Stuff contributed by jonathan

Joe Oishi’s Nursery and The Promised Year

Jonathan van Harmelen

In October 2022, during a trip to Berkeley, California to do research at the Bancroft Library, I stopped in at Eastwind Books. Normally, when I go book shopping, I usually look for copies of older works that are either out of print or unavailable online. Sometimes, by good fortune, I …

Fresno Stories

Dr. T.T. Yatabe, the American Loyalty League, and the Birth of the JACL

Jonathan van Harmelen

Today, the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) is the largest Japanese American community organization in the United States. Founded in 1929, the organization has evolved over the course of the 20th century from a small group of community leaders to a national civil rights organization with chapters across the U.S. Yet …

Father Francis Caffrey – A Priest for the Stars and Students Alike

Jonathan van Harmelen

In my previous columns on Maryknoll clergy, I profiled several noteworthy priests and nuns who assisted Japanese Americans during their wartime incarceration. The vast majority of these clergy worked in Los Angeles, where the largest Japanese American enclave in the United States existed until 1942. While most priests worked solely …

Remembering Roger Daniels—A Reflection

Jonathan van Harmelen

Last Saturday, I was saddened to learn of the passing of the esteemed historian Roger Daniels at 95 years old. To say that Daniels helped shape Japanese American history would be a real understatement. Over the course of his five-decade career as a historian at UCLA and the University of Cincinnati …

Fresno Stories

William Saroyan and the search for "The Japanese American Novel"

Jonathan van Harmelen

Normally, when we think about “California” cities, our minds tend to drift to popular destinations such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, or San Diego. Often absent from the list of locations noted as part of the “cultural heartland” of California are the cities and towns that dot the landscape from …

Horse Stall Housing, Spoiled Ham, and Other Stories of Life in Tanforan - Part 2

Brian NiiyaJonathan van Harmelen

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Horse Stall Housing, Spoiled Ham, and Other Stories of Life in Tanforan - Part 1

Brian NiiyaJonathan van Harmelen

The second largest of the so-called “assembly centers” with a peak population of 7,816, Tanforan was built on the site of the Tanforan Racetrack in San Bruno, California, near the present site of the San Francisco International Airport. Its inmate population arrived in late April and early May 1942, and …

The Woes of Voting in Camp in 1942

Jonathan van Harmelen

In every election, the question of voter turnout poses a serious challenge. On innumerable occasions, the problem has been aggravated due to legislators’ attempts to restrict access to voting, often targeting minority voters. In the Jim Crow South, the imposition of poll taxes and literacy tests long served to prevent …

Yukuo Uyehara – An Issei Academic in Wartime - Part 2

Jonathan van Harmelen

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Yukuo Uyehara – An Issei Academic in Wartime - Part 1

Jonathan van Harmelen

Before U.S. entry in World War II, a small group of Japanese immigrants found work as academics in American universities. A few, such as Yamato Ichihashi of Stanford University, Toyokichi Iyenaga of University of Chicago, were prestigious researchers who conducted pioneering work on Japan and/or prewar Japanese American communities. Others, …

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