John Suzuki: American Grit


“If this is for our protection, why are the guns pointed at us?”

-John Suzuki


Bump In The Road:

John Suzuki on the Japanese American Experience in WWII

The Story of Japanese Interment Camps in WW II


John Suzuki is a Japanese American who stumbled upon the story of Japanese internment camps during World War II.  It was a story that rattled him.

The camps were created when President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, authorizing the United States Army to round up and detain anyone who was at least 1/16 of Japanese ancestry. The camps were primitive, without running water or insulation. Summer temperatures soared over 100 degrees and winters were bitingly cold. Minidoka was one of these camps.

It was at Minidoka that John met the survivors of the camps and discovered a billboard honoring the 1,000 Japanese Americans who volunteered to fight for the U.S. army, the very entity that had detained them in these camps.


The irony of this is that  we were fighting a war for freedom and democracy 

around the world while throwing our own citizens in these concentration camps,

solely because of their race.


John was hooked on the story which turned into his book American Grit. The book follows the story of Shiro Cashino, aka  “Kash”. Kash was awarded a Silver Star, six Purple Hearts, a bronze sta. He was one of the most decorated soldiers of World War Two, until he was accused of a crime he didn’t commit.

This is a story of our past and a warning for our future. Join us as we learn about Kash’s life, and the efforts of his family to redeem the reputation of this amazing war hero.


John Suzuki: The Japanese American Experience



” I came across a flyer that talked about this pilgrimage to a place called Minidoka.


“I didn’t know what a pilgrimage was. And I didn’t know what a Minidoka was.


“In this former concentration camp was a billboard that listed the names of 1,000 Japanese American men who volunteered to fight and in some cases die for the United States Army.”


“I had no idea that this that this happened, and I was stunned.”


“I don’t think people really realize what a terrible piece of American history this is.”


“Everybody who had 1/16 of Japanese ancestry, were put in these 10 concentration camps scattered across the United States.” 


“One of the inmates said if this is for our protection, why are the guns pointed at us?” 



Bump in the Road

Everyone hits a bump in the road. The question becomes: What do you do with it?

I share stories about how people experience, manage and navigate life's bumps, hopefully using them as a pivot into a more conscious and meaningful life.