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Value Messages Collide with Reality: Joseph Kurihara and the Power of Informal Education

  • Eileen H. Tamura (a1)


On a cool, crisp winter afternoon in a California desert, at the foot of the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, a crowd of more than two thousand people gathered. Some were curious; more were angry. Before all of them, standing on an oil tank with a microphone and loudspeaker, forty-seven-year-old Joseph Y. Kurihara shouted angry words of defiance. Referring to the generally despised Fred Tayama, who was assaulted the night before, Kurihara bellowed, “Why permit that sneak to pollute the air we breathe? … Let's kill him and feed him to the roving coyotes! … If the Administration refuses to listen to our demand, let us proceed with him and exterminate all other informers in this camp.”



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1 Kurihara, Joseph Y.Murder in Camp Manzanar,” 16 April 1943, unpublished typescript, in author's possession, pp. 2–3. Another copy with a different font is in the Japanese American Evacuation and Relocation Records (JAERR), O8.10, 67/14c, The Bancroft Library, University of California Berkeley. Weather and climate conditions are given in Karl Lillquist, Imprisoned in the Desert: The Geography of World War II-Era, Japanese American Relocation Centers in the Western United States, A Research Project Funded by the Washington State OSPI, September 2007, p. 337,∼geograph/faculty/illquist/ja_relocation_cover.html (accessed 10 June 2008).

2 Nikkei: “Ni” refers to Nippon (Japan) and “kei” refers to genetic lineage. Nikkei refers to anyone of Japanese ancestry who lives outside Japan. Issei: “I” means first; “sei” means generation. Issei refers to the immigrant generation. Nisei: “Ni” means second. Nisei refers to the immigrants' children, who were born in the United States and were therefore U.S. citizens. Kibei: “Ki” means return; “bei” means America (Beikoku). Kibei refers to those Nisei who spent part of their young lives in Japan and who later returned to the United States.

3 Cremin, Lawrence A. Public Education (New York: Basic Books), 21, 22, 27, discusses forms of nonformal education.

4 Although Kurihara's name often appears in the literature on the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II, I have not seen any in-depth study–other than my own–of his life and of his role in Manzanar.

5 Tamura, Eileen H. Americanization, Acculturation, and Ethnic Identity: The Nisei Generation in Hawaii (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994), 27. About 400,000 migrants, most of them from Asia, Europe, and the South Pacific ventured to the islands before World War II, about half of whom settled there. See Lind, Andrew W. Hawaii's People (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1967), 8.

6 Yzendoorn, Reginald History of the Catholic Mission in the Hawaiian Islands (Honolulu: Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 1927), 230; Alvarez, Patricia “Weaving a Cloak of Discipline: Hawaii's Catholic Schools, 1840–1941” (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Hawaii Manoa, 1994), 244, 265, 382.

7 Alvarez, Weaving a Cloak of Discipline,” 252; S.F.S. #1, Bro. Leo Schaefer, 1913–14, “Tuition Records 1912–1916, St. Louis College and St. Francis School,” File 307, SLC Records, St. Louis School Archives, Honolulu, hereafter SLC Records.

8 Alvarez, Weaving a Cloak of Discipline,” 241–42, 291–92, quote from 207; conversation with Patricia Alvarez, 7 June 2007; Joseph Yoshisuke Kurihara, Certificate of Baptism, San Francisco, November 16, 1915.

9 Panzer, Joseph J. Educational Traditions of the Society of Mary (Dayton, OH: The University of Dayton Press, 1965), 810.

10 Alvarez, Weaving a Cloak of Discipline,” 287–88; conversation with Patricia Alvarez, 7 June 2007.

11 In an examination of the religious affiliation of the Nisei in the greater Seattle area, Stephen Fugita and Marilyn Fernandez found that only 8 of their 183 survey participants were Catholic, while 66 were Protestant and 54 were Buddhist. Fujita, Stephen and Fernandez, Marilyn, Altered Lives, Enduring Community: Japanese Americans Remember Their World War II Incarceration (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2004), 233n2. These data, while collected in the 1990s, help to explain the lack of discussion of Catholics and the tendency to combine them with Protestants in publications discussing religious affiliations among Japanese Americans before and during World War II. See, for example, Yoo, David “A Religious History of Japanese Americans in California,” in Religions in Asian America: Building Faith Communities, ed. Gap Min, Pyong and Ha Kim, Jung (Walnut Creek CA: AltaMira Press, 2002), 121–42; Strong, Edward K. Japanese in California, Based on a Ten Percent Survey of Japanese in California and Documentary Evidence from Many Sources (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1933), 352–59, 382; Thomas, Dorothy Swaine with the Assistance of Charles Kikuchi and James Sakoda, The Salvage (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1952), 66–69, 607.

