Stuff contributed by Greg

African American images on a Nikkei Canvas: Black Characters in Japanese American Literature - Part 3

Greg RobinsonBrian Niiya

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African American images on a Nikkei Canvas: Black Characters in Japanese American Literature - Part 2

Greg RobinsonBrian Niiya

Read Part 1 >>

African American images on a Nikkei Canvas: Black Characters in Japanese American Literature - Part 1

Greg RobinsonBrian Niiya

It is a commonplace that the presence and contributions of racial minorities have been too long and thoroughly erased from the writing of America’s history. Yet, as the eminent historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. once observed, if racial conflict has remained excluded from the nation’s consciousness, as expressed by the writing …

Ruth Sato Reinhardt: From Chorus Girl to Jazz Momma - Part 2

Greg Robinson

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Ruth Sato Reinhardt: From Chorus Girl to Jazz Momma - Part 1

Greg Robinson

Recently I did a column for Discover Nikkei on Marion Saki, the hapa Japanese American modern dancer and stage performer of the early 20th century. During the 1920s, Marion Saki achieved renown in musical shows on Broadway and on road tours, where she was able to play non-Asian roles even …

Hidden in Plain Sight: Rediscovering the Life and Art of Bumpei Usui

Greg Robinson

On my refrigerator is a magnet with a reproduction of a painting called 14th Street, a colorful, angular cityscape with a view dominated by a skyscraper. I found it some time ago at the shops of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. At the time I bought the magnet, the …

William Castle: An Exceptional Supporter of Japanese Americans

Greg Robinson

Some years ago, I had a chance to spend a month doing extended research in the rare books and manuscripts collections of the Houghton Library at Harvard University. It was there that I came across the typescript diaries of William R. Castle, a leading American diplomat and public figure, the …

The Enigma of Marion Saki

Greg Robinson


Tokyo Rose: The Making of a Hollywood Myth

Greg Robinson

During the latter stages of World War II, Hollywood studios produced a number of war movies dealing with Japan, including Destination Tokyo (1943), starring Cary Grant; Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944), with Spencer Tracy; and James Cagney’s Blood on the Sun (1945). These films, generally dismissed as wartime propaganda, have been all but forgotten in cinema …

Lotus Long: The Short Career of a Screen Siren

Greg Robinson

Ryan Murphy’s recent Netflix miniseries Hollywood uses counterfactual history to tell some real-life stories of Hollywood. Among them is the sad tale of Anna May Wong (played by Michelle Krusiec), the brilliant film actress of the 1930s who faced typecasting due to her Asian ancestry. Relegated to stereotypical “dragon lady” …

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About

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.

Nikkei interests

  • community history
  • Japantowns

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