Stuff contributed by jonathan

Memories on the Open Market

Jonathan van Harmelen

For scholars of Japanese American history, telling the story of incarceration is important yet difficult. Doing justice to the complicated narrative of camp life and the experiences at ten unique camps across the deserts and swamps of the U.S. is not easy. As a historian, I find it is important …

Kizuna 2020: Nikkei Kindness and Solidarity During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Quarantine in Camp: Stories of Other Pandemics

Jonathan van Harmelen

Shortly after leaving Topaz to attend the University of Montana, Missoula, Miyeko Taketa received a letter from her friend Pearl Nugent in February 1944. Nugent, the wife of Reverend Carl Nugent of Topaz’s Protestant Church, shared one interesting story that might interest readers today:

“Infamy’s legacy: Tule Lake and repatriation remembered”

Jonathan van Harmelen

One of most divisive chapters of the Japanese American incarceration is the story of Tule Lake. While established as a traditional War Relocation Authority (WRA) camp, it was declared a “segregation center” by the WRA to meet Congressional demands issue loyalty oaths and begin military recruitment within camp. Of the …

Hung Wai Ching: The Founding of the Varsity Victory Volunteers and relations between Chinese and Japanese Americans

Jonathan van Harmelen


Dentistry in Camp

Jonathan van Harmelen

The late Hiroshi Kashiwagi’s short play Laughter and False Teeth remains a staple of Asian American Theatre. In an interview with Emiko Omori in her landmark film Rabbit in the Moon, Kashiwagi explained the real-life background of the piece in the experience of his mother at the time of mass …

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

Greg RobinsonJonathan van Harmelen

Read Part 1 >>

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

Greg RobinsonJonathan van Harmelen

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 …

Findings from a small town archive

Jonathan van Harmelen

If you go to the heart of downtown Arroyo Grande, you will find tucked away in a small house the South County Historical Society. Stored in the house are thousands of documents and other artifacts chronicling the town’s century-and-a-half existence and the lives of its inhabitants. For instance, among the …

Giotta Fuyo Tajiri — An Artist's Voyage

Jonathan van Harmelen


An Activist’s dilemma: the life of Katsuma Mukaeda

Jonathan van Harmelen

For many of the issei interned by the Justice Department during World War II, their years in confinement posed serious questions of loyalty and identity. Many had once strongly identified with the old country, and had worked to forge what Eiichiro Azuma has identified as a “shin-nippon,” or new Japan, …

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