Stuff contributed by Greg

Tokyo Rose: The Making of a Hollywood Myth

Greg Robinson

During the latter stages of World War II, Hollywood studios produced a number of war movies dealing with Japan, including Destination Tokyo (1943), starring Cary Grant; Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944), with Spencer Tracy; and James Cagney’s Blood on the Sun (1945). These films, generally dismissed as wartime propaganda, have been all but forgotten in film …

Lotus Long: The Short Career of a Screen Siren

Greg Robinson

Ryan Murphy’s recent Netflix miniseries Hollywood uses counterfactual history to tell some real-life stories of Hollywood. Among them is the sad tale of Anna May Wong (played by Michelle Krusiec), the brilliant film actress of the 1930s who faced typecasting due to her Asian ancestry. Relegated to stereotypical “dragon lady” …

Toge Fujihira: Master Photographer and World Traveler - Part 2

Greg RobinsonJonathan van Harmelen

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Toge Fujihira: Master Photographer and World Traveler - Part 1

Greg RobinsonJonathan van Harmelen

Toge Fujihira (whose family name was sometimes reported as Fujihara) left the West Coast in the years before World War II and settled in New York, where he distinguished himself as a photographer and documentary filmmaker. During the postwar era, he established himself as a professional cameraman and photographer, capturing …

The N-Word and the Japanese American Press

Jonathan van HarmelenGreg Robinson

In the wide world of American racial epithets, one word seems to stand apart as uniquely hateful and wounding: the term euphemized as the “N-word.” Applied to African Americans, it is a corruption of the term Negro—a term that has gone through its own complex history. Like the Nazi swastika, …

Kenji Toda: Groundbreaking Artist and Scholar

Greg Robinson

Not long ago I did a Discover Nikkei piece on the artist Bunji Tagawa, who made a career of scientific drawing for Scientific American, and who was lauded for the artistry of his technical work. I later discovered that Tagawa was preceded in the field by another prodigious Japanese artist-turned-scientific …

A Family of Artists - Part 2: The Goodenow Brothers Make Their Own Marks

Greg Robinson

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A Family of Artists - Part 1: Kyohei Inukai, Society Portraitist

Greg Robinson

One remarkable clan of artists is that of the Inukai-Goodenow family. It was formed by Kyōhei Inukai, a Japanese immigrant who became a popular society portrait painter (and fencing enthusiast) in 1920s New York, and his first wife Lucene Goodenow, a writer, painter and sculptor. Their three sons, who were …

Howard Thurman and Japanese Americans - Part 2

Greg RobinsonPeter Eisenstadt

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Howard Thurman and Japanese Americans - Part 1

Greg RobinsonPeter Eisenstadt


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About

I am a native New Yorker who is Professor of History at l'Université du Québec À Montréal, a French-language institution in Montreal, Canada. In addition to writing multiple books on Japanese American and Japanese Caandian history, I write the regular historical column "The Great Unknown" for the NICHI BEI WEEKLY newspaper.

Nikkei interests

  • community history
  • Japantowns

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