Takako Day

Takako Day, originally from Kobe, Japan, is an award-winning freelance writer and independent researcher who has published seven books and hundreds of articles in the Japanese and English languages. Her latest book, SHOW ME THE WAY TO GO HOME: The Moral Dilemma of Kibei No No Boys in World War Two Incarceration Camps is her first book in English. 

Relocating from Japan to Berkeley in 1986 and working as a reporter at the Nichibei Times in San Francisco first opened Day’s eyes to social and cultural issues in multicultural America. Since then, she has written from the perspective of a cultural minority for more than 30 years on such subjects as Japanese and Asian American issues in San Francisco, Native American issues in South Dakota (where she lived for seven years) and most recently (since 1999), the history of little known Japanese Americans in pre-war Chicago. Her piece on Michitaro Ongawa is born of her love of Chicago.

Updated December 2016

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Suspicious Points of Contact in Pre-War Chicago - Eizo Yanagi - Part 2

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Returning to our questions about Eizo Yanagi, what kind of contacts did he actually have with African Americans in Chicago? Most of the following information on Yanagi can be found in his file at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in Washington DC.1

Eizo Yanagi

Eizo Yanagi worked as an engraving artist in pre-war Chicago and made his living by producing diplomas and certificates. He also had an English name, Frank Young (and at times went by Frank Eizo Yanagi). When the Japanese Prince and Princess Takamatsu visited Chicago in May 1931, Yanagi was a ...

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Suspicious Points of Contact in Pre-War Chicago - Eizo Yanagi - Part 1

Introduction

Soon after the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, the FBI began a nationwide campaign to detain “enemy aliens,” conducting home searches and detentions immediately after the outbreak of the war. They also closed places where Japanese people gathered, such as Japanese restaurants and churches.1 In Chicago, eight Japanese art goods stores closed.2 On the night of December 7, four windows at the Japanese-owned gift shop, Oriental Trading Company, were smashed by heavy ball bearings, one of which hit and slightly injured the proprietor’s wife.3 At the same time, Minoru Yasui, a Nisei lawyer ...

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Atypical Japanese Women - The First Japanese Female Medical Doctor and Nurses in Chicago - Part 2

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Hisa Nagano and Natsu Sakaki

In June 1886, Mary Clement Leavitt, the first representative of the worldwide missionaries of the WCTU, came to Japan. Leavitt gave lectures on a circuit from Tokyo to Nagasaki for six months and had an immense influence on Japanese Christians. 

Leavitt gave a lecture in Kyoto as well. Orramel Gulick of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions had introduced her to Hiromichi Kozaki, future president of Doshisha English School, and Kozaki became an adherent to the principle of temperance. “The work being done by Mrs. Leavitt in Kyoto will further ...

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Atypical Japanese Women - The First Japanese Female Medical Doctor and Nurses in Chicago - Part 1

According to The Encyclopedia of Chicago, Chicago “has been and remains a world-class religious center with global influence.”1 Beginning in the mid-19th century, Japan was one of the foreign countries on which Chicago had a strong impact on, in the form of modern education.

Female Missionaries from Illinois and Women’s Education in Japan

When the Meiji era began in Japan in 1868, Japanese elites with overseas experience understood the necessity of educating women to strengthen the nation. Despite their awareness, the new Meiji educational system, which started in 1872, emphasized and promoted education for boys only. In ...

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The Chicago Nisei Before World War II - Part 2

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Changing Demographics

As a result of escalating anti-Japanese discrimination on the West Coast in the early 20th century, Chicago saw a new influx of young adult Nisei who had been born in other areas such as Hawaii, Utah, California, and Arkansas. The demographics of Japanese Chicago began to change as a result of social and generational shifts.

Among the newcomers, the Hawaii Nisei were the biggest group, totaling seven people according to the 1920 Census. One of them was Isamu Tashiro, a dentist, who was born in Hawaii in 1895, came to Chicago at age 16, and ...

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