Preserving family histories for the future: Nikkei Angel Island Pilgrimage

Although Japanese Americans now thrive across the United States, approximately 85,000 of them first stepped foot on the U.S. mainland after stopping at the U.S. Immigration Station on Angel Island. In an effort to reclaim that part of Nikkei history, the Nichi Bei Foundation held its fourth Nikkei Angel Island Pilgrimage Oct. 13 on the […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: Queer non-Nikkei figures in Japanese American history (Part V)

  (Editor’s Note: This is the last of a multi-part series) One especially noteworthy aspect of Karon Kehoe’s groundbreaking Japanese American camp novel “City in the Sun,” published in 1946, is its portrait of sexuality in camp, especially alternative sexuality, a point that raises interesting questions both for scholars of literature and for historians. In […]

Reflecting on diversity in video games through the LA Riots

Editor’s Note: An edited version of this post was published in the May 4, 2012 issue of the Nichi Bei Weekly. Who here remembers the Los Angeles Riots of ‘92? I certainly don’t. I was 4 (and now you feel old). LA burned following the acquittal of the four police officers charged in the beating […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: Looking into the ‘great unknown’

Today’s installment offers a different kind of look into the “great unknown,” by unraveling some of the mystery surrounding how I do my research. Probably the question that readers of my column most often ask — sometimes with flattering wonder in their voices — is how and where I collect the wide-ranging bits of information […]

iTOUR THROUGH HISTORY: New app allows digital media to teach about the Japanese American incarceration experience

Have the days when students learned about Japanese American history through textbooks gone by the wayside? As consumers latch on to the latest tech gadgets, some companies are using digital media to teach about the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. From iPhone applications to video games, the emerging trend signals the innovative […]

LETTERS: Nikkei ‘enduring’ life in Louisiana

Note: This letter was sent in response to the article entitled “The astonishing history of Japanese Americans in Louisiana,” which ran in two parts in November. Dear Editor, I was sent copies of the Nichi Bei Weekly, dated Nov. 3-9, part 1 and Nov. 10-16, 2011, part 2, to our Gardens in Louisiana. I really […]

LETTERS: Greetings from the Koharas

Note: This letter was sent in response to the article entitled “The astonishing history of Japanese Americans in Louisiana,” which ran in two parts in November. Dear Editor, Thank you for including our Kohara clan in this article. We are all proud of our family in Louisiana. JD Sparks (Kohara) Pewee Valley, KY

An artst’s life — interrupted

SIGNS OF HOME: The Paintings and Wartime Diary of Kamekichi Tokita By Barbara Johns (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2011, 272 pp., $50, hardcover) The new book “Signs of Home,” edited by Barbara Johns, brings the life and art work of Issei painter Kamekichi Tokita (1897-1948) back into public view. In a sense, it is […]

Little Tokyo in a nutshell

LOS ANGELES’S LITTLE TOKYO. LITTLE TOKYO HISTORICAL SOCIETY By Arcadia Publishing (Charleston, South Carolina: 2010, 127 pp., $21.99, paperback) Arcadia Publishing has captured a niche market publishing ethnic, local, and/or special interest subjects that major publishing houses would routinely turn down. Over the last 10 years, Arcadia has published and brought to light literally hundreds, […]

Accounts of Nisei veterans’ valor and sacrifices

AMERICANS OF JAPANESE ANCESTRY IN THE KOREAN WAR: STORIES OF THOSE WHO SERVED By Robert M. Wada (Orange, Calif.: The Paragon Agency, Publishers, 2010, 290 pp., $20, paperback) As the nation belatedly recognized Nisei members of 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team and Military Intelligence Service with the Congressional Gold Medal in November of […]