Morning Glory, Evening Shadow: Yamato Ichihashi and His Internment Writings, 1942-1945 (book)
Creators: Gordon Chang and Yamato Ichihashi
Book cover. Courtesy of Stanford University Press
View in the Densho Encyclopedia
The incarceration experiences of Yamato Ichihashi , the first endowed chair of East Asian Studies at Stanford University, and his wife, Kei, as told through their own words.
In the introduction, editor Gordon Chang provides a valuable biographical narrative that situates Yamato Ichihashi, a prewar professor at Stanford University, in local, regional, and international politics and events in the years leading up to World War II. Although now largely forgotten, Ichihashi was one of the leading scholars on Japanese immigrants in America and U.S.-Japan relations before the war. At the same time, he and his wife Kei socialized almost exclusively with white fellow faculty and their families from Stanford. The introduction includes overviews of Ichihashi's work detailing the experiences and struggles faced by Japanese immigrants in the U.S. alongside accounts of his daily life and professional activities, during which he tended to avoid other immigrants who he often looked down on.
The book then shifts to an edited compilation of chronologically organized selections taken from Ichihashi's diaries, correspondence with friends back at Stanford, and research notes; and Kei's letters to friends, covering the duration of the war and their moves to and from multiple facilities. They were first taken to Santa Anita Assembly Center , then Tule Lake concentration camp. Ichihashi was arrested by the FBI while incarcerated there and taken to Sharp Park Immigration Detention Station in San Francisco for six weeks. He was then released back to Tule Lake. When that camp was made into a segregation center, the Ichihashis were transferred to Granada (Amache) concentration camp in Colorado. Their writings detail the many humiliations of wartime incarceration and include excellent details, from the state of accommodation to the seemingly capricious and whimsical shifts in rules and regulations, to the declining mental health of all as the drudgery and endless uncertainty of life in camp frayed the nerves and ended the dreams of so many.
The volume concludes with a brief section summarizing life for Yamato and Kei after they were able to return to their home near Stanford.
Gordon Chang is Olive H. Palmer Professor of Humanities and Director of the East Asian Studies Center at Stanford University. His scholarship includes work on Asian American, Asian, and U.S.-Asian history.
Yamato Ichihashi (1878-1963) was the first endowed chair in history at Stanford University, a frequently sought expert on U.S.-Japan relations, and one of the first scholars to study the experiences of Japanese immigrants in America. While formally trained as an economist, he was encouraged to change focus to Asian—specifically Japanese—history because his ethnicity was seen as a signal of authority on the subject even though he had had little formal training in the field. In addition to his scholarly work, before World War II, he was also called upon by the Japanese government to serve as an intermediary between U.S. and Japanese groups in more formal diplomatic settings.
Morning Glory, Evening Shadow was very well-received by scholars, who particularly commented on the importance of Ichihashi as an early scholar of Japanese America, as well as the reproduction of diary entries, letters, and research notes including contemporaneous observations about detailing daily life in the concentration camps as they were unfolding.
Might also like Imprisoned Apart: The World War II Correspondence of an Issei Couple by Louis Fiset; The Kikuchi Diary: Chronicle from an American Concentration Camp by Charles Kikuchi; An Internment Odyssey: Haisho Tenten by Kumaji Furuya
|Author||Gordon Chang and Yamato Ichihashi|
Friday, Chris. Western Historical Quarterly 29.3 (October 1998): 408–09.
Jorgensen, Richard E. Pacific Affairs 72.1 (April 1999): 153–55.
Lee, A. Robert. Modern Language Review 94.4 (October 1999): 1086–88.
Okihiro, Gary Y. Journal of American Ethnic History 17.2 (January 1998): 74–76.
Schencking, J. Charles. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society 10.1 (2000): 145–46.
Shima, Alan. "Review Essay: The Differential of Appearance: Asian American Cultural Studies." Journal of American Studies 32.2 (1998): 283–93.
Tamura, Eileen H. Amerasia Journal 24.2 (Summer 1998): 179–81.