Morning Glory, Evening Shadow: Yamato Ichihashi and His Internment Writings, 1942-1945

Synopsis

This book has a dual purpose. The first is to present a biography of Yamato Ichihashi, a Stanford University professor who was one of the first academics of Asian ancestry in the United States. The second is to present, through Ichihashi's wartime writings, the only known comprehensive first-person account of internment life by one of the 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry who, in 1942, were sent by the U.S. government to "relocation centers", the euphemism for prison camps. In the comprehensive biographical essay that opens the book, Gordon Chang explores Ichihashi's personal life and intellectual work until his forced departure from Stanford, examining his career, publications, and experiences in American academia in the early twentieth century. He also relates Ichihashi's involvement in international conferences, including the 1922 Disarmament Conference - an involvement with later consequences. Ichihashi's internment writings take various forms: diaries, research essays, and correspondence with friends and Stanford colleagues. The editor has extensively annotated and interwoven them into a coherent narrative. As a trained social scientist and an experienced writer fluent in both English and Japanese, Ichihashi was uniquely prepared to observe and record the dramatic events he experienced. In addition to Ichihashi's writings, the book includes touching correspondence from Kei to a close friend at Stanford. The editor closes the book with an Epilogue about the Ichihashis' lives after the war. Ichihashi's writings convey to us, as no other account does, the cut and drift and anxiety of everyday existence in the camps. We experience the grinding tedium and frequently harsh conditionsof daily life and the ever-present uncertainty, suspicion, and even fear that permeated the internees' existence. Equally knowledgeable about American and Japanese ways, Ichihashi offers valuable insights into administrators