Don Nakanishi (left) and Lowell Chun-Hoon (right) celebrating 45 years of Amerasia Journal.
This year marked the 45th Anniversary of the founding of Amerasia Journal. On September 22nd, a dinner was held in Honolulu to celebrate the occasion. Lowell Chun-Hoon, co-founder and first editor of the journal, and Don Nakanishi, the other co-founder and publisher, attended the dinner and were joined by a small group of family and friends, including Center Director David Yoo, and former AASC staff and students like UH Manoa Professor Karen Umemoto, Brian Niiya and UH Manoa Professor Susan Nakaoka.
To commemorate this occasion, Don Nakanishi, Professor Emeritus and former Center Director, shared some of his thoughts on reaching this milestone. Amerasia Journal staff is also pleased to be able to provide access to Nakanishi’s article “Linkages and Boundaries: Twenty-Five Years of Asian American Studies” (Issue 21:3), that chronicles the founding of the journal.
Amerasia Journal is planning to have a larger 45th anniversary celebration in Los Angeles in 2016.
Every time Amerasia Journal reaches a milestone – and the 45th anniversary is a major one – I search for my copy of the first issue and re-read the “Message to our readers” to see how far the journal and the field of Asian American Studies have come. The wonderful admixture of uncertainty, inclusiveness, search for relevancy, as well as innocence that is reflected in the last paragraph of this statement serves as a timeless frame of reference.
“In the end, though, the AMERASIA JOURNAL is not our journal. It belongs to our readers. We exist as a journal to collect and publish the best and most provocative material we can find on Asians in America. If our judgment or our goals are inadequate, we hope they get corrected. If there are others who would like to work with us, they are welcome to join us. Also, if there are people who can do what we’re trying to do better than we can by themselves, they have our sincerest best wishes. For in the end, it will be our readership that sustains or deserts us. Unless we or our goals are relevant to their needs, concerns, and aspirations, we’re simply shouting loud and listening to the echoes of our own voices in a closed room. We’d like AMERASIA JOURNAL to be more than a soliloquy, and we need your assistance. Please let us know what you think.” (Vol. 1, no. 1)
Amerasia Journal has survived and thrived for 45 years, and has been a significant contributor to and a beneficiary of the development of Asian American Studies and its related fields of scholarship, teaching, and public service and discourse. It owes its longevity and impact to thousands of people, who have supported, learned from, and used the journal over the years, be they subscribers, students, teachers, scholars, community organizers, journalists or elected officials. I am glad the journal was “relevant to their needs, concerns, and aspirations” and that it became more than “shouting loud and listening to the echoes of our own voices in a closed room”. Thank you very much for your commitment to Amerasia Journal.
Amerasia Journal’s sustained impact and innovation is also due to the hundreds of remarkable researchers, creative writers, critics, community workers, students, photographers and policy analysts, who believed in the mission of the journal and contributed to the over 30,000 pages that it has published since its first issue in 1971. We also owe them our deepest gratitude in developing this indispensable foundational treasure chest of scholarship, community knowledge, creative insights, and critical perspectives on the Asian American and Pacific Islands experience.
I also would like to thank and congratulate the many people, who literally worked on the journal, be they the legions of referees from across the country and globally who evaluated new submissions or the many exemplary staff members of the UCLA Asian American Studies Center who produced and distributed Amerasia Journal, for their extraordinary commitment and professionalism. They played a singularly significant role in the success and reputation of the journal.
Very special thanks also to the Yale Asian American Students Association (AASA), which was founded in 1969 and still remains as a vibrant and progressive campus-wide group, for being the first sponsor for Amerasia Journal, and the UCLA Asian American Studies Center (AASC), which has supported and housed the journal since 1971. The journal could not have survived too much longer than its first few issues without the unflinching commitment of Yale AASA and the UCLA AASC.
And finally, I would like to recognize and applaud the six individuals, who have served as editors of Amerasia Journal during its 45-year run: Lowell Chun-Hoon, the co-founder and first editor; the late Megumi Dick Osumi; the late Carolyn Yee; Russell Leong, who served as editor for the longest stretch of thirty years; Professor David Yoo, the current director of the UCLA Asian American Studies Center; and Professor Keith Camacho, the current editor. They each lent their special talents, insights, expertise, experiences, and relationships in providing leadership and vision to Amerasia Journal. They, along with the special issue editors that they worked with, insured that the journal would always “collect and publish the best and most provocative material we can find on Asians in America.”
In sincere gratitude,
Don T. Nakanishi
Co-founder and publisher, Amerasia Journal
Professor and Director Emeritus, UCLA Asian American Studies Center