Quebec, Canada



Kenji Toda: Groundbreaking Artist and Scholar


Not long ago I did a Discover Nikkei piece on the artist Bunji Tagawa, who made a career of scientific drawing for Scientific American, and who was lauded for the artistry of his technical work. I later discovered that Tagawa was preceded in the field by another prodigious Japanese artist-turned-scientific …

A Family of Artists - Part 2: The Goodenow Brothers Make Their Own Marks


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A Family of Artists - Part 1: Kyohei Inukai, Society Portraitist


One remarkable clan of artists is that of the Inukai-Goodenow family. It was formed by Kyōhei Inukai, a Japanese immigrant who became a popular society portrait painter (and fencing enthusiast) in 1920s New York, and his first wife Lucene Goodenow, a writer, painter and sculptor. Their three sons, who were …

Howard Thurman and Japanese Americans - Part 2


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Howard Thurman and Japanese Americans - Part 1


Kinjiro Matsudaira: Mayor of Edmonston, Maryland


In the pre-World War II years, mainland Japanese Americans were all but absent from electoral office. Whereas in Hawaii there were Nisei representatives in the Territorial Assembly and even a Senator, Sanji Abe, those living elsewhere found endemic anti-Japanese prejudice an effective barrier to even running for elected office, though …

‘One mistaken and semi-Fascist regulation’ : The Debate over McGill University’s Wartime Exclusion of Japanese Canadians


One remarkable story that comes out of the wartime removal and dispossession of Japanese Canadians is that of their exclusion at McGill University. In fall 1944, McGill, the historic university in Montreal, became the first Canadian institution of higher education officially to close its doors to Japanese Canadian students. Its …

Laying Down the Law of Love: The 1936 American Tour of Toyohiko Kagawa


It was the middle of December 1935. The Nippon Yusen liner Asama Maru had just concluded a fourteen-day voyage. After leaving Yokohama and stopping at a port of call in Honolulu, it arrived in San Francisco. As Asama Maru sailed into San Francisco Bay, its 800 passengers looked on, no …

How fair is “Fair Enough?” Westbrook Pegler and Japanese Americans - Part 2


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How fair is “Fair Enough?” Westbrook Pegler and Japanese Americans - Part 1


On March 28, 1945, the Manzanar Free Press ran a remarkable article relating to Japanese Americans. In discussing the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in the case of Korematsu vs. United States, the text cited the noted (and notorious) newspaperman Westbrook Pegler, who had proclaimed in his nationally syndicated column “Fair …

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I am a native New Yorker who is Professor of History at l'Université du Québec À Montréal, a French-language institution in Montreal, Canada. In addition to writing multiple books on Japanese American and Japanese Caandian history, I write the regular historical column "The Great Unknown" for the NICHI BEI WEEKLY newspaper.


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