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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Toyokichi Iyenaga: Japanese Publicist in Chicago - Part 3

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With a new sense of confidence, Iyenaga became more aggressive in negotiating his contract renewals with the University of Chicago and made the following demands: “that between Oct 1st and June 23rd each year the University shall have exclusive control of my time, with the annual salary of $3000. I beg, however, to attach to this acceptance, the following reservation to wit: that the University will commission me this year, or the next, to visit for the period of three months or so, Japan, Corea and Manchuria in order to study the recent conditions therein, the University ...

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Toyokichi Iyenaga: Japanese Publicist in Chicago - Part 2

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In early 1901, Toyokichi Iyenaga received a letter from Edmond J. James, Professor of Public Administration and Director of the University Extension Division at the University of Chicago,1 inquiring about Iyenaga’s plan for his U.S. tour.2


3. Toyokichi Iyenaga

Iyenaga was born in 1862 to a samurai family in Fukuoka. He was taught English at missionary schools in Kumamoto and Kyoto and came to the U.S. to study at Oberlin College in November 1884. At Oberlin, Iyenaga planned lecture tours with his classmate, John R. Commons. “Their scheme was to promote a ...

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Toyokichi Iyenaga: Japanese Publicist in Chicago - Part 1

Introduction: Chautauqua

“Know Japan! Understand Japan!” Educating Americans about Japan was one of the most important roles assigned to Japanese immigrants, especially for those who were college graduates, equipped with near-native English fluency, and had arrived in the U.S. over 120 years ago. Their strong will and zeal, which enabled them to become professional lecturers and to stand up before crowds of strangers and give speeches on Japan and the Japanese, must have been unimaginably grand in those days, compared to our current computer controlled age, when so much information can circulate instantly to all points of the world ...

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Takeshi Takahashi’s Chicago - Part 4

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6. Takahashi and Josephine Conger Kaneko

As a member of the IWW, Takahashi also had contacts with the Socialist Party, plus he spent time with known socialist, Kiichi Kaneko. Takahashi visited Kaneko with his friend, Maedako and his cousin, Shizuo Tatsuno, the younger brother of Fumio Tatsuno. Shizuo arrived in Chicago in fall 1906 and worked at Shichiro Yamada’s tea store with Takahashi. Kaneko and his wife, Josephine, began publishing a feminist magazine entitled, The Socialist Woman, in June 1907. Takahashi helped them from New York by donating several times to the magazine’s circulation fund ...

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Takeshi Takahashi’s Chicago - Part 3

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5. Emma Goldman, Kotoku and Takahashi

In 1907, Mother Earth introduced Kotoku’s new publication, Heimin Shimbun, which he started in Japan, right after he returned from the U.S. in 1906. The announcement they ran read as follows: “A daily revolutionary socialist paper, Heimin Shimbun, is out at Tokyo. If some Japanese American comrade will kindly offer to give us an idea of its contents we shall be glad to send him copies.”1 It may have been Takahashi who answered the call, because in the fall of 1907, Takahashi went to New York to meet ...

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