Pre-War Japanese in the San Gabriel Valley

Press Release:
The Pasadena Digital History Collaboration (PDHC) project has acquired a significant Japanese American collection for its free online website.  “This collaboration is between PCC Library, Pasadena City Library, and the Pasadena Museum of History,” said PCC Librarian Linda Stewart.  She continues, “We made a conscious effort to begin to collect artifacts from our rich ethnic history.”
From Meiji Laundry in Pasadena to the San Gabriel Nursery to vegetable farmers in La Puente, Japanese Americans contributed in myriads of ways to the Valley before World War II.  “I was honored to interview 25 Niseis,” said Professor Susie Ling of Pasadena City College.  “The transcripts are in this PDHC collection.  I hope I captured some of the contributions of Fujiko Sakiyama Ishizu who went to Berkeley from Alhambra High in 1936; of Yosh Kuromiya who was one of the Heart Mountain resisters; of Chiye Watanabe who could not bury her hero brother, Joe Hayashi, at Forest Lawn because of racial covenants; and of MIS Sho Nomura who still lives in Sierra Madre.”  The oral history collection also includes community activists like Bacon Sakatani of West Covina, the Ted Tajima of Pasadena, and Paul Tsunieshi formerly of Monrovia.  Ling said, “These Niseis tell the story of their parents, tell the story of their internment, and tell the story of their post-war rebuilding.”
The PDHC collection also includes several Japanese American photograph albums.  PCC’s Stewart said, “We have some photos from the Pasadena Buddhist Temple established in 1948.  The Shodas had a flower shop near our campus on Colorado Boulevard.  Then we were fortunate to have Elsie Osajima share photos of her father, Jiro Morita, one of the founders of the Pasadena Sister-City Committee.”  Sansei poet Amy Uyematsu shared photographs of her grandfather and Professor Joan Takayama-Ogawa opened a treasure chest of photographs of Meiji Laundry of Pasadena.  Stewart continued, “We encourage others to consider depositing their photographs too.”
Pasadena City College is celebrating its 90th anniversary.  “For me,” said Professor Ling, “PCC’s 2010 Nisei Graduation and this PDHC Collection are a way to respect our Japanese pioneers.  Read the transcripts one by one and feel the layers upon layers of legacy.”  The website is
Triple J Club 1935[5] copy

Pasadena Junior College’s Triple J Club in 1935.



2014-2015 Lucie Cheng Prize: Call for Nominations

Amerasia Journal invites faculty to nominate exceptional graduate student essays (masters and doctoral level) in the interdisciplinary field of Asian American and Pacific Islander Studies for the 2014-15 Lucie Cheng Prize. The selected article will be published in Amerasia Journal, with a $1,500 prize to be awarded to the winner.

The Lucie Cheng Prize honors the late Professor Lucie Cheng (1939-2010), a longtime faculty member of UCLA and the first permanent director of the UCLA Asian American Studies Center (1972-1987). Professor Cheng was a pioneering scholar who brought an early and enduring transnational focus to the study of Asian Americans and issues such as labor and immigration.

Submission: Nominations must be submitted via email by the graduate advisor by October 1, 2014, with notification to the winner by the end of the calendar year.  Current students from any graduate program working in Asian American and Pacific Islander Studies are encouraged to send submissions.

Nominations are to include:
1. Graduate Advisor Name, Title, Institution, and Contact Information
2. Graduate Advisor Recommendation (500-word limit)
3. Graduate Student Brief CV (2 pages)
4. Essay (5000-7000 words) in a MS-Word file, formatted according to the Amerasia Journal Style Sheet; for journal style guidelines, see:

Submit materials and queries to and

Yuri Kochiyama’s Spirit Lives On

yuri graphic


On June 1, 2014, one of the great champions of human rights passed away at the age of 93.  Yuri Kochiyama was one of Malcolm X’s many disciples, carrying on his visions of a better humanity through her daily actions.  She pointed the way out of narrow nationalism to internationalism and was possibly the preeminent expert on the history of alliances between Asians and Africans, Asian Americans and African Americans.  She challenged Japanese American activists to look beyond World War II concentration camps and reparations.   She has left a living imprint for Asian Americans to “Keep expanding your horizon, decolonize your mind, and cross over borders.”

