Portraits in Midcentury Japanese American Life and Politics
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: University of California Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
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Table of Contents
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This book illuminates various aspects of a central but unexplored area of American history: the midcentury Japa nese American experience. A vast and ever- growing literature exists, fi rst on the entry and settlement of Japa nese immigrants in the United States at the turn of the twentieth cen-tury, then on the experience of the immigrants and their American- born ...
Part I: Resettlement and New Lives
Chapter 1: Political Science? FDR, Japanese Americans, and the Postwar Dispersion of Minorities
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The term po liti cal science usually refers to all the ways— polls, models, and statistics— that academics have used to bring scientifi c principles to the study of po liti cal behavior. Yet my use of these two words comes from a completely opposite direction and refers to the use of science for po liti cal purposes— an unexamined aspect of the domestic and foreign policy of ...
Chapter 2: Forrest LaViolette: Race, Internationalism, and Assimilation
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The career and complex views of Forrest Emmanuel LaViolette provide a special window into the question of Japa nese American (and Canadian) resettlement and assimilation. LaViolette, a University of Chicago– trained sociologist engaged in research on Japa nese Americans and cultural val-ues, became a lecturer at the University of Washington in the late 1930s. ...
Chapter 3: Japantown Born and Reborn: Comparing the Resettlement Experience of Issei and Nisei in Detroit, New York, and Los Angeles
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The Japa nese bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941 and the unleash-ing of World War II in the Pacifi c wiped out the thriving Japa nese com-munities on the Pacifi c coast of the United States. In the weeks that followed the onset of war, military offi cials on the West Coast became increasingly terrifi ed of a Japa nese invasion. They proceeded to single out ...
Part II: The Varieties of Assimilation
Chapter 4: Birth of a Citizen: Miné Okubo and the Politics of Symbolism
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Citizen 13660, Miné Okubo’s illustrated memoir of her personal experi-ence during the war time removal and incarceration of Japa nese Ameri-cans, is a masterpiece of ambiguity. Like many works of art and literature by African Americans, Citizen 13660 has often been assimilated by latter- day critics into the protest tradition.1 These critics make much of Okubo’s ...
Chapter 5: The “New Nisei” and Identity Politics
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The mass removal and incarceration of Japa nese Americans by the United States government during World War II brutalized its victims not only by stripping away their civil rights and causing them to lose most of their possessions but also by upsetting their psychological equilibrium. Before the war, the vast majority of Japa nese Americans on the American conti-...
Part III: Interethnic Politics
Chapter 6. Japanese Americans and Mexican Americans: The Limits of Interracial Collaboration
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Historians have begun in recent years to look past limited views of race in American history as a series of interactions between individual minorities (generally African Americans) and the white majority. The study of con-nections between racialized groups— that is, those considered as “other” than white and subjected to discrimination on that basis— and how they ...
Chapter 7: From Kuichi to Comrades: Japanese American Views of Jews in the 1930s and 1940s&
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Several years ago, as part of my research into the war time confi nement of Japa nese Americans, I came across some correspondence by Kiyoshi Okamoto. Okamoto, a Hawaiian- born Nisei, was the found er of the Heart Mountain Fair Play Committee, which campaigned for restoration of civil rights to confi ned Japa nese Americans during World War II and protested ...
Photographs follow page
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Part IV: African American Supporters of Japanese Americans, and the Shift in Nisei Views of African Americans
Chapter 8: African American Responses to the War time Confinement of Japanese Americans
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Scholars of United States history and literature have devoted increasing attention over the past generation to the study of past encounters between African Americans and Asian Americans. Beyond the importance of the question in academic terms, the rediscovery of the history of black- Asian relations has a par tic u lar urgency about it. Even after the end of the twen-...
Chapter 9: The Los Angeles Defender: Hugh E. Macbeth and Japanese Americans
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The long history of relations between Asian Americans and African Ameri-cans has been marked by a complex succession of interactions, in which in-dividuals have at different times expressed curiosity, disdain, admiration, hostility, envy, affection, rivalry, xenophobia, and sympathy for the other. Probably the most common sentiment has been indifference— members of ...
Chapter 10: Crusaders in Gotham: The JACD and Interracial Activism&
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The most unique element of 1940s New York Japa nese community life, and one in which resettlers would also play a prominent role, was the de-velopment of a mass Nikkei po liti cal action group, the Japa nese American Committee for Democracy. The JACD has been effectively ignored in the history of Japa nese Americans, no doubt as a result of its close relationship ...
Part V: The Rise and Fall of Postwar Coalitions for Civil Rights
Chapter 11: From Korematsu to Brown: Nisei and the Postwar Struggle for Civil Rights
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The story of the United States Supreme Court’s epochal 1954 ruling in Brown v. Board of Education and the legal struggle for civil rights led by the NAACP during the de cade following World War II occupies a central place in many Americans’ understanding both of the history of democ-racy in the United States and of the African American experience.1 Under ...
Chapter 12: An Uneasy Alliance: Blacks and Japanese Americans, 1954–1965&
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The interaction between Nisei and African Americans in the period from the 1940s to the 1960s offers a revealing window into the complexities of American society and race relations. Although members of both groups suffered continuing race- based discrimination in differing forms and de-grees, their experience did not necessarily bring them together. Encounters ...
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In 1969, Bill Hosokawa, an esteemed Nisei journalist and associate editor of the Denver Post, produced a pop u lar historical study of Japa nese Amer-icans. His principal goal, as he described it, was to tell the inspiring tale of the Japa nese community’s social ascension, despite the exceptional level of exclusion and discrimination its members had faced relative to other ...
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Page Count: 328
Publication Year: 2012