GRANITE BAY, Calif. (KTXL) – A Granite Bay woman has led a project 15 years in the making that is arriving at the post office June 3, a new stamp honoring the courage and sacrifice of Japanese American soldiers during World War II.
“I’m so happy about it. It’s unbelievable,” said 94-year-old Fusa Takahashi. “I think because of their heritage they were so brave, that they accomplished so much.”
Takahashi started the grassroots campaign Stamp Our Story in 2005 with two other Japanese American women who spent years in Japanese internment camps and whose relatives fought in the war.
She can recall her time confined in Colorado at just 14 years old.
“The sandstorms are just terrible and the loss of privacy was terrible. You had to shower in public, there was no doors or anything,” Takahashi told FOX40.
But from behind the barbed wire, 33,000 Americans of Japanese heritage answered the call to serve in the U.S. military, including Takahashi’s husband.
She hoped a stamp would help commemorate their contributions to the country after all these years.
“I wanted the stamp to, when you look at it, to know who it honors,” she explained.
It features a Nisei soldier from the 100th infantry battalion whose motto was, “Go for broke.”
“They intercepted messages from Japan and were able to shorten the war by at least two years and thereby saving countless lives,” Takahashi said.
But despite their service, Takahashi said they faced discrimination on the battlefield and at home that lingers to this day.
“I felt that if people knew more about things like that it would help with discrimination,” she said.
And she hopes this print will finally be their stamp of acknowledgment more than seven decades later.
“Always be proud of who you are,” Takahashi told FOX40.
On Saturday, congresswoman Doris Masui joined community members in dedicating the new stamp into production.
The stamp can be bought at U.S. post offices or online.