Among Yuri Kochiyama’s notes for her talks to school children about Malcolm X, she wrote:  “To live in hearts that are left behind is not to die.”  Yuri’s spirit of boundless generosity and fearless acts of revolutionary kindness shine light onto a better world.







The Kochiyama Family has created a Facebook page “Remembering Yuri Kochiyama” where tributes, photographs, remembrances, and news on public memorials for Yuri are posted.  Condolences and donations can be sent to:

The Kochiyama Family
9242 Live Oak Ave.
Temple City, CA 91780

18 Million Rising (18MR) has an online petition to the US Postal Service to create a Yuri Kochiyama stamp:

UCLA AASC publications featuring Yuri Kochiyama—
Passing It On:  A Memoir by Yuri Kochiyama, 256 pp. (2004 Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award)
“Discover Your Mission:  Selected Speeches and Writings of Yuri Kochiyama,” 48 pp (pamphlet, June 1998)
“A Quick Reflection,” Yuri Kochiyama, Amerasia Journal 15:1 (1989): 99-102.
“’Stirrin’ Waters ‘n Buildin’ Bridges:  A Conversation with Ericka Huggins and Yuri Kochiyama,” Amerasia Journal 35:1 (2009): 140-167.



Call for Papers: Sport in Asian America

Amerasia Journal Call for Papers
Sport in Asian America

Guest Editors:
Professor Rachael Joo (Middlebury College) and Professor Sameer Pandya (University of California, Santa Barbara)

Publication Date:
Summer 2015

Due Date:
Paper submissions (up to 5,000 words) due August 15, 2014

From basketball leagues in the San Francisco Chinatown of the 1930s and 1940s to Michael Chang and Jeremy Lin, sport has always been an important site for understanding Asian American life.  This special issue of Amerasia Journal focuses on how various forces—transnational processes, the contemporary era of globalization, histories of colonialism and imperialism, and U.S. domestic history—have shaped the cultural politics of sport in Asian America.  For example, global media operates as a key site for commercial representations of Asianness in America and Americanness in Asia.  Transnational sport shapes diasporic politics and reveals the contested and contradictory terrain of nationalisms in Asian American communities.  The histories of sport in Asian and Pacific Islander communities are often embedded in the colonial histories that inform the relationship between Asian/American athletes and fans of the sport.  Furthermore, sport featuring Asian/American players and teams create a sense of national community and identity in ways that reframe ethnicity and race in North America.

Taking into account the various forces mentioned above, we are interested in papers that address a broad range of possible topics, including but not limited to, Asian American sport and religion, Chinese and Chinese American basketball, gender, global sports icons, Korean and Korean American golfers, mass media, Pacific Islander football and rugby athletes, postcolonial cricket, tennis and golf as “model minority” sports, and transnational soccer.

Submission Guidelines and Review Process:
The guest editors, in consultation with the Amerasia Journal editors and peer reviewers, make the decisions on which submissions will be included in the special issue.  The review process involves the following steps:

• Initial review of submitted papers by guest editors and Amerasia Journal editorial staff
• Papers approved by editors will undergo blind peer review
• Revision of accepted peer-reviewed papers and final submission

Papers submitted for this special issue should be approximately 5,000 words in length. We especially welcome interdisciplinary and teachable writings to adopt for courses ranging from cultural studies to communication studies to literary studies as well as Asian American Studies and Ethnic Studies.

Please send papers regarding the special issue on “Sport in Asian America” to the following addresses. All correspondence should refer to “Amerasia Journal Asian American Sport” in the subject line.

Professor Rachael Joo, Guest Editor,
Professor Sameer Pandya, Guest Editor,
Dr. Arnold Pan, Associate Editor, Amerasia Journal:

View or download the PDF version of the Call for Papers – Sport in Asian America.


A Response to Amerasia Journal’s “Asian American Religions in a Globalized World” by Tat-siong Benny Liew

Below is a response by Tat-siong Benny Liew (College of the Holy Cross) to Amerasia Journal’s most recent issue “Asian American Religions in a Globalized World.”  These thoughts were delivered at a roundtable about the issue at the recent 2014 Association for Asian American Studies annual conference in San Francisco, CA.

