Greg Robinson

Greg Robinson, nativo de Nueva York, es profesor de historia en  la Universidad de Quebec en Montreal , una institución franco-parlante  de Montreal, Canadá. Él es autor de los libros By Order of the President: FDR and the Internment of Japanese Americans (Editorial de la Universidad de Harvard, 2001), A Tragedy of Democracy; Japanese Confinement in North America (Editorial de la Universidad de Columbia, 2009), After Camp: Portraits in Postwar Japanese Life and Politics (Editorial de la Universidad de California, 2012), y Pacific Citizens: Larry and Guyo Tajiri and Japanese American Journalism in the World War II Era (Editorial de la Universidad de Illinois, 2012) y coeditor de la antología Miné Okubo: Following Her Own Road (Editorial de la Universidad de Washington, 2008). Su columna histórica “The Great Unknown and the Unknown Great” es una reconocida contribución al periódico Nichi Bei Weekly.  El último libro de Robinson es  The Great Unknown: Japanese American Sketches (Editorial de la Universidad de Colorado, 2016).

Última actualización en junio de 2017

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Way Down in Egypt Land: Tamio Wakayama, Civil Rights Photographer - Part 1

In the column I wrote some time ago on the Nisei photographer Yoichi Okamoto, who served as official photographer in the White House during the administration of Lyndon B. Johnson, I spoke about how his photographs go beyond political propaganda and shine as both art and history. This is, if anything, even more true in the case of Tamio Wakayama, another Nikkei whose camera captured the history of 1960s America. Tamio Wakayama was not only a witness, who documented the events surrounding him in inspired fashion, but by his very presence he was touched by them.

Tamio Wakayama had an ...

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Eugene Rostow’s Japanese American articles: A Reconsideration - Part 2

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Eugene Rostow’s twin articles appeared in late summer 1945. The overall thesis of both pieces was that the indefinite “internment” of West Coast Japanese Americans under prison conditions, and the severe property losses they had sustained, had been a grave injustice - “the worst blow our liberties have sustained in many years.”1 Worse, by upholding the government’s actions in the “Japanese American cases,” the Supreme Court had converted a “wartime folly” into permanent legal doctrine.2

Rostow asserted that in the Supreme Court cases, the government had not offered any proof of military necessity that ...

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Eugene Rostow’s Japanese American articles: A Reconsideration - Part 1

In the annals of civil rights, a special place should be reserved for Eugene Rostow. In 1945, even as Japanese Americans remained confined in camps by official order, Rostow, then a young law professor at Yale University, published a pair of articles that criticized their wartime treatment. In his first article, “The Japanese-American Cases - A Disaster,” published in the Yale Law Journal in mid-1945, Rostow presented a powerfully-reasoned critique of removal and incarceration as America’s “worst wartime mistake,” and refuted the official justifications offered. He followed this with an article in the popular magazine Harper’s in September 1945 ...

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George Yamaoka for the Defense: The story of a Transnational Nisei Lawyer and Businessman

The life of George Yamaoka, a Japanese American lawyer who was appointed by the Allies to defend accused Japanese war criminals after World War II, represents an interesting variation on the Nisei experience.

Yamaoka was born in Seattle on January 26, 1903. His father, Otohiko Yamaoka, was a Japan-born lawyer and community leader. As a youth, the senior Yamaoka had become one of the youngest men ever elected to the Diet. After being imprisoned for treason for his involvement in a conspiracy to assassinate officials in Shizuoka, he spent ten years in prison before being released through the intervention of ...

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Erna P. Harris: An African-American Champion of Equality

One part of the history of Japanese Americans that has been curiously neglected is the disproportionate support offered them by Black Americans at the time of their mass wartime confinement. Victims of racial injustice themselves, African Americans demonstrated different forms of solidarity to their Nikkei counterparts during those years. In particular, there are numerous examples of African American writers and journalists who spoke out in support of the rights of Japanese Americans in the wake of Executive Order 9066. The celebrated poet Langston Hughes devoted several of his columns in the Chicago Defender to opposing the government’s policy as ...

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