Stuff contributed by Greg

The Epic Lives of Taro and Mitsu Yashima

Greg RobinsonValerie Matsumoto

One remarkable Japanese American story is that of the epic and tragic partnership of Taro and Mitsu Yashima, an extraordinary couple of artists and freedom fighters. Together they survived years of hardship—imprisonment, exile, poverty, and illness—and made a name for themselves as authors and illustrators. Eventually they reached ...

Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga: The Godmother of the Redress Movement

Greg Robinson


Japanese Americans and Catholicism

Greg RobinsonMatthieu Langlois

The recent release of Martin Scorsese’s film SILENCE, on the persecution of Catholic missionaries in early modern Japan, has increased popular interest in the long and eventful encounter between Japanese Americans and Catholicism, a subject that has tended to pass unnoticed in chronicles of Nikkei life. This absence of ...

First Impressions: Early Reviews of John Okada’s No-No Boy

Greg Robinson


The Unknown History of Japanese Internment in Panama

Greg RobinsonMaxime Minne

The historical narrative surrounding the wartime confinement of ethnic Japanese in the United States grows ever more complex. In the last years, historians and activists working with community organizations (in some cases with government funding) have made significant discoveries. The Honouliuli Internment camp in the then-Territory of Hawaii, whose site ...

K.K. Kawakami, Cosmopolitan Issei Writer

Greg RobinsonChris Suh


Toru Matsumoto: The New York Years

Greg Robinson


The Unsung History of the Japanese American Committee for Democracy

Greg Robinson

The Japanese American Committee for Democracy (JACD), a New York-based social and political group of the 1940s, has been effectively ignored in the history of Japanese Americans. The JACD held rallies to support the American war effort in World War II, helped Japanese Americans in New York to find jobs ...

The Eyes Have It: Nisei Contact Lens Pioneer Dr. Newton Wesley

Greg Robinson

One fun area of work in history is discovering the connections between everyday products and their unheralded inventors. There is the street light, developed by African-American inventor and engineer Lewis H. Latimer. Or take the Bing cherry, developed by Ah Bing, a Chinese immigrant horticulturist in Oregon. Or there is ...

Tsuyoshi Matsumoto—A Different Wartime Story

Greg Robinson

The Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor in December 1941 had immediate repercussions for Japanese Americans living throughout the nation—not least the Issei and Nisei civilians in Hawaii living near the naval base who were wounded by falling bombs. Amid the nationwide confusion and anger that resulted from the attack ...

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About

I am a native New Yorker who is Professor of History at l'Université du Québec À Montréal, a French-language institution in Montreal, Canada. In addition to writing multiple books on Japanese American and Japanese Caandian history, I write the regular historical column "The Great Unknown" for the NICHI BEI WEEKLY newspaper.

Nikkei interests

  • community history
  • Japantowns

Nikkei Roots: Digging into Our Cultural Heritage

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