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Pacific Citizens

Larry and Guyo Tajiri and Japanese American Journalism in the World War II Era

Greg Robinson

Publication Year: 2012

Offering a window into a critical era in Japanese American life, Pacific Citizens collects key writings of Larry S. Tajiri, a multitalented journalist, essayist, and popular culture maven. He and his wife, Guyo, who worked by his side, became leading figures in Nisei political life as the central purveyors of news for and about Japanese Americans during World War II. Through his editorship of the newspaper the Pacific Citizen as well as in articles and columns in outside media, Larry Tajiri became the Japanese American community's most visible spokesperson, articulating a broad vision of Nisei identity to a varied audience.

Published by: University of Illinois Press

Series: The Asian American Experience


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pp. 1-3

Title Page

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pp. iii-4

Copyright Page

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pp. iv-7


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pp. vii-xii

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Series Foreword

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pp. xiii-xiv

Unlike most of the ethnic press in the United States, the Paciἀc Citizen was always published in English. Until the ethnic cleansing and incarceration of 1942, it had been at most the mouthpiece of a generation, or part of it. Moved from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City (1940 population 189,000), it became the voice of a people mostly exiled to ten desolate concentration camps stretching from southern Idaho to southeastern Arkansas. There were...

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pp. xv-xvii

To thousands of Japanese Americans during World War II, in Uncle Sam’s military legions or those languishing in concentration camps American-style because of their racial affinity to the enemy, the Paciἀc Citizen was their best source of what was bustling in their sphere. For example, the Paciἀc Citizen’s first issue, edited by Larry Tajiri out of Salt Lake City in June 4, 1942, was headlined “Army to Order Evacuation of Military Area 2.” ...

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Introduction: Larry and Guyo Tajiri and the Pacific Citizen

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pp. xix-xxxix

Pacific Citizens examines and interprets the contributions of Larry S. Tajiri, a multitalented newspaperman, essayist, and political thinker, and his wife, Guyo. In the decade beginning in 1942, the Tajiris served as editors and sole full-time employees of the newspaper the Pacific Citizen, organ of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL). During the years...

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1 The Early Years

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pp. 1-30

This section includes Larry Tajiri’s writings during the decade preceding the bombing of Pearl Harbor and allows the reader to trace his developing social and political views. Tajiri, like the Nisei press itself, came of age during this period, serving first as English editor (1931–1934) of...

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2 Wartime Columns and Editorials

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pp. 31-63

The articles in this section cover Larry Tajiri’s central role in Japanese American journalism and collective life as editor of the Pacific Citizen during the years of World War II. As mentioned in the introduction, with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the coming of war, Tajiri’s job and...

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3 Writings in Mainstreamand Multiracial Publications

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pp. 64-127

This chapter covers Larry Tajiri’s writings for publications outside of the Pacific Citizen and the Japanese vernacular press during the wartime period. The mass removal and confinement of Japanese Americans, which swept away the bulk of the prewar Japanese press, paradoxically gave West...

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4 Wartime Correspondence

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pp. 128-149

This chapter is devoted to reprints or extracts of the few surviving typewritten letters, addressed to personal friends and professional acquaintances, that Larry Tajiri wrote during the wartime period. None of them, apart from the message to the...

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5 Guyo Tajiri Out from the Shadows

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pp. 150-188

This chapter covers, or rather recovers, the writing of Marion Guyo Tajiri, whose role as columnist and editor of the Pacific Citizen has been largely obscured. Guyo was Larry’s sole colleague on the journal during the war years, and even though her salary was only one-third of his, her surviving...


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pp. a-d

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6 Larry Tajiri’s Postwar Writings

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pp. 189-229

This section tracks Larry Tajiri’s writing during the postwar era, when he took the Pacific Citizen in a variety of new directions. (Because Tajiri’s output during the 1945–1946 period is so heavily represented in this volume by his articles in NOW, no pieces that appeared in the...

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7 The Later Years

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pp. 230-264

This section covers the last dozen years of Larry Tajiri’s life—the period after he gave up the editorship of the Pacific Citizen. As the letter to Miné Okubo reprinted in this chapter suggests, Tajiri went through a period of flux after leaving the newspaper’s direction, taking up diverse jobs...

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pp. 265-268

The evolution of this book has been a many-sided voyage of discovery for me. First, it has led me to uncover and read through whole swaths of documentary material relating to the Tajiris and to Japanese American journalism, material that has reshaped and refined my views on historical...


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pp. 269-282


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pp. 283-295

The Asian American Experience

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pp. 296-299

E-ISBN-13: 9780252093838
Print-ISBN-13: 9780252036729

Page Count: 344
Publication Year: 2012

Series Title: The Asian American Experience
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OCLC Number: 826443599
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Pacific Citizens

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Japanese Americans -- Press coverage -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
  • Japanese Americans -- Social conditions -- 20th century.
  • Japanese Americans -- Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945 -- Press coverage -- United States.
  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Japanese Americans -- Press coverage -- United States.
  • Tajiri, Larry, 1914-1965.
  • Tajiri, Guyo, 1915-2007.
  • Japanese American newspapers -- History -- 20th century.
  • Pacific citizen.
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