ABOUT THIS BOOK
The place occupied by Japanese Americans within the annals of U.S. history has consisted mainly of a cameo appearance as victims of incarceration after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. In this provocative work, David Yoo broadens the scope of Japanese-American history beyond its usual confines to examine how the second generation—the Nisei—has shaped its identity and negotiated its place within American society. Framed by the Immigration Act of 1924, which effectively curtailed migration from Japan to the United States, and the Tokyo Rose treason trial of 1949, Growing Up Nisei traces the emergence of a dynamic Nisei subculture and shows how the foundations laid during the 1920s and 1930s helped many Nisei adjust to the upheaval of the concentration camps. Yoo demonstrates that schools, racial-ethnic churches, and the immigrant press served not merely as waystations to assimilation but as tools by which Nisei affirmed their identity in connection with both Japanese and American culture. Rather than a simple choice between two alternatives, identity formation for the Nisei who came of age during the war entailed negotiating multiple meanings related to race, gender, class, generation, the economy, politics, and international relations. A thoughtful consideration of the gray area between accommodation and resistance, Growing Up Nisei attests to a complexity of experience and context that foregoes one-dimensional cardboard figures and moves toward a portrayal of Japanese Americans as fully human.