12 S.F.S. #s 1–4, 1913–14, “Tuition Records 1912–1916,” SLC Records; St. Louis Term Report, December 1913, Department of Public Instruction, Hawaii Territory, Hawaii State Archives, Honolulu; Yzendoorn, History of the Catholic Mission in the Hawaiian Islands, 239.

13 Kurihara left St. Francis School in March 1914. Class Register September 1913 to March 1914, Brother Leo, Class Registers 1904–16, First Class St. Francis School, File 140, SLC Records; S.F.S. #1, Bro. Leo Schaefer, 1913–14, “Tuition Records 1912–1916,” SLC Records; Kurihara, “Autobiography,” 1; Manifest of Alien Passengers from U.S. Insular Possessions, manifest no. 14498, National Archives Microfilm Publication M1410 (Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at San Francisco, 1 May 1893–31 May 1953), Roll 83, National Archives Pacific Region, San Bruno, CA.

14 For anti-Asian hostility, see Daniels, Roger The Politics of Prejudice: The Anti-Japanese Movement in California and the Struggle, for Japanese Exclusion (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1962), 3334; Wollenberg, Charles M. All Deliberate Speed: Segregation and Exclusion in California Schools, 1855–1975 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1977), 53; Daniels, Roger Asian America: Chinese and Japanese in the United States since 1850 (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1988), 29–66, 100–54; Chan, Sucheng Asian Americans: An Interpretive History (Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1991), 45–61. For anti-Asian hostility among Catholics, see Burns, Jeffrey “Building the Best: A History of Catholic Parish Life in the Pacific States,” in The American Catholic Parish, vol. 2, ed. Dolan, Jay (New York: Paulist Press, 1987), 72. Quote is from Burns, “Building the Best,” 72.

15 Xavier, Francis, St.,” New Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 14 (Detroit: Thomson/Gale and Catholic University of America, 2003), 877; Yamazaki, Yuki “St. Francis Xavier School: Acculturation and Enculturation of Japanese Americans in Los Angeles, 1921–1945,” U.S. Catholic Historian 18, no. 1 (Winter 2000): 56–57; Matsuki, Kyoko “Golden Era of Our Church,” unpublished typescript, St Francis Xavier Japanese Catholic Mission, 1992, 1–6. Breton also helped lay the groundwork in 1916 for Our Lady Queen of Martyrs parish in Seattle. See Duntley, Madeline “Japanese and Filipino Together: The Transethnic Vision of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Parish,” U.S. Catholic Historian 18, no. 1 (Winter 2000): 73–98. For discussions of the San Francisco Japanese community in the early decades of the twentieth century, see Okazaki, Suzie Kobuchi Nihonmachi: A Story of San Francisco's Japantown ([San Francisco]: SKO Studios, 1985), 38–82; Taguma, Kenji G. “San Francisco Japantown Properties Up for Sale,” The Hawaii Herald 27, no. 6 (17 March 2006): 1, 26. The mission was located on 2011 Buchanan Street; in the few months before he left San Francisco, Kurihara lived within a block of the mission, at 2041 Pine Street.

16 Information on Father Egloffstein is in Catalogus Provinciae Californiae, Societatis Jesu, 1915, p. 21, RG 1 Box 19, University of San Francisco Archives. The Society of Jesus led the San Francisco mission from 1914 to 1925; then it was transferred to the Society of the Divine Word. See McGloin, John Bernard Jesuits by the Golden Gate: The Society of Jesus in San Francisco, 1849–1969 (San Francisco: University of San Francisco, 1972), 182–83. The records at St. Francis School in Hawai'i has Yoshisuke as Kurihara's given name. His certificate of baptism and the records at St. Ignatius School identify him as Kurihara, Joseph Y. Kurihara, See Joseph Yoshisuke Certificate of Baptism, San Francisco, November 16, 1915; and Registrar's Book, 1906–1927, St. Ignatius High School, RG1 Box 17, University of San Francisco Archives.

