Legislative Strategy Chair of Legislative Education Committee, Japanese American Citizen League Founding Editor and Co-author of the Almanac of American Politics
Consulate General of Japan in New York
November 3, 2011
Grant Ujifusa will be honored with the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays for his contribution to the preserving and promoting history and culture of the Japanese American Community and promoting mutual understanding between Japan and the United States.
The conferment ceremony for Mr. Ujifusa will take place in New York in January 26th 2012. The ceremony will be held by invitation only.
Mr. Grant Ujifusa
– Japanese American Redress
Mr. Ujifusa was a key player in securing the passage of the historic Civil Liberties Act of 1988. The legislation provided redress for grievances caused by the internment of Japanese Americans during the World War II. Mr. Ujifusa significantly affected the course of the bill in all three branches of government – the House, the Senate, and the White House.
In 1983, Japanese American leaders asked Mr. Ujifusa to become their chief strategist as they worked to secure passage of the Civil Liberties Act. They knew that Mr. Ujifusa, as the co-author of the “Almanac of American Politics,” had unmatched access to Representatives and Senators from both parties. Mr. Ujifusa worked closely with Japanese American members of Congress to devise a justification for redress that would appeal to both liberals and conservatives of the 1980s.
While he is well-known for convincing senior Republican leaders in the House to vote for redress, Mr. Ujifusa is probably best remembered for reversing President Ronald Reagan’s publicly-stated opposition to redress. When President Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act on August 10, 1988, the Japanese American community achieved a stunning and historic victory
– Contributions as an Editor
Mr. Ujifusa, a former senior editor at Random House, is also the former founding editor and former co-author of the “Almanac of American Politics,” a book in constant use at the White House, in Congress, and among the national media.
The first edition of the “Almanac of American Politics” was published in 1972, when it was a National Book Award finalist. Journalists such as Tim Russert and George Will called the book “the bible of American politics.”
While at Random House, Mr.Ujifusa commissioned an oral history of the Japanese American internment camp experience, “And Justice For All,” preserving an important piece of Japanese cultural history for future generations.
– The Japanese American Community and American-Japanese Relations
Mr. Ujifusa, a third-generation Japanese American, grew up on farm in Wyoming, where his Okayama-born grandfather came to help build a railroad in 1904. An academic and athletic star in high school, he was admitted to Harvard from which he graduated with honors in 1965.
Mr. Ujifusa’s mother, Mary Ujifusa, was fluent in written and spoken Japanese. Proud of her Japanese heritage, she was also committed to equal rights for all Americans. From his mother, Mr. Ujifusa learned why civic engagement was both necessary and rewarding.
Mr. Ujifusa served on the Board of Governors at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles and on the Board of Directors of the Japanese American Memorial Foundation in Washington, DC. Extensively interviewed about the redress movement, he has also written many articles about the redress bill as it moved through Congress and on to the President’s desk. He now consults for a major Wall Street firm, where he shares his insight politics and the economy that has developed over a lengthy and illustrious career of achievement and service.
Mr. Ujifusa lives with his wife, Amy Ujifusa, a clinical social worker, and an adopted son John in Chappaqua, New York. His biological sons Steven, a historian, and Andrew, a newspaper reporter, are, like their father, graduates of Harvard.