In her article Through the Fire: Radicalization of the Nisei, Rafu Shimpo columnist Sharon Yamato takes an indepth look at the research behind Professor Diane Fujino's recent book Nisei Radicals: The Feminist Poetics and Transformative Ministry of the Mistuye Yamada and Micahel Yasutake. From Yamato's article:
"It took an engaged scholar like Diane C. Fujino to tell the story of the lives of two extraordinary siblings — poet Mitsuye Yamada and Rev. S. Michael Yasutake — with a deep dive into turbulent radical Nisei waters.
Fujino’s previous work has included books on such audacious Japanese Americans as civil rights activist Yuri Kochiyama and prominent Black Panther member Richard Aoki. Always managing to cast a new light on Japanese American history, Fujino’s latest book, 'Nisei Radicals: The Feminist Poetics and Transformative Ministry of Mitsuye Yamada and Michael Yasutake,' again challenges the traditional perception of Nisei as submissive assimilationists who became part of the so-called 'model minority' following a war that threw them into concentration camps.
...In singing her praises for Nisei activists like Yamada and Yasutake, Fujino continues to disrupt the traditional notion of this so-called “quiet” generation’s passivism. She extols those Nisei who transcend their own unjust histories to fight for dignity for all oppressed people, regardless of race or gender. As a scholar and historian, Fujino signals her mission to enlighten others to the risk-taking commitment of these unruly activists in order to offer a broader and more complete history of the Nisei generation."
The department proudly recognizes Prof. Fujino for perserving the legacy of Nisei radicals and contributing to the history of Asian American activism!
Pictured below: Mitsuye Yamada with Diane Fujino (right) and granddaughter Alana Mouchard (left) at a memorial service for Yuri Kochiyama in Los Angeles, 2014.