History

Choice gifts that educate about difficult choices made by Nisei during World War II

World War II brought some difficult choices for Japanese Americans, especially young Nisei men whose citizenship and idea of “America” was called into question. Some felt they had to prove their loyalty in the battlefield, and did so gallantly, and with high honor. Others felt compelled to prove their loyalty in the courts on constitutional […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: The astonishing history of Japanese Americans in Louisiana (pt. 2)

Editor’s Note: This is the second in a two-part series. The Second World War hit Louisiana’s Japanese population hard. On Dec. 8, the Japanese consulate closed its doors and its Japanese alien employees were incarcerated. Japanese shrimp boats were grounded, and the Hinata art store in New Orleans closed its doors. The Hinata daughters, anticipating […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: The astonishing history of Japanese Americans in Louisiana

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a two-part series. The story of Japanese settlement in Louisiana, whether in the metropolis of New Orleans or in the bayous, is rather unknown, even to locals, but Nikkei have had a surprisingly large impact on the state’s history. Jokichi Takamine was possibly the first Japanese settler in […]

Petition launched to rename Arizona park to commemorate wartime incarceration

CHANDLER, Ariz. — The city of Chandler, Ariz. drafted plans for “Nozomi Park” in 2005, but has since suspended indefinitely its plans due to budgeting shortfalls. The 70-acre park was meant to honor those of Japanese descent who were incarcerated in the state during World War II. The park’s name, which means “hope” in Japanese, […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: Nisei exclusion at Penn (Pt. 2 of 3)

Editor’s Note: Part of this piece was previously published as ‘Admission Denied,’ in the Pennsylvania Gazette, January-February 2000 issue. In the spring of 1944, the University of Pennsylvania’s blanket policy excluding Japanese Americans rebounded strongly against it after Naomi Nakano, a senior majoring in philosophy in the College for Women, applied for admission to the […]

JACL seeks stories for book on Watsonville’s Japantown

WATSONVILLE, Calif. — The Watsonville-Santa Cruz chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) seeks stories from current and past residents of Watsonville, or the general Santa Cruz County and Parajo Valley areas, as it writes “Watsonville Nihonmachi: Then and Now.” The group hopes to incorporate stories about life in the area before and after […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: John Franklin Carter’s investigation of Japanese American loyalty

In a series of popular novels published during the 1940s and 1950s, such as “The Presidential Agent,” author Upton Sinclair told the story of Lanny Budd. Budd was an undercover agent for democracy against fascism, who used his guise as a playboy and an art dealer to infiltrate Nazi circles and perform special missions for […]

UC Berkeley library awarded grants for Japanese American WWII projects

In late June, the Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley was awarded two grants from the National Park Service to fund the digitization of its collection of materials related to the experiences of Japanese Americans during World War II and the creation of a series of oral histories focused on the concentration camps. […]

‘Bridging the Gap’: In Conversation with Sansei Musician/Producer/Songwriter Michael Sasaki & Nisei Educator/Writer/Performer George Yoshida

Part 1: Michael Sasaki I’m sitting in the frigid cold of an air that has been conditioned to make the arms on your hair stand on end. While awaiting the arrival of my two interviewees, I am in familiar territory. The Peet’s Coffee & Tea location in which I find myself, employed me not but […]

Searching for a wartime photo of Crystal City DOJ camp

The German American Internee Coalition is trying to locate the original hard copy of a photo that was taken at the Crystal City, Texas Department of Justice camp during World War II. Anyone who has the original photo is asked to contact the Coalition via its online contact form, available at www.gaic.info/ContactUs.php. For more information, […]

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