Community Organizer, Tsuru For Solidarity
Michael Ishii is a yonsei living in NYC where he has split his time as a performing artist, organizer and clinician. Michael is the co-leader and co-founder of Tsuru for Solidarity and has been the co-chair of the New York Day of Remembrance Committee for 30 years. He is the chair of the New York Japanese American Oral History Project which received a 2018 JACS Grant, and he is a former president of the JACL, New York Chapter. Michael also serves as a volunteer for the Tule Lake Pilgrimage Committee and sits on the board for the Hudson Valley Park for Study and Reflection. He has written and performed spoken word and performance art pieces related to his family’s incarceration in the WRA camp, Minidoka, exploring themes of remembrance and healing from intergenerational trauma. He studied classical music at the Oberlin Conservatory and The Juilliard School, performing extensively as a french hornist with NYC orchestra and chamber ensembles for 20 years before moving to a career in East Asian medicine. Michael was the clinical chair for the University of Bridgeport Acupuncture Institute and now practices privately in NYC. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate studying Traditional Chinese Medicine with a focus on the ability of five phase nodal sounds to affect blood pressure in humans.