17 McKevitt, Brokers of Culture, 276; Gerald McKevitt, The University of Santa Clara: A History, 1851–1977 (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1979), 170–71; McGucken, William J. The Jesuits and Education: The Society's Teaching Principles and Practice, Especially in Secondary Education in the United States (New York: The Bruce Publishing Co., 1932), 276. Letter from Joe to Ueno, Harry Y. 7 April 1965, in author's possession. Established in 1855, the school was first called St. Ignatius College, following the European model and open to boys 6 to 18 years old. In the late nineteenth century the school began high school and post-high school classes. At the turn of the twentieth century it ended its elementary-level classes; in 1918 it ended grades 7 and 8. In 1909 the high school division was called St. Ignatius High School and in 1912 the post-high school division was named University of St. Ignatius (later University of San Francisco). See McGloin, John Bernard Jesuits by the Golden Gate: The Society of Jesus in San Francisco, 1849–1969 (San Francisco: University of San Francisco, 1972), 134–37; Paul Totah, “Spiritus Magis: 150 Years of St. Ignatius College Preparatory, Part 1,” Genesis IV, The Alumni Magazine, History Supplement 42, no. 1 (Spring 2005): 3, 7, 30, 42,–36 (accessed 10 May 2005).

18 Yamazaki, St. Francis Xavier School,” 5473; Pereyra, Lillian A.The Catholic Church and Portland's Japanese: The Untimely St. Paul Miki School Project,” Oregon Historical Quarterly 94 (Winter 1993–94): 399–434. The Maryknoll St. Francis Xavier School included kindergarten, elementary, arid junior high grades. The St. Paul Miki School, which opened in 1937, included landergarten through second grades. Kurihara could not have gone to these schools, even if he had known about them, since they opened when Kurihara was an adult. Nevertheless, my point is that the Catholic schools he attended, both in Hawai'i and San Francisco, were Western-centered, not bilingual-bicultural schools for Japanese Americans students. Ethnic parochial schools are discussed in Tim Walch, Parish School: American Catholic Parochial Education from Colonial Times to the Present (New York: Crossroad Publishing, 1996), 3–4, 76–81.

19 Quote is from Catalog of St. Ignatius University, 1916–17, p. 113, RG4 Catalogs, University of San Francisco Archives. The notion of Americanization was never defined clearly. Generally it meant Anglo-conformity; it also meant that immigrants and their children would communicate in English, shed their so-called foreign ways, and be infused with ideas of patriotism, Christianity (i.e., Protestantism), diligence, and hard work. Catholic leaders vigorously protested the notion that Christianity meant Protestantism, but agreed with the other aspects of the Americanization thrust. For a discussion of the Americanization idea during this period, see Tamura, Americanization, Acculturation, and Ethnic Identity, 52–55; and Walch, Parish School, 2 8–29. For a discussion of the challenge to Catholic schools, see Walch, Parish School, 72–73.

20 Courses and basic textbooks for all four years at the high school are given in Catalog of St. Ignatius University, 1916–17, 114–15, RG4 Catalogs, University of San Francisco Archives. The high school was attached to St. Ignatius University.

21 Kinkead, Thomas L. An Explanation of the Baltimore Catechism of Christian Doctrine (New York: Benziger Brothers, 1891); Marthaler, Berard L. “Baltimore Catechism,” in The Encyclopedia of American Catholic History, ed. Glazier, Michaels and Shelley, Thomas J. (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1997), 122–23. For course grades, see “Scholastic Records, 6th Grade 1912–1913 to Senior High School 1925–1926,” St. Ignatius High School, RG1 Box 9, University of San Francisco Archives; and “Scholastic Records, 7th Grade 1916–1917 to Senior College 1920–1921,” St. Ignatius High School, RG1 Box 9, University of San Francisco Archives.

