Category Archives: News

Events coming up for the first half of 2019

Thanks to all who came to hear us speak in 2018. The schedule for the first half of 2019 is shaping up as an even busier one, with events for JOHN OKADA, CONSCIENCE AND THE CONSTITUTION, and a look back at the first Day of Remembrance.  For updates on this calendar, please always check the Upcoming Events page on the main menu.

San Francisco Public Library logoSAN FRANCISCO, CA
Tues., Jan. 8, 2019 @ 6:00 pm
San Francisco Public Library
100 Larkin Street, Latino/Hispanic Rooms A & B 

JOHN OKADA book talk and signing with co-editor Frank Abe. RSVP via the Facebook Event.

Palo Alto City Library logo PALO ALTO, CA
Thurs., Jan. 10, 2019 @ 7:00 pm Palo Alto Rinconada Library
1213 Newell Road
Embarcadero Room

JOHN OKADA book talk and signing with co-editor Frank Abe. RSVP via the Facebook Event and download the flyer.

USC logoLOS ANGELES, CA
Friday, Feb. 1, 2019
University of Southern California
Shinso Ito Center for Japanese Religions and Culture
Doheny Memorial Library, East Asian Seminar Room

JOHN OKADA co-editors Frank Abe and Greg Robinson will present on the life of the author and the process of unearthing his lost stories. Free admission.  RSVP on their Event page.

museum logoLOS ANGELES, CA
Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019 @ 2:00 pm
Japanese American National Museum
100 N. Central Ave.

Southern California book launch for JOHN OKADA with co-editors Frank Abe, Greg Robinson, and special guests, at an event moderated by Densho’s Brian Niiya. Admission free but RSVP at their Event page.

UCLA Asian American Studies CenterLOS ANGELES, CA
Monday, Feb. 4, 2019 @ 12:30 – 1:45 pm
University of California, Los Angeles
Kaplan Hall, Room A68 

Frank Abe will speak with students of Prof. Kelly Fong’s AAS 103 Social Science Research Methods class on the research behind the book, JOHN OKADA, and his film, CONSCIENCE AND THE CONSTITUTION.

JAJA group photo

NEW YORK, NY
Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
JAJA – Japanese Americans and Japanese in America
12 W. 18th St, Apt #3E

JOHN OKADA co-editor Frank Abe with speak with the informal potluck gathering of people of Japanese ancestry living in NY.

UConn logoSTORRS, CT
Thursday, February 21, 2019
University of Connecticut Asian and Asian American Studies Institute

2019 “Day of Remembrance” panel with JOHN OKADA co-editors Frank Abe, Greg Robinson, and Floyd Cheung. Details to come.

New York Day of RemembranceNEW YORK, NY
Saturday, February 23, 2019 @ 1:00 pm
Japanese American United Church
255 7th Avenue

“Day of Remembrance” co-founder Frank Abe will speak at the 2019 New York Day of Remembrance.

Hope College logoHOLLAND, MI
Thursday, March 7, 2019 @ 4:00 – 5:30 pm
Hope College
Jim and Martie Bultman Student Center, Schaap Auditorium

Frank Abe will present the college’s annual Asian Heritage Lecture, a campuswide event for students and faculty and open to the public.

Elliott Bay Book Company logoSEATTLE, WA
Tuesday, April 2, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
Elliott Bay Book Company
1521 Tenth Avenue

Frank Abe will join Art Hansen in presenting Nisei Naysayer: The Memoir of Militant Japanese American Journalist Jimmie Omura, in the area of Omura’s birth on Bainbridge Island. Hansen edited Omura’s wartime diary. Abe documented Omura in the film, Conscience and the Constitution, and provided the afterword to this new volume.

Association for Asian American Studies logoMADISON, WI
Thurs-Fri, April 25-26, 2019
Association for Asian American Studies annual conference

1) Frank Abe will speak on a panel chaired by Greg Robinson on “‘Rabbit in the Moon’ and ‘Conscience and the Constitution’: Looking Backward and Forward”, Thursday, April 25, 1:00 – 2:30 pm.

2) JOHN OKADA co-editors Frank Abe, Greg Robinson, and Floyd Cheung will reunite for a book signing sponsored by the University of Washington Press, Thursday, 6:00 – 7:00 pm.

3) OKADA co-editor Floyd Cheung will chair a panel on “John Okada’s Unknown Works: Reassessing the (Un)governability of Japanese Americans in Mid-century America.,  Friday, April 26, 1:00 – 2:30 pm.

UW Libraries logoSEATTLE, WA
Thursday, May 2, 2019 @ 6:00 pm
University of Washington Libraries “Libraries Unbound” fundraising dinner
Husky Union Building Ballrooms

JOHN OKADA co-editor Frank Abe will serve as a “table author” for the Friends of the University of Washington Libraries 14th annual fundraising dinner, “Libraries Unbound.” John’s sister Connie was the longtime art librarian for the UW Libraries, and our book is indebted to the Suzzallo and Allen Libraries for the microfilms and bound volumes where we rediscovered all of Okada’s unknown works.

POWELL, WY
Thurs-Sat., July 25-27, 2019
2019 Heart Mountain Pilgrimage

There is a proposal in the works for a panel on the resistance of the Fair Play Committee to be held at this year’s pilgrimage. More to come.

And that’s just the first half of the year. Thanks for following this blog and hope to see you out on the road.

