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Bunji Omura – New York Japanese Antifascist Writer and Publicist

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Although the saga of the Issei generation has been written by a number of historians, our understanding the views of Issei writers and thinkers on Japan is still incomplete. While the work of Eiichiro Azuma delves into the connections of the Issei to Japanese expansionism and the rise of militaristic …

Finding Sunshine Among Shadows: The Unknown History of Wartime Disabled Japanese Americans

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On Aug. 13, 1943, Japanese Americans at the Tule Lake concentration camp opened copies of the Tulean Dispatch to find, on Page 2, a letter from Helen Keller, the deaf-blind disability activist. The entry was surprising but not unexpected: days before, students with disabilities decided to name their newly opened …

Wisdom through troubling times: The Life of LaVerne Senyo Sasaki

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The Pulitzer Prize and Japanese Americans in the South

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As with other tragic chapters in United States history, the incarceration of Japanese Americans has had a lasting legacy on American culture. While the history of race relations in the American South has traditionally focused on black-white relations and the legacies of Jim Crow, a parallel field examining the experience …

Kizuna 2020: Nikkei Kindness and Solidarity During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Importance of Place: The Manzanar Pilgrimage and COVID-19

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Like so many events these days, the 51st annual Manzanar Pilgrimage was cancelled on Thursday, April 17 due to COVID-19. For the first time, the Manzanar Pilgrimage, a tradition that brings former incarcerees, activists, and scholars together, will not be held on the grounds of the Manzanar Concentration Camp. The …

Sometimes the Smaller Things Tell a Greater Story

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A woman arrives at New York City after a long trip from Detroit. She writes to a distant friend about her long travels from home to Detroit and, finally, to New York City for the first time. The city was astonishing; vast city streets, landmarks abound, yet riddled with trash …

Memories on the Open Market

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For scholars of Japanese American history, telling the story of incarceration is important yet difficult. Doing justice to the complicated narrative of camp life and the experiences at ten unique camps across the deserts and swamps of the U.S. is not easy. As a historian, I find it is important …

Kizuna 2020: Nikkei Kindness and Solidarity During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Quarantine in Camp: Stories of Other Pandemics

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Shortly after leaving Topaz to attend the University of Montana, Missoula, Miyeko Taketa received a letter from her friend Pearl Nugent in February 1944. Nugent, the wife of Reverend Carl Nugent of Topaz’s Protestant Church, shared one interesting story that might interest readers today:

“Infamy’s legacy: Tule Lake and repatriation remembered”

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One of most divisive chapters of the Japanese American incarceration is the story of Tule Lake. While established as a traditional War Relocation Authority (WRA) camp, it was declared a “segregation center” by the WRA to meet Congressional demands issue loyalty oaths and begin military recruitment within camp. Of the …

Hung Wai Ching: The Founding of the Varsity Victory Volunteers and relations between Chinese and Japanese Americans

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