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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Documenting an evolving movement

In recognition of my modest role in the conception and organization of this stellar volume, I received a complimentary copy from Lane Hirabayashi, the lead editor for the robust NCRR editorial team (the others being Richard Katsuda, Kathy Masaoka, Kay Ochi, Suzy Katsuda, and Janice Iwanaga Yen). Along with the book, Hirabayashi attached a short note: “This project exemplifies what Asian American Studies is about for me. From, through, and reflecting grassroots knowledge.” Having had the good fortune to read a substantial portion of his prodigious scholarly output during his 35-year academic career at San Francisco State University, the University …

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Complicat(i)ng the 'mosaic' of history

This impressive volume, published at the semi-centennial of Asian American studies, serves admirably as an authoritative marker of Asian American history’s coming of age. Edited by two stalwarts in the field, David K. Yoo and Eiichiro Azuma, it consists of a masterful overview introduction by them, plus 27 in-depth historiographical essays penned by leading scholars that are representative of this vibrant multifarious branch of U.S. history. All but one of these scholars are Asian Americans of various ethnicities, with the exception being notable Nichi Bei Weekly columnist Greg Robinson.

In addition to Robinson’s insightful essay on “Asian American Legal History,” …

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A Nikkei Incarceration Odyssey

The Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i (JCCH) has been responsible — in part — for publishing three remarkable books: Life behind Barbed Wire: The World War II Internment Memoirs of a Hawaii Issei (2008); Family Torn Apart: The Internment Story of the Otokichi Muin Ozaki Family (2012); and An Internment Odyssey: Haisho Tenten (2017).

Taken together, these bountiful volumes have simultaneously achieved the following three ends: substantially enlarged the Japanese immigrant perspective on the World War II Japanese American detention experience; strategically incorporated the Hawai‘i Nikkei involvement in the heretofore mainland-dominated narrative of that experience; and considerably enriched the limited …

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A Case Study of Heart Mountain’s Draft Resisters and Military Service

This is Mike Mackey’s fifth and, apparently, final book centered on the World War II experience of the Heart Mountain Relocation Center in northwest Wyoming. Mackey, who has made his home in both Powell and Cody, the two communities nearest to Heart Mountain, is exceedingly well informed on the camp’s history and passionately dedicated to its historical interpretation and legacy.

Accordingly, it has always shocked and saddened me that as a professional historian, Mackey’s knowledge and commitment relative to Heart Mountain has not, for one or another reason, been translated into a teaching position for him at Northwest College in …

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Hope amid hardship

This altogether beautiful book by noted Seattle-based art historian and curator Barbara Johns strikingly testifies to the oft-stated judgment that a picture is worth a thousand words. The core of The Hope of Another Spring is the astonishing illustrated diary that Issei Takuichi Fujii (1891-1964) fashioned (almost completely) while incarcerated during World War II with his wife and two daughters at the Puyallup Assembly Center (Washington) and the Minidoka Relocation Center (Idaho) concentration camps.

Described in a discerning foreword by renowned historian Roger Daniels as “the most remarkable document created by a Japanese American prisoner during the wartime incarceration,” …

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