Stuff contributed by rmyokota

JASC Partners With Alphawood Gallery on “Then They Came For Me;” Largest JA Incarceration Exhibit Ever in Midwest

Ryan Masaaki Yokota

On June 29th, 2017, the Alphawood Gallery, in partnership with the Japanese American Service Committee (JASC) was glad to announce the opening of their first original exhibit Then They Came For Me: Incarceration of Japanese Americans During WWII and the Demise of Civil Liberties. This exhibit ran for approximately four ...

Chicago Community Commemorates 2017 Day of Remembrance and 75 Years Since E.O. 9066; Over 700 People Attend Weekend of Arts and Youth Programming

Ryan Masaaki Yokota

“This actually happened. This happened to somebody I love,” stated poet and author Dwight Okita, in talking about why he writes poetry about the Japanese American World War II incarceration experience. “This can happen again, maybe to someone you love, or maybe to you. So let’s not repeat the ...

Facing Forward: Mixed-Race Japanese Americans in Chicago

Ryan Masaaki Yokota

“So, one of the questions that mixed people get asked a lot is ‘What are you?’” stated Laura Kina, a Professor at DePaul University, speaking at a July 19, 2016 forum on mixed-race identity in Chicago. “I don’t particularly look Japanese American. I think physically I probably read as ...

Japanese American Chick Sexers in Chicago - Part 2

Ryan Masaaki Yokota

Read part 1 >> Schooling in Chicago At the end of World War II, many Japanese Americans resettled in places like Chicago, as they tried to rebuild their lives after roughly 120,000 Japanese Americans had been incarcerated in Japanese American Concentration Camps during the war. And for some young men ...

Japanese American Chick Sexers in Chicago - Part 1

Ryan Masaaki Yokota

At modern-day 821 North La Salle Street, in the River North neighborhood of Chicago, few people today could possibly imagine that here at this site was one of the main Japanese American chick sexing schools outside of the west coast. Indeed, at the site of the upscale apartment building that ...

The Japanese Peruvian Community of Chicago

Ryan Masaaki Yokota

On a warm spring day last year, members of the Japanese Peruvian community filled the pews of the Church of Christ Presbyterian in Chicago not for church services, but instead to see the screening of a film and to hear an update from the Japanese Peruvian Oral History Project.

Nisei Recollections of a Pre-Resettlement Chicago

Ryan Masaaki Yokota

Follow the story of “Rocky” Yamanaka, one of the few remaining Nisei who remembers life in Chicago before Japanese American resettlement, from his family’s difficulties in the Great Depression, his experiences in being drafted on V-J Day at the end of World War II, and his return to a ...

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Ryan Masaaki Yokota is a Yonsei/Shin-Nisei Japanese/Okinawan American who currently lives in Chicago, IL. He holds a PhD in East Asian History from the University of Chicago and an MA in Asian American Studies from UCLA. His recently completed dissertation is titled "Okinawan Postwar Nationalism(s): Independence, Autonomy, and Indigenousness, 1945-2008." His previous academic writings have been on Okinawan Peruvians in Los Angeles, the history of Japanese and Okinawans in Cuba, and an interview with Pat Sumi, seminal figure in the Asian American Movement.

Nikkei interests

  • community history
  • family stories
  • Japantowns

Nikkei Heroes: Trailblazers, Role Models, and Inspirations

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