Let me congratulate Sylvia Chan-Malik and Khyati Joshi, first of all, for bringing us this long overdue sequel to 1996’s “Racial Spirits.”  Elizabeth Cady Stanton was convinced back at the end of the nineteenth century, just when the U.S. was becoming a world power through its expansion into Asia and thus turned not only imperialistic but also xenophobic towards Asians, that the gender issue was more than a legal problem and could not be dealt with unless and until people were willing to tackle the question of religion as she worked tirelessly on her Woman’s Bible project.  Despite, or perhaps because of Cady Stanton’s narrow understanding of religion as Christianity, this collection shows that we also need to talk about religion if we are to deal with the race question of this country adequately.  For example, according to the 2012 Pew report, as an essay in this collection notes, up to 42% of Asian Americans surveyed are Christians, but the report of another national survey funded by the Lilly Endowment on the Bible and American Life that was just released last month does not even mention Asian Americans, though it does contain information on African Americans and Hispanics.  Given this society’s “Christian normativity” and its tendency to “other” Asian Americans outside of Christianity, Chan-Malik and Joshi are on target to devote a major part of the issue to the theme and goal of “reorienting Christianity.”

Continue reading A Response to Amerasia Journal’s “Asian American Religions in a Globalized World” by Tat-siong Benny Liew

Professor Valerie Matsumoto’s Book Reception, May 7, 2014

This event is free and open to the public.  Please RSVP at:  citygirls-aasc.eventbrite.commatsumoto flier

See Ya in San Francisco AAAS Conference


Karen Tei Yamashita: Anime Wong Book Talk/Signing at UCLA, April 7


Amerasia Journal Editorial Board member and longtime contributor, Karen Tei Yamashita, will be presenting her latest publication Anime Wong: Fictions of Performance (published by Coffee House Press) at book talk here at UCLA on Monday, April 7th. The book talk and signing will take place at the UCLA Law Building Room 1347 from 5:00 to 7:00PM. Discounted copies of her book will be available for purchase.  RSVP for the event here –

You can also catch Yamashita at the Japanese American National Museum the day before on April 6th. More information can be found at

Latest Amerasia Journal addresses Asian American religions and racialization in the post-9/11 era

In 1996, Amerasia Journal published one of the first extended explorations of Asian American religions with the groundbreaking issue “Racial Spirits.” Eighteen years later, our new issue 40:1 “Asian American Religions in a Globalized World,” guest edited by Sylvia Chan-Malik (Rutgers University) and Khyati Y. Joshi (Farleigh Dickinson University), expands the scope of those investigations of religion, paying special attention to its role in Asian American and Asian immigrant communities in the post-9/11 era.

40.1.coverfinalThis issue addresses the changing demographics of Asian America through the lens of religious identifications and by examining growing ethnic and religious communities.  Members of the Asian Pacific American Religions Research Initiative (APARRI) responded to the 2012 Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life’s report on Asian American religious practices.  They addressed some of the report’s problems, pointing out how the survey’s loaded questions and the report’s subsequent framing are not only informed by preconceptions of Western and Eastern religions, but also shape how Asian Americans are perceived as “perpetual foreigners” by the public.  Chan-Malik moderates a roundtable on race, gender, and Islam that brings important Muslim feminist voices together and delves into key terms and concepts about Muslim experiences in the United States and how research is undertaken.  Philip Deslippe’s essay shows how interracial and interreligious connections involving Asian America go further back in the early twentieth century, as he examines how representations of Hinduism and yoga transformed the African American folk religion Hoodoo.

Other contributors seek to re-orient Christianity, as Rudy Busto puts it in his piece in the special issue.  His essay “The Gospel According to Rice” revisits his earlier research on Asian American evangelical groups by tackling complex theological questions about what it means to be Asian American and Christian.  So, too, does Joseph Cheah in his autobiographical musings, as he considers racial stereotyping as a form of what he calls “social sin.”  Thien-Huong Ninh’s essay tackles similar issues from a sociological perspective, tracing the history of Vietnamese American Catholics in Orange County and how their attempt to create their own parish has been fraught by matters of race and church politics.