22 McGucken, The Jesuits and Education, 150 165. For expectations of student behaviors at the school, see Bulletin, St. Ignatius University, 1916–17, 10–11, RG 4 Catalogs, University of San Francisco Archives. While Catholic social doctrine included ideas of justice and the dignity of the human person–see Daniel A. O'Connor, Catholic Social Doctrine (Westminster, MD: Newman Press, 1956), 28, 50–Catholic social thought has been essentially traditionalist and conservative. There is a radical strand in Catholicism, but it became prominent well after the time of Kurihara's Catholic schooling. The radical strand, consisting of social reform ideas, evolved among a minority of Catholics in the 1920s and 1930s and became highly visible in the 1960s– e.g., movements in Europe and North America and liberation theology in Latin America; there is no evidence that Kurihara was radicalized by Catholic social thinking during the 1920s and 1930s, before the incarceration of Japanese Americans. For discussions on Catholic social thought, see Harte, T. J. “Social Thought, Catholic,” in New Catholic Encyclopedia, 2nd ed., d. Marthaler, Berard L. vol. 13 (Detroit and Washington, DC: Thomson/Gale and Catholic University of America, 2003), 255–66; and Bryk, Anthony S. Lee, Valerie E. and Holland, Peter B. Catholic Schools and the Common Good (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993), 41–46.

23 Farrell, Allan P. The Jesuit Code of Liberal Education: Development and Scope of the Ratio Studiorum (Milwaukee: The Bruce Publishing Co., 1938), 342357; Gleason, Philip Contending with Modernity: Catholic Higher Education in the Twentieth Century (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995), 5–6, 51–53; “Ratio Studiorum,” The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 12 (New York: Robert Appleton Co., 1911),, accessed 7 August 2007. According to Farrell, The Jesuit Code, xi, Ratio Atque Institutio Studiorum Societatis leru (Ratio Studiorum) may be translated as The Jesuit Code of Liberal Education. Kurihara took six periods of Latin in each of his two years at St. Ignatius School. For a discussion on the conflict between Americanists and traditionalists, see McKevitt, Brokers of Culture, 264–67, 276–78. Quote is from McKevitt, Brokers of Culture, 211. Even in the 1920s, Catholic high school educators opted to continue the study of the Western Classics, which they believed developed “the student's ability to reason” and promoted “the central moral aims of schooling.” See Bryk, Lee, and Holland, Catholic Schools and the Common Good, 31. See also Miller, Mary Janet General Education in the American Catholic Secondary School (Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press).

24 Kurihara received an average score of 81 percent in his first-year history course and a 91 percent in his second year, which were very good scores in this Jesuit preparatory school. Tyack, DavidMonuments between Covers: The Politics of Textbooks,” American Behavioral Scientist 42, no. 3 (1999): 922; Shuckburgh, Evelyn S. A History of Rome for Beginners: From the Foundation of the City to the Death of Augustus (London: Macmillan and Co., 1913 [1897]), 35, 38. Kurihara's second-year textbook, William S. Robinson's A Short History of Greece (New York: Macmillan and Co., 1895), 57, 292, mentions Athens' development into a “champion of democracy” and also refers to Demosthenes, but most of the book discusses battles and wars.

25 R. Morison, C. H. Chambers's New Reciter (London: W. & R. Chambers, 1901), vol. xiii, discusses the growing emphasis of elocution in the schools in the early 1900s and the many books published for recitation, including his Chambers's New Reciter. Another example is Curry's, S. S. Little Classics, with Initiative Steps in Vocal Training for Oral English (Boston: Expression Company, 1912).

26 For information on the gold medals, see Catalog of St. Ignatius University, 1916–17, 119, RG4 Catalogs, University of San Francisco Archives. For the elocution program, see Catalog of St. Ignatius University, 1917–18, 102–3, RG 4 Catalogs, University of San Francisco Archives.

27 Mitford, Mary Russell (1787–1855) of Hampshire, England, was a poet, playwright, and novelist who saw a number of her plays performed during her lifetime. “Rienzi's Address” is in McGuffey's Sixth Eclectic Reader (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1907), 221–23; and Standard Classics, A Fifth Reader (Boston: Educational Publishing Co., 1910), 173–75. After introducing many reforms, Rienzi unfortunately abused his power and was eventually assassinated.

28 Walch, Parish School, 73.

29 A list of the elocution contest titles are in Catalog of St. Ignatius University, 1917– 18, 102.

30 According to his older sister, before he left for San Francisco, Kurihara had already demonstrated a tendency to take action in the name of justice. Marubayashi, Hanako (Kurihara's niece), interviewed by author, 21 September 2005, Honolulu.