The first reviews are in for “JOHN OKADA”

Two early reviews, a podcast, and a Facebook Live video. First, thanks go to Edgar-Award winning novelist Naomi Hirahara for taking the time to comment on our book.

cover of Nichi Bei Times Nikkei literary pioneer re-examined reviewed by Naomi Hirahara, Nichi Bei Weekly, July 19. 2018

It’s an extremely readable book, a must-have companion piece to Okada’s novel … Abe, who lives in Okada’s early stomping grounds of Seattle, wrote the precise, well-researched 100-page biography of the author.

Continue reading The first reviews are in for “JOHN OKADA”

Lawsuit filed to block transfer of Tule Lake Segregation Center land

UPDATE: On August 27, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California denied, without prejudice, the Tule Lake Committee’s motion for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO).  The order allows the Tule Lake Committee to file a renewed motion for
a TRO, which the Tule Lake Committee is preparing to file, and directs additional support on particular issues, according to a TLC news release, which added:

Continue reading Lawsuit filed to block transfer of Tule Lake Segregation Center land

Celebrations of Aiko Herzig Yoshinaga and James Omura

Journalist Jimmie Omura’s “Return to the Wars” Diary Available at SuyamaProject.org Website

James Omura on book coverAn edited and annotated version of James Omura’s redress diary is now available at SuyamaProject.org, a website sponsored by the UCLA Asian American Studies Center, which aims to preserve the history of Japanese American resistance during World War II, including but not limited to the 100th/442nd Regimental Combat Team draftees, draft resisters, No Nos, renunciants, and other Nikkei dissidents. Continue reading Celebrations of Aiko Herzig Yoshinaga and James Omura

In Memoriam: Yosh Kuromiya, the man who drew the line

Yosh Kuromiya

The last major Nisei figure interviewed in our film is gone. We are mourning the loss of Heart Mountain resister Yosh Kuromiya at the age of 95. Continue reading In Memoriam: Yosh Kuromiya, the man who drew the line

Family separations nothing new for Japanese Americans

John Okada at desk in New York City, 1949As documented in our new book, JOHN OKADA: The Life & Rediscovered Work of the Author of No-No Boy, the Japanese American experience was in some ways the reverse of this week’s child separations on the southern border. In our case it was the fathers — harmless men like the fathers of both John Okada and Jim Akutsu — who were ripped from their children and wives in Seattle on Feb. 21, 1942, locked up in the Immigration Detention Center on Airport Way, and then paraded out at King Street Station the morning of March 19, 1942, and put on a train for the Justice Department alien internment camp at Fort Missoula, Montana. Their children and wives reached through an iron fence and screamed out to the men in English and Japanese, not knowing if they would ever see them again.

I shared this story yesterday with this five-minute interview with the BBC World Service that aired in London and worldwide on June 20.

Continue reading Family separations nothing new for Japanese Americans

Read an outtake chapter from the forthcoming “John Okada”

JOHN OKADA book spinesAdvance copies of JOHN OKADA: The Life & Rediscovered Work of the Author of No-No Boy arrived in the mail this week, and the books are a joy to hold. The covers feel good in the hand, with the same texture as the 2014 paperback edition of No-No Boy itself.  I’ll be lugging dozens of copies on the bus to the upcoming Tule Lake and Minidoka Pilgrimages for the booksellers there. If you’re also going, please signal your attendance at these Facebook Events for our Tule Lake workshop, “No-No Boys, John Okada, and the Kibei Resistance at Tule Lake,” with Martha Nakagawa and Takako Day on July 1, or at the Minidoka panel, “John Okada, No-No Boy, and the Draft Resistance at Minidoka, on July 6.

Discover Nikkei logoIn advance of our imminent publication, which is now slated for July 13,  co-editor Greg Robinson has just posted a treat for you — an outtake from our book, something we really tried to get in but could not fit into our maximum page count. It’s a look at how No-No Boy was originally received in 1957, titled “First Impressions: Early Reviews of John Okada’s No-No Boy.”  The article appears on the Discover Nikkei blog, and we’ve provided links to the texts of all the 1957 reviews cited by Greg here on this blog. Continue reading Read an outtake chapter from the forthcoming “John Okada”

“JOHN OKADA” book launch at Asian American Studies conference

Greg speakingMany thanks to all the students and scholars who came to our book launch for JOHN OKADA at the Association for Asian American Studies conference at San Francisco’s St. Francis Hotel — whether to our panel on Saturday morning in the Grand Ballroom, or visiting the University of Washington Press table in the exhibit hall. Continue reading “JOHN OKADA” book launch at Asian American Studies conference

Events for the 2018 Day of Remembrance

TV viewers in the Pacific Northwest tuning in to the Winter Olympics  this week have been getting an unexpected, 30-second education in America’s wartime incarceration camps, thanks to a personal testimonial I gave for the importance of the work of KING-TV’s  Lori Matsukawa.

Continue reading Events for the 2018 Day of Remembrance

Making February 19 a Day of Resistance

I realize there’s too much to focus on right now, between keeping kids safe from guns, the Russian indictments, and more, but February 19 is coming up. Please join Dale Minami and others in making this Day of Remembrance a Day of Resistance as well by signing this open letter. This is part of a national strategy for Japanese Americans who remember the camps to formally stand with Muslim Americans, led by the one-time coram nobis attorneys who are getting the band back together to file an amicus brief in the names of Korematsu, HIrabayashi, and Yasui as the Supreme Court rules on the Muslim travel ban.

hands cutting barbed wire

Add Your Name to an Open Letter to the Country
Continue reading Making February 19 a Day of Resistance