The special issue also includes a community spotlight of the Sikh Coalition and timely book reviews of Laura Kina and Wei Ming Dariotis’s War Baby/Love Child and Ellen Wu’s The Color of Success, among other titles.

For those attending the 2014 Association of Asian American Studies annual conference in San Francisco, Amerasia will be hosting a roundtable discussing the issue and Asian American religions at 9:45 AM on Friday, April 18, 2014.

Published by UCLA’s Asian American Studies Center since 1971, Amerasia Journal is regarded as the core journal in the field of Asian American Studies.

View Table of Contents


Copies of the issue can be ordered via phone, email, or mail.  Each issue of Amerasia Journal costs $15.00 plus shipping/handling and applicable sales tax.  Please contact the Center Press for detailed ordering information.

UCLA Asian American Studies Center Press
3230 Campbell Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1546
Phone: 310-825-2968


Amerasia Journal is published three times a year: Spring, Summer/Fall, and Winter. Annual subscriptions for Amerasia Journal are $99.00 for individuals and $445.00 for libraries and other institutions. The annual subscription price includes access to the Amerasia Journal online database, with full-text versions of published issues dating back to 1971. Instructors interested in this issue for classroom use should contact the above email address to request a review copy

Call for Papers: Indigenous Asias

Amerasia Journal Special Issue Call for Papers

Indigenous Asias

Guest Editors
Dr. Greg Dvorak (Hitotsubashi University) and Dr. Miyume Tanji (Australian National University)

Publication Date
Spring 2015

Due Date
Paper submissions (up to 5,000 words) due May 1, 2014

This special issue of Amerasia Journal is devoted to a rigorous exploration of “Indigenous Asias,” with an aim to reposition, as Vicente M. Diaz would put it, native understandings of community, place, region, and self in ways that critically redefine Asia and Asian America in the twenty-first century. “Indigenous Asias” will explore how Asian nations or national identities conceptualize indigeneity both within the geographic constructs of Asia and throughout Asian diasporic communities. We seek to examine how indigenous cultures or identities in Asia and Asian America are marginalized as “ethnic minorities,” rendered as “extinct,” or lauded as “loyal citizens” through cultural assimilation projects. What are the limits and consequences of such political constructs of the “indigenous” on human health, geopolitics, and the natural environment? Likewise, how are native lands memorialized and territorialized as “Asian” or “Asian American” in recent history, such as with Indonesia’s engagement in West Papua or as with the Asian labor movement in the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands? How do indigenous populations inside and outside Asia and Asian America engage with and resist settler cultures, transnational imperialism, or globalization in China, Japan, and the U.S.?

More vitally, we ask what exchanges exist between indigenous groups across regions, such as those in Northeast/Southeast Asia and their counterparts in the Americas and Oceania. What new transoceanic conversations have emerged, for instance, between Austronesians in Taiwan and the Pacific Islands, or between Ainu and Aleutian communities? What kinds of solidarities are created, for example, in Okinawan feminist engagements with indigenous sovereignty groups in Guam, Hawai‘i, Puerto Rico, and other “American” colonial sites? We thus invite contributions that ask how nuanced explorations of indigenous identities, cultural practices, networks, and geographies problematize the very notions of Asia or Asian-ness in the U.S. and internationally.

This special issue seeks papers of approximately 5,000 words in length. We encourage the submission of interdisciplinary and accessible writings that may be adopted for courses in Asian American Studies, American Studies, American Indian Studies, Asian Studies, Critical Ethnic Studies, and Pacific Islands Studies.

Submission Guidelines and Review Process
The guest editors, in consultation with the Amerasia Journal editorial staff and peer reviewers, make decisions on the final essays:

• Initial review of submitted papers by guest editors and Amerasia Journal editorial staff
• Papers approved by editors will undergo blind peer review
• Revision of accepted peer-reviewed papers and final submission

All correspondence should refer to “Amerasia Journal Indigenous Asias Issue” in the subject line.

Dr. Greg Dvorak:
Dr. Miyume Tanji:
Dr. Arnold Pan, Associate Editor, Amerasia Journal: