Narrated by George Takei

Wayne M. Collins

Wayne M. Collins

And The Tule Lake Segregation Center

ONE FIGHTING IRISHMAN is a 30-minute film that tells the story of San Francisco civil rights attorney Wayne M. Collins’s passionate and uncompromising defense of the Constitution that drove him to spend 23 years successfully representing more than 5,000 Japanese Americans who renounced their American citizenship while imprisoned at the embattled Tule Lake Segregation Center, considered the worst of America’s ten WWII concentration camps.

As one of only a handful of attorneys who fought on behalf of the rights of Americans of Japanese ancestry while working with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Northern California, Collins also battled the national ACLU and the national Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) in representing Fred Korematsu, one of only a handful of people who refused to report for mass detention. After the war, he also represented Iva Toguri falsely accused of broadcasting as “Tokyo Rose.”

If you haven’t met Mr. Collins, you haven’t experienced the bitterness of 110,000 evacuees in one fighting Irishman.

– Edison Uno

Wayne M. Collins: Who Did More to Correct a Democracy’s Mistake Than Any Other One Person.

– Michi Nishiura Weglyn (Dedication to Years of Infamy: The Untold Story of America’s Concentration Camps)


The Story

ONE FIGHTING IRISHMAN, a 30-minute documentary narrated by George Takei, tells the story of the man who rescued more than 5,500 people from being deported to a country upon which many of them had never stepped foot.

At a time when wartime hysteria and racist hatred of American citizens of Japanese ancestry was sweeping the country, one attorney stood above the rest to fiercely defend the Constitutional rights of those the government considered the worst of the lot—those accused of being disloyal.

Resitance at Tule Lake

The Tule Lake camp became one among America’s ten concentration camps used to segregate those who answered “no” to two pivotal questions on an ambiguous and misleading government questionnaire that questioned loyalty.

Resitance at Tule Lake

The overcrowded Tule Lake Segregation Center would house more than 18,000 people, approximately 12,000 of whom the government labeled disloyal.

Wayne Collins represented more than 5,500 of these Americans who ended up renouncing their American citizenship that he claimed was a result of governmental duress. It would take him 23 years.

One Fighting Irishman - Wayne Collins