Greg Robinson

Greg Robinson, a native New Yorker, is Professor of History at l'Université du Québec À Montréal, a French-language institution in Montreal, Canada. He is the author of the books By Order of the President: FDR and the Internment of Japanese Americans (Harvard University Press, 2001), A Tragedy of Democracy; Japanese Confinement in North America (Columbia University Press, 2009), After Camp: Portraits in Postwar Japanese Life and Politics (University of California Press, 2012), Pacific Citizens: Larry and Guyo Tajiri and Japanese American Journalism in the World War II Era (University of Illinois Press, 2012), and The Great Unknown: Japanese American Sketches (University Press of Colorado, 2016), as well as coeditor of the anthology Miné Okubo: Following Her Own Road (University of Washington Press, 2008). His historical column “The Great Unknown and the Unknown Great,” is a well-known feature of the Nichi Bei Weekly newspaper. Robinson’s latest book is the coedited volume John Okada - The Life & Rediscovered Work of the Author of No-No Boy (University of Washington Press, 2018).

Updated June 2018

war en

Leonard Broom (AKA Leonard Bloom): Scholar/Activist and Defender of Japanese Americans - Part 2

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During the early postwar years, Dr. Leonard Bloom, Professor of Sociology at UCLA, was able to bring together scholarship and activism into creative synthesis, most notably on the question of Evacuation Claims. In 1947, as the JACL launched its campaign for compensation for losses by West Coast Japanese Americans as a result of mass exclusion, Bloom agreed to serve as an advisor. He meanwhile launched his own study of the loss question. In collaboration with his assistant and researcher Ruth Riemer, he conducted a survey of 206 Japanese American families, most of whom were living in a ...

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Leonard Broom (AKA Leonard Bloom): Scholar/Activist and Defender of Japanese Americans - Part 1

As is well known, in the wake of Executive Order 9066 and the roundup and confinement of West Coast Japanese Americans, a group of scholars and researchers at University of California, Berkeley created the Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study, a multidisciplinary academic study on the migration, confinement, and resettlement of Japanese Americans during World War II.

The project, directed by sociologist Dorothy Swaine Thomas, received extensive funds through the University of California as well as from several private foundations. As a result, JERS was able to engage a large team of field researchers, Nisei and others, who worked in ...

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culture en

Seeking Will Thomas: An African American friend to the Nisei

Beginning in the last decades of the 20th century, the Asian American experience became a topic of interest in mainstream American society, and in the process was enshrined in the nation’s literary production. Books by authors of all backgrounds were published and authors such as Amy Tan, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Viet Thanh Nguyen became best-sellers.

During this time, the wartime confinement of Japanese Americans, which had already achieved pride of place as the most-studied subject in Asian American history, became a subject for popular literature in many different genres, featuring books produced by Japanese Americans as well as ...

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The Canadian Japanese Mennonite Scholarship: In support of Reconciliation

The wartime confinement of Japanese Canadians is a landmark in the history of civil rights and race relations nationwide. Like their counterparts south of the border, 22,000 Canadian residents of Japanese ancestry suffered official wartime removal and mass confinement. In addition, their land and personal property were confiscated by Canada’s federal government and subjected to forced sales, which left the community largely destitute.

Once the war was over, the Canadian government instituted mass deportation of all those who had refused to leave the confinement sites and resettle east of British Columbia. It was only after a sustained struggle ...

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identity en

Way Down in Egypt Land: Tamio Wakayama, Civil Rights Photographer - Part 2

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I cannot recall precisely when I first heard of Tamio Wakayama. Although I owned a copy of A Dream of Riches and had looked through his 1992 book Kikyō – Coming Home to Powell Street, I had only a rather vague sense of him until about 10 years ago, when I began hearing about a Japanese Canadian who had once been active in the civil rights movement. As a historian who had focused on connections between Blacks and Japanese Americans, I was definitely interested. I spoke about Tamio with Allyson Nakamoto, director of educational programs at the Japanese ...

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