A New Look at Nisei Veterans: Lawrence Matsuda and Matt Sasaki’s Fighting for America


In recent years, Chin Music Press has produced a great run of graphic novels on the wartime Japanese American experience. These include Frank Abe and Tamiko Nimura’s collaboration with illustrators Matt Sasaki and Ross Ishikawa on We Hereby Refuse, and the partnership of Kiku Hughes and Ken Mochizuki on Those …

Continental Drift: How anti-Japanese sentiment in Australia affected Nikkei Communities in the US and Canada


During World War II, Japanese communities around the Pacific rim and elsewhere were subjected to displacement, internment, or incarceration. While the case of the West Coast of the United States is the most well-known, several nations hastily developed their own incarceration policies based on the assumption that Japanese communities, regardless …

Keeping the Beat: The Story of Legendary Drummer Paul Togawa


As part of my ongoing series on Japanese American jazz musicians, I now turn to the fascinating story of Paul Togawa. Although most of the previous musicians I have showcased were all Nisei born in the 1920s, Togawa was a rare exception as a postwar Nisei who developed a successful …

Artist and Documentarian: The Life of Kango Takamura


What images come to mind when we think of the wartime experience of Japanese Americans? For many, the photographs produced by Dorothea Lange, Ansel Adams or Toyo Miyatake come to mind, with their unique portrayals of the human condition. Yet equally powerful and moving are the representations of the incarceration …

A Northern Lesson: Carey McWilliams and the Incarceration of Japanese Canadians


The incarceration of Nikkei communities across the Pacific world in 1942 represents one of the most notable examples acts of transnational racial exclusion. Indeed, despite the relatively small sizes of the communities affected—120,000 in the United States, 22,000 in Canada—as compared to the total population of those countries, the forced …

Toshio Aoki: The Wandering Meiji Artist and Father of Tsuru Aoki


A month ago, I visited the Crocker Art Gallery in Sacramento during a weekend trip to the city. In California, the Crocker houses some of the most impressive collections in the state. Many of the collections in the museum focus on the history of “Old California,” in the period between …

Exploring Global Nikkei History in Victoria: A Conversation with the Past Wrongs, Future Choices Scholars and Artists - Part 2


Read Part 1 >>

Exploring Global Nikkei History in Victoria: A Conversation with the Past Wrongs, Future Choices Scholars and Artists - Part 1


In the world of academia, rarely does one encounter international research centers dedicated to researching a historical event. Yet that is the case with the University of Victoria’s Past Wrongs, Future Choices Initiative.

Fresno Stories

Object Lesson of a Lost Temple: A Postcard of the Fresno Buddhist Church, 1912


One of my favorite hobbies is collecting postcards. I began collecting in 2013, after I inherited a large collection of stamps and envelopes from my Dutch grandparents, a pair of avid collectors who amassed thousands of stamps ranging from the 1850s to the 1980s.

Paul Higaki – The One Who Made It Big


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