Greg Robinson

Greg Robinson, um nova-iorquino nativo, é professor de História na l'Université du Québec à Montréal, uma instituição de língua francesa em Montreal, no Canadá. Ele é autor dos livros By Order of the President: FDR and the Internment of Japanese Americans (Harvard University Press, 2001), A Tragedy of Democracy; Japanese Confinement in North America (Columbia University Press, 2009), After Camp: Portraits in Postwar Japanese Life and Politics (University of California Press, 2012) e Pacific Citizens: Larry and Guyo Tajiri and Japanese American Journalism in the World War II Era (University of Illinois Press, 2012), The Great Unknown: Japanese American Sketches (University Press of Colorado, 2016) e coeditor da antologia Miné Okubo: Following Her Own Road (University of Washington Press, 2008). Robinson também é co-editor de John Okada - The Life & Rediscovered Work of the Author of No-No Boy (University of Washington Press, 2018). Seu livro mais recente é uma antologia de suas colunas, The Unsung Great: Portraits of Extraordinary Japanese Americans (University of Washington Press, 2020). Ele pode ser contatado no e-mail robinson.greg@uqam.ca.

Atualizado em julho de 2021

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William Castle: An Exceptional Supporter of Japanese Americans

Some years ago, I had a chance to spend a month doing extended research in the rare books and manuscripts collections of the Houghton Library at Harvard University. It was there that I came across the typescript diaries of William R. Castle, a leading American diplomat and public figure, the entries of which provided me with quite interesting and instructive material on Castle’s ideas.1 

William Richards Castle, Jr. was born to an elite American family in the kingdom of Hawaii—his grandfather founded the renowned Castle & Cooke company. He attended Punahou School and then Harvard University. In 1919, …

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The Enigma of Marion Saki

A wide selection of Nisei women made their mark as entertainers, in diverse eras and areas of show business: dance, concert halls, opera, theater, and cinema. Arguably the first female star, and surely the most mysterious, was the multitalented Marion Saki (sometimes known as Marian Saki), a ballerina turned Broadway song and dance star of the 1920s, who reinvented herself as a club and concert singer in the 1930s.

When it comes to Saki’s origins and background, nothing is entirely clear. What seems most certain is that her father George Saki was born in Japan circa 1873 and came to the …

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Tokyo Rose: The Making of a Hollywood Myth

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 cinema history. Yet one of them, the 1946 potboiler Tokyo Rose, deserves some attention for its part in Japanese American history.

The project that resulted in Tokyo Rose started life in summer 1945, as the Pacific War came to a close. The producing team …

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Lotus Long: The Short Career of a Screen Siren

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” roles, Wong was shut out of more worthy parts, notably the screen adaptation of Pearl S. Buck’s Chinese novel The Good Earth, in favor of white actors in yellowface. However, Anna May Wong was not the only Asian American actress in Hollywood films of the prewar era. There were …

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Toge Fujihira: Master Photographer and World Traveler - Part 2

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Even as Fujihira and Shilin made their documentaries on Native Americans, they also collaborated on a series of films for the Protestant Film Commission. In 1951, Fujihira travelled to Brazil to shoot a film on Church missionary work there. The following year, they released An End to Darkness, a nondenominational film about a Liberian boy’s struggle for a Christian education and his desire to return home and serve his people. 

Similarly, Challenge in the Sun (1952) depicted a young missionary couple representing the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Missionary District of the Panama Canal Zone, …

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