31 Kurihara, Autobiography, 3.

32 Kurihara, World War I Draft Registration Card.” A year later, with the dire situation in France demanding a much larger American presence, a second national registration day was held on 12 September 1918. With the age eligibility extended to include those 18–20 and 31–45, 13 million more men were registered. John Whiteclay Chambers, To Raise an Army: The Draft Comes to Modern America (New York: Free Press, 1987), 179–89; quotes are from page 184.

33 Rawls, Walton Wake Up, America! World War I and the American Poster (New York: Abbeville Press, 1988), 12.

34 Liberty bonds were certificates guaranteeing that the government would repay the loan with a 4 percent interest each year. A War Savings Stamp was a promissory note that a person could buy at a sum less than the amount it would be redeemed for later. For example, one could purchase a five dollar War Savings Stamp for $4.12 in January, with one cent added to the cost each month until December. The Stamp could be redeemed five years after it was issued. Rawls, Wake Up, America 203, 221. On liberty loans and immigrants, see Britten, Thomas A. American Indians in World War I: At Home and at War (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1997), 133.

35 Kurihara, Autobiography, 5; Chambers, To Raise an Army, 200. The Detroit Free Press, 13 January 1918, printed a photo of Kurihara's five nieces and nephews with this caption: “Kurihara, Joseph Y. … is the sort of patriot who believes that actions speak louder than words …. Kurihara is now at Camp Custer training with others of the selective army. Almost the last thing he did before donning a uniform was to purchase a Liberty bond for each of five little nieces and nephews …” My thanks go to Henry Fujita, Kurihara's grandnephew, for giving me a copy of the newspaper clipping. Five hundred dollars in October 1917 was equivalent in April 2008 to $7,963. See Savage, Tom V. and Armstrong, David G.Were Things Really So Cheap in the ‘Good Old Days’? Using Index Numbers to Determine the Meaning of Historical Prices,” The Social Studies (July/August 1992): 155–59; and, “Historical Consumer Price Index.”

36 Ford, Nancy Gentile Americans All! Foreign-born Soldiers in World War I (College Station: Texas A & M University Press, 2001), 912, 88–111, quote is from p. 137. Half a million immigrants and thousands of sons of immigrants were drafted into the U.S. Army.

37 Borden, Penn Civilian Indoctrination of the Military: World War I and Future Implications for the Military-Industrial Complex (New York: Greenwood Press, 1989), 9799, 120–27.

38 Borden, Civilian Indoctrination of the Military, 129–31.

39 The War Department created the 85th Division soon after the United States entered the war. Camp Custer: A University of Democracy (Battle Creek, MI: Atkins and Jones, 1918), 1–4; Barry, Edward M. ed., Doings of Battery B: Humorous Happenings and Striking Situations and Experiences of Its Members (Grand Rapids, MI: Dean-Hicks, 1920), 12; “Splendid Gymnasium for Custer Which Gifts of Michigan and Wisconsin Citizens Made Possible,” Detroit News, 11 November 1917.

40 Parker, FrankCuster Begins Trench Work,” Detroit Free Press, 7 November 1917; Speyer, Edward “Custer Bayonet Classes Taught How to Growl,” Detroit News, 4 November 1917; “Custer Gives Sham Battle,” Detroit News, 18 December 1917; “Camp Custer Boosts Sports for Soldiers,” Detroit News, 16 September 1917; Cameron, W. J. “Yanks Study French; Aliens Study English,” Detroit News, 9 November 1917; Camp Caste?', 4; Kurihara, Autobiography, 5.

41 Ford, Americans all, 3 14, 112–36; “Stimulating Loyalty,” Detroit News, 11 September 1917; “Draft Aliens for U.S. Army,” Detroit News, 14 September 1917; Shenk, Gerald E. “Work or Fight?” Race, Gender, and the Draft in World War One (New York-Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), 119, 122.

42 While Japan and the United States fought on the same side during World War I, their national interests conflicted in the Pacific, and during the war the relations between the two countries deteriorated. See Kawamura, Noriko Turbulence in the Pacific: Japanese-US. Relations during World War I (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2000). My statement on the absence of hostility toward Kurihara is based on his autobiography, in which he discusses both warm relations with and hostile treatment by others. In recalling his experiences during World War I, he mentions no ill treatment by fellow soldiers or officers and only warm feelings toward families in Michigan who befriended him.

