Tag: Japanese-Americans

The Story of the Great Japanese-American Novel

IT WAS THE LATE ’60s, and a University of California, Berkeley, undergraduate named Shawn Wong wanted to write the next great American novel. He was born in Oakland, Calif., in 1949 to parents who emigrated from Tianjin, China, both of whom died by the time he was 15. Wong had fallen in love with literature, […]

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Overlooked No More: Mitsuye Endo, a Name Linked to Justice for Japanese-Americans

Overlooked is a series of obituaries about remarkable people whose deaths, beginning in 1851, went unreported in The Times. By Stephanie Buck It was January 1942, and Japanese-American civil servants in California were alarmed. Within weeks of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, the state government had sent an invasive questionnaire to its employees of Japanese […]

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What Japanese American history can teach us about diversity and immigrants in the workplace

More than 75 years ago, amid the hysteria of World War II, more than 120,000 Japanese Americans were incarcerated in detention centers across the U.S. GuideSpark CEO Keith Kitani became intimately familiar with that history, as it affected his own parents and extended family. They were held against their will in one of the greatest […]

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The New Generation of Chefs Pushing Japanese Food in Unexpected Directions

IN 1906, THE YOKOHAMA-BORN scholar Okakura Kakuzo published “The Book of Tea,” a brief tract for Western readers on chanoyu, the centuries-old, highly ritualized Japanese tea ceremony. He argued that the aestheticization of the humble act of drinking tea — “the adoration of the beautiful among the sordid facts of everyday existence” — must be […]

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The Comedians Challenging Stereotypes About Asian-American Masculinity

NOT THAT LONG AGO, my family, which includes my mother and her two siblings — all three of whom are Chinese — went to a comedy show at a well-known nightclub in Manhattan. My aunt and uncle, who live in Long Island, had gone there on an early date decades ago. My mom and her […]

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The Peaches Are Sweet, but Growing Them Isn’t

DEL REY, Calif. — When I first visited this tiny farm town to pick peaches, I did not expect to return. Certainly not every summer. Yet in July, here I was again, in triple-degree heat, for the ninth straight year of a pilgrimage with friends to an orchard just south of Fresno, near the geographic […]

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‘The Terror’ Summons the Ghosts of a Real-Life Horror Story

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — The best horror stories tell us something about ourselves. A zombie horde stands in for toxic conformity, a monster for unconquerable grief. But not every scary story is an allegory. One of the scariest the actor George Takei ever heard was a true one about his own life. He just didn’t […]

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Overlooked No More: Ralph Lazo, Who Voluntarily Lived in an Internment Camp

Overlooked is a series of obituaries about remarkable people whose deaths, beginning in 1851, went unreported in The Times. By Veronica Majerol When Ralph Lazo saw his Japanese-American friends being forced from their homes and into internment camps during World War II, he did the unexpected: He went with them. In the spring of 1942, […]

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‘Stop Repeating History’: Plan to Hold Migrant Children at Former Internment Camp Draws Protests

FORT SILL, Okla. — For Satsuki Ina, who was born in a Japanese-American internment camp during World War II, the news that the United States would detain undocumented migrant children at this Army base in Oklahoma felt like an unwelcome wallop from the past. The base, Fort Sill, Okla., once held 700 Japanese-Americans who lived […]

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Reparations Are Rare in America, but They Have Been Paid Before

Ever since a Union Army general announced in Galveston, Tex., that “all slaves are free” on June 19, 1865 — a day now commemorated as Juneteenth — the question of how to compensate the country’s formerly enslaved people has hung over the United States. Lawmakers in Washington are scheduled to address reparations for slavery for […]

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For Kishi Bashi, History Teaches Compassion

There’s protest behind the prettiness of “Omoiyari,” the fourth studio album by the songwriter Kaoru Ishibashi, who records as Kishi Bashi. He is the American son of Japanese immigrants, and current political turmoil over immigration got him thinking about a 20th-century episode of American xenophobia: the internment of more than 110,000 people with as little […]

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