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Nikkei in the Pacific Northwest

Japanese Americans and Japanese Canadians in the Twentieth Century

edited by Louis Fiset and Gail M. Nomura

Publication Year: 2005

Comprised of all-new and original research, this is the first anthology to highlight the contributions and histories of Nikkei within the entire Pacific Northwest, including British Columbia. It focuses on the theme of resistance within Japanese American and Japanese Canadian communities to 20th-century political, cultural, and legal discrimination.

Published by: University of Washington Press


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-x

Scholars from the United States, Canada, and Japan gathered on the University of Washington campus from May 4 to 6, 2000, to reflect on the century-long presence of Nikkei, persons of Japanese descent, in the Pacific Northwest, including British Columbia. The Nikkei Experience in the Pacific Northwest Conference, ...

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1. Introduction: Nikkei in the Pacific Northwest

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pp. 3-19

On June 28, 2003, the Vancouver Asahi baseball team was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. A semi-professional team composed of Japanese Canadians from Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, the Asahis became both a top draw for pre-World War II white Vancouver baseball fans and community heroes ...

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2. Writing Racial Barriers into Law: Upholding B.C.'s Denial of the Vote to Its Japanese Canadian Citizens, Homma v. Cunningham, 1902

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pp. 20-43

During the last decades of the nineteenth century, the province of British Columbia was a rapidly growing. predominantly immigrant society that was increasingly fractured along racial lines.1 Although its white citizens shared many of the same anti-Asian prejudices as their neighbors south of the U.S.-Canada border, ...

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3. Becoming "Local" Japanese: Iseei Adaptive Strategies on the Yakama Indian Reservation, 1906-1923

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pp. 44-70

In 1932,.in the midst of the Great Depression, the Yakima Valley Japanese American community in the state of Washington planted seventy-four flowering cherry trees in the Japanese section of Tahoma Cemetery, a public cemetery administered by the city of Yakima. The establishment of a Japanese public cemetery ...

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4. Yasutaro Yamaga: Fraser Valley Berry Farmer, Community Leader, and Strategist

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pp. 71-94

The Fraser Valley of British Columbia was home to more than 550 Japanese Canadian families before the uprooting that followed the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941.1 The area north and south of the Fraser River, between New Westminster and Mission City, was the heart of the berry industry, which was ...

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5. Americanization vs. Japanese Cultural Maintenance: Analyzing Seattle's "Nihongo Tokuhon," 1920

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pp. 95-119

On April 1, 1921, the approximately 580 students in Japanese language schools in the state of Washington began the school year with a set of new Japanese language textbooks.1 While this may not have seemed like a notable event to the Nisei, second-generation Japanese Americans who attended Japanese language ...

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6. "The Nail That Sticks Up Gets Hit": The Architecture of Japanese American Identity in the Urban Environment, 1885-1942

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pp. 120-145

Scholars of American ethnic studies and architectural history rarely have been in dialogue, yet both groups share overlapping concerns that would benefit from the conversation. While literature, film, and the fine arts frequently have been studied as expressions of ethnic identity, the meanings of architecture ...

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7. Four Hirabayashi Cousins: A Question of Identity

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pp. 146-170

The sudden onset of World War II on December 7, 1941, thrust the issue of identity to the forefront for all Japanese Americans. On February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 authorizing the War Department to prescribe military areas from which any or all persons might be excluded. ...

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8. The Minidoka Draft Resisters in a Federal Kangaroo Court

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pp. 171-189

On the last day of spring 1944. the United States Army staged an induction ceremony for sixty-six new Idaho draftees. It was a rather unusual ceremony in that the army welcoming the new draftees was simultaneously guarding them and their families at gunpoint. The ceremony was taking place behind the barbed-wire ...

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9. Words Do Matter: A Notes on Inappropriate Terminology and the Incarceration of the Japanese Americans

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pp. 190-214

On or about August 2, 1979, I received a telephone call from Senator Daniel K. Inouye's Washington office.1 One of his administrative assistants read me a draft of what became Senate Bill 1647 calling for the establishment of a "Commission on Wartime Relocation and . Internment of Civilians (CWRIC)." ...

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10. In the Matter of Iwao Matsushita: A Government Decision to Intern a Seattle Japanese Enemy Alien in World War II

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pp. 215-235

At 6:00 P. M. on December 7, 1941, hours after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, two FBI agents from the Seattle field office accompanied by deputies from the office of the King County Sheriff, drove to a neighborhood one mile east of Seattle's Japantown and knocked on the door of a brick bungalow home ...

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11. The "Free Zone"; Nikkei: Japanese Americans in Idaho and Eastern Oregon in World War II

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pp. 236-253

This account points out the presence of an often-overlooked aspect of the lives of Nikkei during the war years, the different experiences of those from the West Coast who were imprisoned and those who, by virtue of living outside Military Area 1,3 were not. The latter group lived in what came to be referred to ...

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12. Lessons in Citizenship, 1945-1949: The Delayed Return of the Japanese to Canada's Pacific Coast

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pp. 254-277

In the fall of 1945, police in Vancouver, British Columbia, charged John Pow Lung with breaking and entering. They determined that he was really Akhide Otsuji, an eighteen-year-old Japanese Canadian who had been living in the city for about a year. He also pled guilty to a second charge, that "as a Japanese ...

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13. Peculiar Odyssey: Newsman Jimmie Omura's Removal from and Regeneration within Nikkei Society, History, and Memory

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pp. 278-307

It galled many long-standing Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) members who read the "Millennium New Year's Edition" of the Pacific Citizen (PC), the League's newspaper, to encounter "Influential JA Journalist: James Omura" in an issue commemorating outstanding twentieth-century Nisei.1 Perhaps no other ...

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14. Reclaiming and Reinventing "Powell Street" : Reconstruction of the Japanese Canadian Community in Post-World War II Vancouver

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pp. 308-334

In the early months of 1942, a thriving ethnic community disappeared from the map of Vancouver. People gathered at the station with two suitcases per individual. In most cases, whatever they had in those suitcases were the only things they were allowed to keep. Everything else they had left - their houses, ...


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pp. 335-338


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pp. 339-348

E-ISBN-13: 9780295800097
E-ISBN-10: 0295800097
Print-ISBN-13: 9780295984612
Print-ISBN-10: 0295984619

Publication Year: 2005

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Regionalism -- Northwest, Pacific -- History -- 20th century -- Congresses.
  • Northwest, Pacific -- Ethnic relations -- Congresses.
  • Northwest, Pacific -- History -- 20th century -- Congresses.
  • Immigrants -- Northwest, Pacific -- History -- 20th century -- Congresses.
  • Japanese -- British Columbia -- Ethnic identity -- Congresses.
  • Japanese Americans -- Northwest, Pacific -- Ethnic identity -- Congresses.
  • Japanese -- British Columbia -- History -- 20th century -- Congresses.
  • Japanese Americans -- Northwest, Pacific -- History -- 20th century -- Congresses.
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