for George: he has
      carried the entrepreneurial spirit of his father, Setsuo Aratani,
      inside him. This spirit has given birth to three international
      companies-Mikasa, Kenwood, and AMCO-and it has provided direction
      during times of turmoil on foreign soil in Japan, in scorched desert
      camps in Arizona, and on the congested streets of Manhattan.




      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/asianamericanartistry/message/981
      BIOGRAPHY
      http://www.synergos.org/globalgivingmatters/briefs/0110roundup.htm

      Using philanthropy to fight prejudice California-born George Aratani,
      the Japanese-American founder of Mikasa Chinaware and Kenwood
      Electronics, has been a "quiet" but high-impact philanthropist. As
      the result of his experience being interned with his family during
      World War II, Aratani decided, when he became successful, to fund
      institutions that address issues of prejudice and fear so many
      Japanese Americans lived through. (Advancing Philanthropy,
      July/August 2001)


      -----------


      BIOGRAPHY
      http://www.imdiversity.com/villages/asian/Article_Detail.asp?
      Article_ID=8740

      Mr. Aratani is currently Chair of the Aratani Foundation in Los
      Angeles, California. In 1994, the Aratani Foundation was created to
      help support non-profit organizations that serve the Asian Pacific
      American community. The Foundation was named after George Aratani who
      founded three international corporations: Mikasa - a leading
      tableware company, Kenwood - a high fidelity electronics enterprise
      and AMCO - a medical supply business.

      -------

      TRANSFORMING TRAGEDY THROUGH PHILANTHROPY
      http://www.afpnet.org/tier3_cd.cfm?
      content_item_id=2845&folder_id=1525

      This is an excerpt from the July/August 2001 Advancing Philanthropy
      feature, "The Donor's Turn."

      Japanese American philanthropist George Aratani grew up in a small
      agricultural town in central California, never expecting to leave the
      family farming business. Then World War II intervened, and Aratani's
      entire family was interned. They lost everything they owned.

      This searing experience lies at the root of Aratani's giving: His
      goal is to help institutions involved with Japanese Americans help
      others with similar legacies of discrimination and loss. "They, too,
      went through trying and difficult times," he explains simply. That's
      a modest description of the price Japanese Americans paid during the
      internment and its aftermath, but then, his colleagues agree that
      George Aratani is a modest man.

      William H. "Mo" Marumoto, president of Interface Group, a Washington,
      DC, executive search firm, has served on several boards with Aratani
      over three decades. "Although he has made numerous major
      contributions to a number of organizations, he keeps a low profile
      about his giving," Marumoto says. "But he is incredibly generous.

      " In the postwar era, Aratani founded two highly successful American
      businesses, Mikasa Chinaware and Kenwood Electronics. Aratani wanted
      others to share the benefits of his success when, as he says, "I
      became fortunate enough to be in a position to help." Using the
      wisdom gained from his wartime tragedies, Aratani began the work that
      30 years later has enriched and changed untold lives.

      A vision comes to life
      Aratani and the institutions he supports see the history of Japanese
      Americans as one of overcoming prejudice and fear. Telling that story
      will benefit all Americans by fostering a climate of mutual
      understanding and respect. Although Aratani supports some Pan Asian
      and some national causes, he directs his giving predominantly to
      Japanese American organizations in the greater Los Angeles area —
      many in that city's historic Little Tokyo district. Through major
      contributions, continuing support, and everyday ventures like
      raffles, his generosity spans the entire spectrum. The beneficiaries
      are too numerous to name, but the following three stand out:

      The Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo.
      The National Japanese American Memorial in Washington, DC.
      The Asian American Studies Center at UCLAA.
      New legacy of hope

      In the words of Don Nakanishi, Ph.D., professor and director of the
      Asian American Studies Center, "The image and knowledge that most
      Americans had of Japanese Americans was so limited and distorted that
      it was possible to make wild things believable. So it's up to
      Japanese Americans to tell their story. The Center makes history come
      alive."

      "George has a real passion and unflinching commitment to the Japanese
      American community," Nakanishi says. "He takes his responsibilities
      as a board member very seriously. Having seen how isolated Japanese
      Americans were from the mainstream and how easy it was to demonize
      them, he feels he has to do this for the community."

      "The breadth of George's giving is unusual," agrees Irene Hirano,
      president and executive director of the Museum. "He looks across the
      range of Japanese American organizations and supports them at varying
      levels." Noting that Aratani's contributions go far beyond money,
      Hirano relates that Aratani was a major architect of the Museum's
      philosophy. "He knew it was critical to build a strong base of
      support for the museum within the Japanese American community first,"
      she says. "Without that in place, there would have been no hope of
      success in soliciting other sectors, such as foundations and
      corporations."

      The impressive breadth of his vision is matched only by his
      extraordinary ability to effect change. From prejudice and injustice,
      desolate concentration camps, impounded wealth, and savaged spirits,
      he has created a living legacy of fulfillment and achievement.
      Marumoto sums up the view of the people and institutions fortunate
      enough to know and work with Aratani: "Everything about George is
      positive."

