Stuff contributed by Greg

Nunc Pro Tunc: The Story Behind a Phrase

Greg Robinson

It was more than ten years ago that my friend Tetsuden Kashima told me of his dream project. Tetsu, a professor of Sociology at University of Washington and an incisive scholar of wartime Japanese Americans, confided that he and some colleagues had hatched a plan to persuade the University administration ...

T. Scott Miyakawa–Part 2: Nisei Academic and Activist

Greg Robinson

Read Part 1 >>

T. Scott Miyakawa–Part 1: Struggles of a Young Nisei

Greg Robinson

T. Scott Miyakawa, a sociologist and historian, was one of the most talented and successful of the first generation of Nisei academics. His early career nonetheless dramatizes the various obstacles that Nisei were forced to endure, and the compromises they made to succeed.

They’ve come a Long Way: Chinese American Support for Japanese Americans in World War II

Greg Robinson

One aspect of Japanese American history that has been increasingly explored in recent times is the complex and revealing question of relations between Nikkei and other racial and religious minority groups over the 20th century. For example, Scott Kurashige’s The Shifting Grounds of Race examines the contrasting conditions facing ...

A Family Saga: The Remarkable History of the Ito Sisters of Prewar Chicago

Greg Robinson

One intriguing aspect of Japanese American history is the study of some remarkable families and clans, which have included generations of siblings and cousins who have achieved renown in varying fields. For example, the Oyama family of Sacramento included the businessmen Wesley Oyama and Clem Oyama, writers Mary Oyama Mittwer ...

The Man Behind the Camera: The story of Yoichi Okamoto, LBJ's Shadow

Greg Robinson

Since the early days of the camera, photography has enjoyed a particular vogue in Japan. Long before the stereotyped tourist groups snapping pictures arrived on the international scene, Japanese photographers had demonstrated their talent. Japanese brands such as Olympus, Nikon, Canon, Minolta, Pentax, and Fujifilm, all firms originally founded during ...

Clifford Uyeda and Ben Kuroki: Nisei Conservatives in the 1960s

Greg Robinson

One extraordinary trend in recent years is the eclipse of Japanese Americans within the Republican Party. Alan Nakanishi, the sole Japanese American Republican in the California Assembly, left office in 2008. Beth Fukumoto of Hawaii, who was House Minority Leader from 2014 to 2017, quit the Republican Party after being ...

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 ...

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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

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