The National Japanese American United Methodist Caucus (N.J.A.U.M.C.), representing historically Japanese American United Methodist congregations, mourns the passing of U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye.
Named after the Methodist pastor who operated an orphanage where his mother had been raised during part of her childhood, Senator Inouye distinguished himself as a trailblazer for persons of Japanese ancestry in the national arena. He was the first U.S. representative from the state of Hawaii, the first Japanese American member of Congress, and a decorated W.W. II Medal of Honor recipient.
Last year, Senator Inouye joined fellow Japanese American W.W. II veterans of the 100th
Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team (44nd RCT), and Military Intelligence
Service (MIS), U.S. Army, who were bestowed the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest
civilian award given by Congress, for their dedicated service in World War II by the United
States Congress at a special ceremony held on Nov. 2, 2011.
During the campaign for Japanese American redress and reparations in the 1980’s, the senior senator from Hawaii noted the irony of serving alongside second-generation Japanese American soldiers from the mainland, whose parents were locked up in U.S. government internment camps while these same soldiers shed blood on foreign battlefields for the U.S. government.
Throughout his life and career, Senator Inouye was an advocate for the underrepresented and marginalized persons of society who took seriously his United Methodist faith. An example of this was his constant support of the Susannah Wesley Community Center, a mission agency of the United Methodist Church, in the Kalihi area of Honolulu, HI. Over the years, he maintained his relationship with the Harris Memorial United Methodist Church in Honolulu, HI.
The N.J.A.U.M.C. joins all people from the state of Hawaii and across the U.S. in mourning the loss of a great public servant and fellow patron of the United Methodist Church.