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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Nisei Revisits Her Wartime Past Through Watercolors

Through a sophisticated blend of artwork, prose, and photographic images, plus an assortment of other useful illustrative materials, Lily Yuriko Nakai Havey has crafted in Gasa Gasa Girl Goes to Camp what is assuredly among the very most exquisite, insightful, and candid memoirs of the World War II Japanese American experience.

I vigorously applaud the University of Utah Press’ marketing of this volume—which hinges on Havey’s pre- and early-adolescence incarceration at the Santa Anita Assembly Center in Southern California and the Granada (Amache) Relocation Center in southeastern Colorado—as a “creative memoir.” While all memoirs (a literary genre ...

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Nikkei History Meets Multi-generational Family Memoir

Although its publisher markets Looking after Minidoka as a “memoir,” this volume can lay equal claim to being a “history.” It is, in fact, the superlative fusion of these two genres that accounts for the most fundamental value and utility of this richly documented, exquisitely composed, and diversely illustrated work. Rather than a personal memoir, Neil Nakadate (an emeritus professor of English at Iowa State University) has fashioned a family memoir that conveys to readers the historical experience of his immigrant Issei grandparents, his U.S.-born Nisei parents, and his own Sansei generation of American citizens. Moreover, he has ...

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‘Masterpiece’ Traces Battles Nikkei Fought for Justice

On the dust jacket of this volume, I am quoted as pronouncing it to be “a substantial contribution to Japanese American historiography and collective memory.” That reserved opinion was based upon my reading of the penultimate manuscript draft that University of Hawai‘i Professor Eileen Tamura revised into In Defense of Justice. Having now read the published version of this work, I am prepared to proclaim it a masterpiece deserving of inclusion in the pantheon of books on Japanese American World War II dissent-protest-resistance along with such earlier classics penned by Roger Daniels (Concentration Camps U.S.A., 1971), Michi ...

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Viewing Seattle's Nikkei Community through Multiple Lenses

During the first two decades of the twentieth century, Seattle was the West Coast’s most populated Japanese American city. However, in the subsequent years prior to World War II, both Japanese San Francisco and Japanese Los Angeles not only surpassed the then-nicknamed Queen City in numbers, but also overshadowed it in geographical, commercial, and cultural importance. This situation remains intact today. Still, it could plausibly be argued that in terms of the historical representation in published books of these three urban racial-ethnic communities, Japanese Seattle has fared better or at least comparably with its San Francisco and Los Angeles ...

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A Stirring Memoir of Adolescent Manzanar Stories Weaved With Senior Hiking Adventures

My first trip of many to the World War II Manzanar concentration camp site occurred in the spring of 1972. On that occasion I accompanied my California State University, Fullerton, Nisei colleague, Kinji Yada, on his personal pilgrimage to the place in eastern California’s Owens Valley where, as a young teenager in 1942, the U.S. government had imprisoned him and his family “for the duration” and to which he had not returned since his 1945 departure.

Four decades later, in May 2011, I found myself again in the Manzanar vicinity to attend a Manzanar National Historic Site ranger ...

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