THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: The censorship of Japanese American history

The story of Executive Order 9066 and the mass removal and confinement of Japanese Americans during World War II is a difficult one for many people to wrestle with, even today. The inability of Americans to deal fully with the wartime treatment of Japanese Americans can be demonstrated by looking at two different incidents of […]

THE GREAT UNKNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN GREAT: Feminist Writer Ishigaki Made Waves

In the decade surrounding World War II, the Japanese-born feminist and activist Ayako Ishigaki lived in the United States, where she distinguished herself as a radical intellectual and outspoken opponent of Japan’s military occupation of Manchuria and China. She joined dockside protests aimed at preventing Japanese ships from landing and transporting cargoes and barnstormed the […]


Jenichiro Oyabe (1867-1941) was among the first people of Japanese ancestry to write about his life in the United States. His memoir “A Japanese Robinson Crusoe,” first published in 1898, offers a picturesque account of the author’s experiences. It is also a fascinating example of the dark side of “Americanization” — how immigrants seeking liberty […]