日米ウィークリー

(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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HATSUMI: One Grandmother’s Journey through the Japanese Canadian Internment

The World War II exclusion and detention experience of Japanese Americans is now fairly widely familiar, at least in general terms, to many within the United States. Their knowledge of this particular subject has been broadened and deepened progressively since the 1970s through a veritable media avalanche of historical representations served up by writers, filmmakers, dramatists, artists, oral historians, bloggers, and many others. However, it is quite apparent that this development has not occurred―even for Japanese Americans―with respect to the parallel yet somewhat different (and arguably more dire) WWII wartime experience of Canadians of Japanese descent.

When compared ...

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The ‘Invented Fiction’ of the Model Minority and the Controversy Behind the JA Creed

These books by Ellen Wu and Kristin Hass both assess a contested facet of Japanese American studies from a comparative perspective; and both are judiciously conceptualized, skillfully organized, soundly argued, lucidly written, and bountifully documented.

Fortuitously, their chronological spans (Wu, 1940s–1960s; Hass, 1982–2004) are sufficiently contiguous to warrant reviewing them jointly. Moreover, by jettisoning their non-Japanese American sections (in Wu, the Chinese American model minority experience; in Hass, three of the four war memorials built in the past three decades on the National Mall in Washington), this review can concentrate on connecting Wu’s analysis of the Japanese ...

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Exploring the Wartime Kibei-Nisei Struggles

“What I have attempted to introduce in (Show Me the Way Home),” writes Takako Day in the preface to her brilliant, bold, highly significant, if rather sprawling book, “are the lives and the struggles of Japanese-speaking Japanese Americans (known as ‘Kibei Nisei,’ a minority within a minority) who survived the tempestuous period of World War II when Japanese was an enemy language.” She then proceeds to say that particularly the “No-No’s” within the Kibei population, owing to prejudice, have been silenced, and follows up this shrewd observation with a ringing declaration: “The stories of these men must not remain ...

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Stimulating an Appreciation of America’s Diverse History and Cultures Through Preservation

The most fitting way I can think of to begin this review of Mary Adams Urashima’s Historic Wintersburg in Huntington Beach, is to appropriate and slightly modify what the great American poet Walt Whitman said in relation to his most notable poetic volume, Leaves of Grass (1855): “Whoever touches this book touches a (wo)man.” A resident of Orange County’s Huntington Beach and a passionate advocate of historic preservation, the perfervid desire of Urashima to preserve significant historical structures and sites derives not from her being a fusty antiquarian, but rather from her envisioning preservation as a progressive ...

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A Young Nisei’s Life, Reimagined

I knew of Gene Oishi, the Nisei author of Fox Drum Bebop, well before I actually met him. This was because in 1968 he became implicated in a national (even international) cause célèbre for his victimization in a high-profile racist episode. Then a Baltimore Sun reporter, Oishi was slumbering in his seat on a political campaign plane flying from Las Vegas to Los Angeles when a fellow passenger, Republican vice presidential candidate Spiro Agnew, gestured toward him and inquired, “What’s the matter with the fat Jap?”

Charged with insensitivity, Agnew responded that he had long known Oishi ...

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