David M. Hays

David M. Hays is an archivist and Director of the US Navy Japanese/Oriental Language School Archival Project at the University of Colorado at Boulder Libraries.

Updated April 2008

education en

Enduring Communities

No Invisible Minority: Japanese Americans at the University of Colorado, 1910-1945 - Part 4

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Furthermore, on July 6, 1943, the instructors collectively signed a JLS faculty resolution thanking President Stearns and Captain Frank H. Roberts, USN for their efforts on behalf of the instructors and their families. The Silver & Gold also ran several editorials critical of the Denver Post’s hostile campaign against “Americans of Japanese Ancestry” or AJAS. In these editorials, student editorialists depicted EO 9066 as high handed, of doubtful legality, and as a poor portrayal of American democratic ideals, while citing the detention camp inmates in question were loyal American citizens.

While the Navy Language School’s students ...

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education en

Enduring Communities

No Invisible Minority: Japanese Americans at the University of Colorado, 1910-1945 - Part 3

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World War II furthered diversity in the university’s faculty roster, which came to include 165 Japanese American sensei among the 179 recorded instructors of the U.S. Navy Japanese/Oriental Language School. Aside from Japanese American sensei, Japanese American names began or continued to appear in the directories between 1942 and 1945. Japanese American wives of sensei found other work at the labor-short, wartime university. Among those who worked at the Boulder campus were: Mabel Inouye (chemistry, 1943); Ike Tai (bureau of High School visitation), and Fumi Tomita (correspondence instruction, 1944). Likewise, Japanese Americans hired on ...

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education en

Enduring Communities

No Invisible Minority: Japanese Americans at the University of Colorado, 1910-1945 - Part 2

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Professor Eckhardt brought Boothroyd's plan to the December 8, 1938, meeting of the Faculty Senate. To have described the faculty's response as unenthusiastic would have been an overstatement. The faculty's initial apprehension and skepticism may have had less to do with the question of segregation and more to do with the students' risky plan to address it. Many of the professors might have guessed that the student body would not answer as Boothroyd and his classmates anticipated. A vote denouncing segregation, with accompanying uncontrollable publicity, might have been embarrassing and problematical for minority rights ...

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education en

Enduring Communities

No Invisible Minority: Japanese Americans at the University of Colorado, 1910-1945 - Part 1

Japanese and Japanese American students attended the University of Colorado in very small numbers in the 40 years before World War II. By the late 1930s Japanese American students were attending at an average of 20 students per semester out of a total student population of just under 4,000. As such a small portion of the overall student body, one might anticipate that Japanese Americans would have been an invisible minority; but that would be far from the case. Japanese American students were influential far beyond their numbers. Among that tiny percentage of students and faculty would be honors ...

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war en

Enduring Communities

Words at War: The Sensei of the US Navy Japanese Language School at the University of Colorado, 1942-1946

We have heard the meaning and effect of the vocabulary used by the majority aimed at the minority Japanese and Japanese Americans while the United States was at war with the Empire of Japan. However, there is quite another, formerly secret and almost unknown, story of the Japanese American sensei at the US Navy Japanese Language School at the University of Colorado. These sensei, through the teaching of Japanese, made a large contribution to both the war effort and the peace through their teaching of the Japanese language and the actions of their students. Scholars have been surprised to discover ...

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