Frank Abe, Tamiko Nimura, Ross Ishikawa and Tom Ikeda Discuss “We Hereby Refuse”

June 14, 2021 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Online (see listing)

Join us to celebrate the release of We Hereby Refuse, which honors three historic voices and their three acts of defiance in the face of one mass injustice. Registration required. Click here to register via EventBrite.

This event is presented in partnership with Densho, The Wing Luke, and Elliott Bay Book Company and is supported by The Seattle Public Library Foundation and The Gary and Connie Kunis Foundation. Thanks to media sponsor The Seattle Times. This event will be recorded, captioned and then posted on SPL’s YouTube channel after the event.


Japanese Americans complied when evicted from their homes in World War II — but many refused to submit to imprisonment in American concentration camps without a fight. In this groundbreaking graphic novel, meet JIM AKUTSU, the inspiration for John Okada’s No-No Boy, who refuses to be drafted from the camp at Minidoka when classified as a non-citizen, an enemy alien; HIROSHI KASHIWAGI, who resists government pressure to sign a loyalty oath at Tule Lake, but yields to family pressure to renounce his U.S. citizenship; and MITSUYE ENDO, a reluctant recruit to a lawsuit contesting her imprisonment, who refuses a chance to leave the camp at Topaz so that her case could reach the U.S. Supreme Court. Based upon painstaking research, We Hereby Refuse presents an original vision of America’s past with disturbing links to the American present.


Frank Abe wrote and directed the PBS film on the largest organized resistance to incarceration, Conscience and the Constitution. He won an American Book Award for JOHN OKADA: The Life & Rediscovered Work of the Author of No-No Boy (University of Washington Press) and is co-editing a new anthology of incarceration literature for Penguin Classics. He blogs at

Tamiko Nimura is an Asian American (Sansei/Pinay) writer living in Tacoma, Washington. Her training in literature and American ethnic studies (MA, PhD, University of Washington) prepared her to research, document, and tell the stories of people of color. She can be found at

Ross Ishikawa is a cartoonist and animator living in Seattle. In addition to his work on We Hereby Refuse, he is working on a graphic novel about his parents and their coming of age during World War II. His work is online at

Tom Ikeda, the founding Executive Director of Densho, is a sansei (third generation Japanese American) who was born and raised in Seattle. Tom’s parents and grandparents were incarcerated during World War II at Minidoka, Idaho. Prior to working at Densho, Tom was a General Manager at Microsoft Corporation in the Multimedia Publishing Group, and previously worked as a research engineer and as a financial analyst. He has received numerous awards for his historical contributions, including the Humanities Washington Award for outstanding achievement in the public humanities, the National JACL Japanese American of the Biennium award for Education, and the Microsoft Alumni Fellows Award.

View in Catalog We Hereby Refuse by Abe Frank

ADA Accommodations: We can provide accommodations for people with disabilities at Library events. Please contact at least seven days before the event to request accommodations. Captions are available for all recorded Library programs.

1 Reply to "Frank Abe, Tamiko Nimura, Ross Ishikawa and Tom Ikeda Discuss "We Hereby Refuse""

  • Frank Abe June 13, 2021 (12:17 am)

    Hi Tracy, thanks for sharing this, I had to say hi. I had time to finish this book once I retired in 2019. Here’s a tip: our book is a Peak Pick at the Seattle Public Library and I see that as of this moment, four copies are on the shelf at High Point, six copies are checked out of Southwest Branch. Oddly they don’t seem to have made it to West Seattle Branch yet, but you can always place a hold there. Thanks, and I hope readers enjoy the book. — Frank

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