Arthur A. Hansen

Art Hansen is Professor Emeritus of History and Asian American Studies at California State University, Fullerton, where he retired in 2008 as the director of the Center for Oral and Public History.  Between 2001 and 2005, he served as Senior Historian at the Japanese American National Museum.

Updated October 2009

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Nikkei Agriculture in Orange County, California, the Masuda Farm Family, and the American Way of Redressing Racism - Part 4 of 6

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By late December of 1941, the armed services ceased accepting Japanese Americans either as volunteers or draftees, even though the Selective Service Act barred discrimination. Consistent with this discriminatory policy, Nisei were classified not as 1-A, but rather as 4-C, the classification assigned to “enemy aliens.”

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In response to a great deal of agitation from the old anti-Japanese forces in California and elsewhere on the West Coast and in scattered parts of the United States, on February 19, 1942, President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, which, as a matter of “military necessity,” authorized the …

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Nikkei Agriculture in Orange County, California, the Masuda Farm Family, and the American Way of Redressing Racism - Part 3 of 6

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Even before Japan’s December 7, 1941, bombing of the U.S.’ Hawaiian naval station at Pearl Harbor, then home to the main part of the American fleet, precipitated the Masuda family’s eventual exclusion from designated West Coast military areas, along with the rest of the approximately 2000 other Orange Countians of Japanese descent, some of the county’s Nisei were required to exchange their agricultural attire for military apparel.

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This occurred because of the passage by Congress of the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940 on September 17, 1940, which President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed …

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Nikkei Agriculture in Orange County, California, the Masuda Farm Family, and the American Way of Redressing Racism - Part 2 of 6

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Having now provided a snapshot of the pre-World War II Japanese American community in Orange County during the so-called “Issei Pioneer Era,” we need to shift our attention to the main focus of my presentation tonight, which I have titled “Nikkei Agriculture in Orange County, California, the Masuda Farm Family, and the American Way of Redressing Racism.”

Based on two oral history interviews done in 2006 with Masao “Mas” Masuda by, respectively, Susan Shoho Uyemura, for the Japanese American Living Legacy organization, and Takamichi Go, for the Center for Oral and Public History and the …

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Nikkei Agriculture in Orange County, California, the Masuda Farm Family, and the American Way of Redressing Racism - Part 1 of 6

(Presentation at a public program in support of New Birth of Freedom: Civil War to Civil Rights in California at the Orange County Agricultural and Nikkei Heritage Museum, Fullerton Arboretum, California State University, Fullerton on October 19, 2011)

As we gather here this evening next to a building called the Orange County Agricultural and Nikkei Heritage Museum, we need to reflect on the integral relationship between the history of Orange County agriculture and that of the county’s Americans of Japanese ancestry.

And while doing so, we should keep in mind that the Masuda family of Orange County was a farm …

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Peculiar Odyssey: Newsman Jimmie Omura’s Removal from and Regeneration within Nikkei Society, History, and Memory - Part 7 of 7

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The early 1980s activity had ramifications for Omura, who had been “reborn in Seattle.”1 Hohri invited him to speak in Chicago and there avail himself of research material amassed by NCJAR (for which he, along with other notable wartime resisters like Harry Ueno, became a substantial backer)2 for his in-progress memoir.

San Francisco and Los Angeles vernaculars commissioned Omura to write editorials,3 while UCLA’s Asian American Studies Center wooed his participation in conferences and panels and solicited him to review books for the Amerasia Journal (including Hosokawa’s JACL in Quest of Justice …

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