Fresno Stories

This series examines the history of Nikkei in Fresno and their impact on the history of the city and California's Central Valley. In particular, this series will examine how Japanese Americans shaped the culture of theCentral Valley and the individuals who lived in it, whether through the arts, sports, or politics

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

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 before the JACL existed, Issei and Nisei community leaders in several West Coast cities formed local political organizations to demonstrate the loyalty of the Japanese community to the U.S. In Seattle, future JACL president Clarence T. Arai formed the Progressive Citizens League, and in San Francisco the New American Citizens …

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

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 the Central Valley up to the San Joaquin Delta. This long network of settlements nestled within inland California is often seen as the last outpost before the East, and its endless stretches of farmland, mountains, and desert. Yet, these are truly Californian cities, with their own distinctive traditions and contributions …

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American Loyalty League California Current Life Fresno JACL James Omura San Francisco T.T. Yatabe Thomas Tamotsu Yatabe Toshio Mori William Saroyan writers