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Ebook Information

Pacific Citizens

Larry and Guyo Tajiri and Japanese American Journalism in the World War II Era

The power of the press in Japanese American history

Offering a window into a critical era in Japanese American life, Pacific Citizens collects key writings of Larry S. Tajiri, a multitalented journalist, essayist, and popular culture maven. He and his wife, Guyo, who worked by his side, became leading figures in Nisei political life as the central purveyors of news for and about Japanese Americans during World War II, both those confined in government camps and others outside.

The Tajiris made the community newspaper the Pacific Citizen a forum for liberal and progressive views on politics, civil rights, and democracy, insightfully addressing issues of assimilation, multiracialism, and U.S. foreign relations. Through his editorship of the Pacific Citizen as well as in articles and columns in outside media, Larry Tajiri became the Japanese American community's most visible spokesperson, articulating a broad vision of Nisei identity to a varied audience.

In this thoughtfully framed and annotated volume, Greg Robinson interprets and examines the contributions of the Tajiris through a selection of writings, columns, editorials, and correspondence from before, during, and after the war. Pacific Citizens contextualizes the Tajiris' output, providing a telling portrait of these two dedicated journalists and serving as a reminder of the public value of the ethnic community press.


"This collection of the couples' personal letters and articles in the Pacific Citizens, and other publications is a positive example of how the United States corrects its errors and learns from them. . . . A welcome addition to the University of Illinois Press Asian American Experience series, providing fascinating insights into the struggles of Japanese Americans during the 20th century."--Journalism History

"Fills a gap in the historical record by examining the main Japanese American newspaper published outside the camps. Pacific Citizens would be a welcome addition to college journalism classes about race, class, and gender."--Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly

"A complex and nuanced portrait of Larry and Guyo Tajiri, the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) newspaper, Pacific Citizen, and the National JACL."--Nichi Bei

"Pacific Citizens is an extraordinary piece of historical scholarship. Robinson possesses the rare facility among professional historians of being analytically rigorous while at the same time writing in narrative prose characterized by grace and accessibility."--Arthur A. Hansen, coeditor of Reflections on Shattered Windows: Promises and Prospects for Asian American Studies


Greg Robinson is an associate professor of history at the University of Quebec, Montreal, and the author of several books, including A Tragedy of Democracy: Japanese Confinement in North America and By Order of the President: FDR and the Internment of Japanese Americans.

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