      --------

      Kenwood
      http://www.emediaplan.com/admunch/Brands/kenwood.asp

      It was in 1961 that three Southern Californians, George Aratani, Bill
      Kasuga, and Yoichi Nakase decided that what the country needed was a
      better stereo. Rather than building something from scratch, the three
      looked around to find who was already making advanced stereo
      equipment that they might market themselves. What they found was a
      Japanese corporation called Trio. Trio had a track record. Founded in
      1946, they'd built Japan's first FM tuner and its first all-
      transistor amplifier, and plenty of other respected stereo equipment.
      A deal was made, and soon the three were importing and marketing
      their new line, which they decided to call Kenwood. What neither
      could have guessed was just how successful the upstart Los Angeles
      company would become. Within a few years Kenwood was making the most
      popular receiver in the country, and by 1986 the Kenwood name was so
      well known that the Trio corporation in Japan changed its name to
      Kenwood worldwide. That combination of ambition and engineering
      excellence has characterized Kenwood ever since. Dozens of
      groundbreaking products came to market because of the company's
      unusual way of developing products, with the American side
      discovering what people wanted and the engineers in Japan designing
      and building it. Thus, Kenwood built the first audio/video amplifier
      for home theater way back in 1981 and the first anti-theft car
      cassette deck that could be slid out of the dash.

      Kenwood tries to pay attention to what people want, not just what is
      possible to build. For example, Kenwood developed the Stage 3
      products after spending three years listening to what people said
      about home theater. What they wanted was an easier way to control
      their system. Another exciting achievement was the creation of MASK,
      the world's first self-hiding car stereo.

      In the meantime, Kenwood continued to improve and invent technologies
      that made their products sound or work better. Like DRIVE, a circuit
      that all but eliminates digital distortion, DualMag car speakers,
      which use two opposing magnets to increase accuracy, and K-STAT, the
      world's only output transistor with built-in heat sensors, which
      significantly reduces distortion and improves musical detail. Today,
      Kenwood products are distributed in over 120 countries around the
      world, and Kenwood USA markets more than 250 products.


      =========



      Triple Threat All-Stars (lt to rt) George Aratani, Cappy Harada and
      Masao Iriyama.

      http://www.niseibaseball.com/Nisei%20Photo%20Gallery/Web%20Page%
      20Groups/Major%20League%20Tributes/WebPage-Info.00008.html


      George Aratani batted .500 for his State Championship Santa maria
      High School. They beat Ted William's Hoover High School. Earlier in
      that season, Hall of Famers, Honus Wagner, Paul and Lloyd Waner were
      assistanct coaches for the Pittsburgh Pirates and picked George and
      his teammate Lester Webber to work out with the team.

      Cappy Harada served under General MacArthur during the war and helped
      to bring the country back through baseball exhibitions with Lefty
      O'Doul's Seals.

      Masao iriyama was batting .400 for his Guadalupe Team in the Tule
      Lake Detention Camp, when his brother, a p[ilot, was killed in action
      while flying for the Shoen-Kok-hei - he was shot down in 1944 when a
      B-29 attacked Tokyo




      ---------

      An American Son - $22.00 / The story of George Aratani
      By Naomi Hirahara
      http://www.dunescenter.org/anamson.html

      Decades before trade moved at its present pace between the United
      States and Japan, there was a Japanese immigrant's son with an
      American dream. Born to a prosperous farmer in California, George
      Aratani was forced to leave the family business behind when
      incarcerated with more than 120,000 other Japanese Americans during
      Would War II. After the war, he traveled to Japan with only a vague
      idea about what he would import from the war-devastated nation. What
      followed was the development of two powerful businesses, Mikasa and
      Kenwood. The story of the man who founded these companies not only
      reflects the economic rebuilding of Japan, but it also reveals the
      ability of Japanese Americans to create their own American success
      stories.

      George Aratani is recognized nationally for his visionary
      entrepeneurship. He is one of the most respected members of our
      business community. Because of his business ties with Japan, he has
      always been sensitive to the necessity of maintaining a strong and
      healthy relationship between Japan and the United States. His
      involvement in support of cultural exchange between these two nations
      is legendary.
      -The Honorable Daniel K. Inouye, U.S. Senator, Hawai'i
      In reading this book, one is struck by the determination of George
      Aratani and his colleagues to create their own business, despite the
      tragic setback of World War II when so many Japanese Americans lost
      everything. That George Aratani and his fellow businessmen were able
      to prevail in the face of such odds is a great credit to them and our
      American way of life.
      - The Honorable Norman Y. Mineta, former member of Congress and first
      Asian Pacific American Cabinet member

      George Aratani is a remarkably successful and innovative business
      leader. His legacy extends well beyond the name brand powerhouse
      companies he founded. For decades he has been a towering leader in
      the Japanese American community in Los Angeles as well as nationwide.
      Through his philanthropic generosity and commitments, he has played a
      singularly decisive role in supporting major cornerstone programs
      that will enrich the lives of Japanese Americans, indeed all
      Americans, for generations to come.

      - Don T. Nakamishi, Ph.D., Professor and Director, UCLA Asian
      American Studies Center


      ---------
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