Nichi Bei Weekly

The Nichi Bei Weekly, published by the Nichi Bei Foundation, rose out of the ashes of the historic legacy of the Nichi Bei Shimbun (1899-1942) and Nichi Bei Times (1946-2009) as the first nonprofit ethnic community newspaper of its kind in the country. It has been published in San Francisco’s Japantown since September of 2009.

Updated April 2018

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Author Pays Forward Japanese American Legacy of Resistance

In his essay for a 1999 Mike Mackey-edited anthology, Remembering Heart Mountain, Lane Hirabayashi cautions Japanese American incarceration scholars not to over-generalize about Japanese American “resistance” to oppression within the War Relocation Authority-administered concentration camps. However, he then quickly subdues this prudent warning by declaring: “My reading of the archival record confirms, repeatedly … the frequency and tenacity of resistance on multiple occasions and multiple levels.” Four years earlier, in his edited volume of Richard Nishimoto’s writings pertaining to World War II resistance activity at the Poston detention camp in Arizona, Inside an American Concentration Camp, Hirabayashi explored, extended, and ...

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Scholars Showcase Future of Diverse Nikkei Community

During my involvement in Japanese American studies, from 1972 to the present, I have been struck by two simultaneous developments. The first is a growing sophistication in theory and methodology among its academic practitioners; the second is a decreasing connection to and concern for the Japanese American community by these same scholars. While I do not see this bifurcated situation, which has been remarked on by many others in the field, as a “crisis” worthy of “alarmist” pronouncements, I do find it a cause for celebration to encounter the work of those academe-based teacher-scholars in Japanese American studies who, like ...

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‘Monumental’ research on Manzanar

Manzanar occupies a special place in my consciousness and conscience. I was first introduced to this eastern California site in 1972 by a California State University, Fullerton, History Department colleague and close friend who was a teenage Nisei inmate there during its successive World War II iterations as a Nikkei detention center run by the Wartime Civil Control Administration and the War Relocation Authority.

Among my earliest oral history interviews were those done with Manzanar detainees, camp administrators and appointed staff. My first published article pertinent to the Japanese American wartime experience was on the so-called Manzanar Riot of December ...

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The Fukuhara Family Caught Between Two Sides

At our vacation residence in the small San Luis Obispo County community of Los Osos, Calif., my wife and I have a delightful neighbor who is genuinely a “voracious reader.” By far this woman’s favorite genre of literature is historical fiction. While customarily she shuns non-fiction books, she is open to perusing such works with one proviso: they must read like captivating novels. For this reason I have previously recommended to her a trio of exemplary 2015 Nikkei history books that nicely conform to her exacting taste: Jan Jarboe Russell’s The Train to Crystal City; Julia Checkoway’s ...

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‘Treasure Trove of Invaluable New Inf(o)’ on the WWII Camps

In the interval between 1973 and 1988, thanks to some enterprising undergraduate and graduate students of mine affiliated with the Japanese American Oral History Project (JAOHP) of the Oral History Program (OHP) at California State University, Fullerton (CSUF), an archive of oral history interviews was compiled with World War II residents of the small towns located in close proximity to four U.S. War Relocation Authority (WRA)-administered concentration camps incarcerating evicted Americans of Japanese ancestry—Manzanar and Tule Lake in California, Poston in Arizona, and Jerome in Arkansas. All of these interviews were later made available to researchers through ...

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