Ben Hamamoto

Ben Hamamoto is a researcher at Institute for the Future, a non-profit think-tank that helps people and organizations think about the future. He's a former staff writer/current contributor to the Nichi Bei Weekly and editor of the Nikkei Heritage magazine for the National Japanese American Historical Society.

Updated August 2017

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Nikkei Heritage

A Look at the Emigration of Identity from Japan to America

When we talk about the state of the Japanese American community today, one of the most common remarks is how incredibly diverse we are. Nikkei Americans have high-rates of out-marriage to white Americans and other Asian Americans. While this is legitimately new and different from the Japanese America of decades past, the community was never as homogenous as its reputation suggests. In actuality, the Issei brought diverse identities with them from Japan – in particular, centered around the prefecture they emigrated from and their family’s position in a feudal caste system. And while these identities may be forgotten by many ...

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Nikkei Heritage

Glen S. Fukushima

In mid-January of 1994, President Bill Clinton received a 14-page paper on his desk entitled, “Repairing the U.S.-Japan Relationship.” The President read the paper, underlined and wrote comments on many passages, and sent it to several of his key officials with the words, “Worth reading. And often accurate. Should discuss.”  The first page of the paper was stamped, “The President has seen.” The paper—which ended up in the headlines of almost every journal and newspaper concerned with transpacific relations—was written by Glen S. Fukushima, a Sansei from California.

In the past several years, there has been ...

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