Jonathan van Harmelen

Jonathan van Harmelen estudia actualmente un doctorado (Ph.D) en historia en la Universidad de California en Santa Cruz, con especialización en la historia del encarcelamiento japonés-americano. Es licenciado en historia e idioma francés por la Universidad Pomona y ha completado una maestría en humanidades en la Universidad de Georgetown. Entre el 2015 y el 2018, Jonathan había trabajado para el Museo Nacional de Historia Americana como pasante e investigador. Puede ser contactado al email jvanharm@ucsc.edu.

Última actualización en febrero de 2020

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Father Thomas Takahashi – A Man of One Spirit in Two Worlds

Although most of the permanent clergy at the Maryknoll missions did not come out of the Japanese American community, a number of Nikkei clergy, such as Sisters Bernadette and Suzanne, worked among the Japanese American community. One of the first Japanese American Catholics to enter the priesthood was Father Thomas Wataru Takahashi, known also by his friends as “Watson” Takahashi, who built a successful career as a Maryknoll missionary in Los Angeles and in Japan. 

Thomas Wataru Takahashi was born on August 3, 1919 in Los Angeles, the son of Japanese immigrants Paul Kanai and Hisayo Takahashi. During his childhood, …

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Toge Fujihira: Master Photographer and World Traveler - Part 2

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Even as Fujihira and Shilin made their documentaries on Native Americans, they also collaborated on a series of films for the Protestant Film Commission. In 1951, Fujihira travelled to Brazil to shoot a film on Church missionary work there. The following year, they released An End to Darkness, a nondenominational film about a Liberian boy’s struggle for a Christian education and his desire to return home and serve his people. 

Similarly, Challenge in the Sun (1952) depicted a young missionary couple representing the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Missionary District of the Panama Canal Zone, …

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Toge Fujihira: Master Photographer and World Traveler - Part 1

Toge Fujihira (whose family name was sometimes reported as Fujihara) left the West Coast in the years before World War II and settled in New York, where he distinguished himself as a photographer and documentary filmmaker. During the postwar era, he established himself as a professional cameraman and photographer, capturing prize-winning photos and films of landscapes and people in the United States and around the world.

Toge Fujihira was born Kazuo Togo Fujihira in Seattle, Washington on January 18, 1915, the eldest of four children of Chu (AKA Fuji) and Kiyo Fujihira. During his teen years, he starred as an …

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Clement Boesflug: Catholic Priest and JACL Chaplain

Among the Maryknoll Catholic clergy who worked with Japanese Americans, many individuals, including Fathers Hugh Lavery and Leopold Tibesar, served as spiritual teachers and advocates on behalf of Japanese communities. However, few interacted with their parishioners or participated in community politics as much as Father Clement Boesflug. Known commonly as “Father Clement” – in part because of the difficulties people had pronouncing his last name – Clement Boesflug served as a Maryknoll priest across the West Coast and in Japan, and ultimately earned recognition from the JACL as an honorary chaplain for his wartime advocacy and postwar work with …

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The N-Word and the Japanese American Press

In the wide world of American racial epithets, one word seems to stand apart as uniquely hateful and wounding: the term euphemized as the “N-word.” Applied to African Americans, it is a corruption of the term Negro—a term that has gone through its own complex history. Like the Nazi swastika, the Confederate flag, or the flaming cross, the “N-word” represents such a toxic symbol of prejudice that even neutral utterance of it, especially by nonblacks, is taboo. (There are hate words in other societies that have their own special power: author Greg remembers being told as a child to never, …

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