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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‘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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Asian American Movement Study Showcases U.S. Cultural Radicalism’s Robust Tradition

At California State University, Fullerton, I taught history, Asian American studies and American studies courses. My favorite was an American studies offering developed in the mid-1970s: “American Cultural Radicalism.” If now teaching it, I assuredly would assign Daryl Maeda’s Chains of Babylon. The best study on the Asian American Movement’s origins and early ascent, it also brilliantly showcases U.S. cultural radicalism’s robust tradition.

While cultural radicalism can be defined variably, “one of its central characteristics,” according to cultural historian Jesse Battan, “has been the emphasis on subjective or personal forms of liberation.” Whereas political radicals “seek ...

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A Historical Anthology on Redress

In the 2011 PAN-JAPAN special issue NEGLECTED LEGACIES: Japanese American Women and the Redress/Reparations Movement, guest editor Lane Ryo Hirabayashi, an Asian American studies professor at UCLA (where he is also the George & Sakaye Aratani chair in Japanese American Incarceration, Redress, and Community), acknowledges that in (resourcefully) editing the papers comprising Neglected Legacies and in writing up his published (and very perceptive) introduction to them, he benefitted from his interactions with three notable Sansei activists.

One of these third-generation Nikkei, Grant Ujifusa, was a key national player in the Japanese American redress movement that culminated in the Civil Liberties ...

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