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Daisuke Kitagawa: Civil Rights and Anti-Racism Activist — Part 1

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Throughout Japanese American history, a number of individuals have mobilized in response to incidents of racism facing their community. Along with calling for the end of anti-Japanese discrimination, a smaller number of Japanese American activists, of whom Yuri Kochiyama is perhaps the most prominent, have willingly connected their own experiences …

Daisuke Kitagawa: Civil Rights and Anti-Racism Activist — Part 2

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Renaissance Artist and “Mad Man” – The Life of Shugo Seno

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The world of Japanese American visual artists is diverse. Most art historians focus on the notable individuals, such as Chiura Obata and Isamu Noguchi (among others), who produced paintings and sculpture. However, absent from this narrative is the work of various Japanese American commercial artists who influenced American popular art. …

Reverend Aaron Allen Heist – A Profile in Courage

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On November 6, 1943, the California State Assembly’s Committee on the Japanese Problem convened in the small town of Santa Maria, California. Known throughout the state as an agricultural hub, Santa Maria and its twin town of Guadalupe had shared one of the state’s largest Japanese American agricultural communities until …

Bishop James Walsh – Priest and Prisoner

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Looking South: Anglophone Canadian Reactions to Japanese American Incarceration - Part 2

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Looking South: Anglophone Canadian Reactions to Japanese American Incarceration - Part 1

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As I have discussed in previous articles in Discover Nikkei, the news of the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II seeped beyond the borders of the U.S. and traveled around the world. In Japan and Axis-dominated Europe, news outlets picked up the story as proof of the …

An Active Voice: The New Republic’s Reportage on the Incarceration - Part 2

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An Active Voice: The New Republic’s Reportage on the Incarceration - Part 1

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In November 2020, I published an article for Discover Nikkei addressing The New Yorker’s coverage of the wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans. Although the magazine’s wartime issues provided scant coverage of the incarceration, mostly couched in vague allusions to the topic, such brief mentions nonetheless indicate the subtle buildup of consciousness …

Harvests Lost – the Koda Family’s Claim

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In my previous article for Discover Nikkei, I described my trip to the UC Davis archive and my research into William Koda’s papers. As part of my article, I mentioned discovering a letter sent by attorney Leslie Gillen to the Koda family that discussed the potential effect of William Koda’s …

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