43 Salyer, Lucy E.Baptism by Fire: Race, Military Service, and U.S. Citizenship Policy, 1918–1935,” The Journal of American History 91 (December 2004: 848; Britten American Indians in World War I, 124, 130.

44 Kurihara, J. Y.I Was in the War,” Kasbu Mainichi, 19 May 1940, 26 May 1940.

45 The phrase “alien citizens” comes from Ngai, Mae N. Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modem America (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2004), 8.

46 Ichioka, Yuji Before Internment: Essays in Prewar Japanese American History, eds. Chang, Gordon H. and Eiichiro Azuma (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2006), 197; Unrau, Harlan D. The Evacuation and Relocation of Persons of Japanese Ancestry during World War II: A Historical Study of the Manzanar War Relocation Center (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, 1996), 12; Muller, Eric L. American Inquisition: The Hunt for Japanese American Disloyalty in World War II (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2007), 15–16; Roger Daniels, Concentration Camps: North America, Japanese in the United States and Canada during World War II (Malabar, FL: Krieger Publishing Co., 1993), 39, 71–72.

47 “Executive Order No. 9066, 19 February 1942, Authorizing the Secretary of War to Prescribe Military Areas,” Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum. (accessed 7 October 2008). For analyses of the discussions and activities that led up to forced removal of West Coast Nikkei, see Daniels, Concentration Camps, 42–73; Daniels, Roger The Decision to Relocate the Japanese Americans (Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1975); Irons, Peter Justice at War (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983), 25–47; Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians, Personal Justice Denied (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1997), 72–92, 111–12; Grodzins, Morton Americans Betrayed: Politics and the Japanese Evacuation (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1974 [1949]; and Jacobs tenBroek, Barnhart, Edward N. and Floyd Matson, Prejudice, War, and the Constitution (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1954).

48 Muller, American Inquisition, 21. See also Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians, Personal Justice Denied, 100–12; and Unrau, The Evacuation and Relocation of Persons of Japanese Ancestry, 63–64.

49 Hansen, Arthur A. and Hacker, David A.The Manzanar Riot: An Ethnic Perspective,” Amerasia Journal 2 (Fall 1974: 120.

50 Unrau, The Evacuation and Relocation, xxv.

51 Takemoto, Paul Howard Nisei Memories: My Parents Talk about the War Years (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2006), 126

52 Unrau, The Evacuation and Relocation, xxvi 377. For maps of Manzanar, see Burton, Jeffrey F. Farrell, Mary M. Lord, Florence B. and Lord, Richard W. Confinement and Ethnicity: An Overview of World War II Japanese American Relocation Sites (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, 1999), 164–65.

53 The WCCA had called this site the Owens Valley Reception Center, which served as an Assembly Center from 21 March through 31 May 1942. On 1 June 1942, when it was transferred to the WRA, it was renamed the Manzanar War Relocation Center.

54 For an excellent analysis of the revolt, see Hansen and Hacker, “The Manzanar Riot: An Ethnic Perspective.” The authors argue persuasively that “revolt” is a more appropriate word than “riot” to describe what happened. For detailed information on the revolt, see Unrau, The Evacuation and Relocation, 477–523; and Manzanar-Incident Material, Box 69, Entry 4b, RG 210, Records of the War Relocation Authority, National Archives, Washington, DC. A detailed portrait of Tayama is in Togo Tanaka, “A Report on the Manzanar Riot of Sunday December 6, 1942,” 7 January 1943, pp. 1–13, O10.12, 67/14c, JAERR.

55 Tsuji, KoichiA Private Report on the Incident of Dec. 6, 1942, Part I,” 6 December 1942, SI.20c, 67/14c, JAERR.

56 Unrau, The Evacuation and Relocation, 480.

57 The two soldiers later testified that they believed that their lives were in danger, and the military Board of Officers who heard their case concluded that there was no wrongdoing. However, at later hearings of a subcommittee of the Senate Committee of Military Affairs, Captain Hall admitted that two rounds of tear gas thrown into the crowd broke it up before the shots were fired, questioning the claim that the soldiers were in physical danger. See Unrau, The Evacuation and Relocation, 519–21.

58 For an analysis of the central role of these two cultural themes in the Manzanar revolt, see Hansen and Hacker, “The Manzanar Riot,” 121.

59 Hansen and Hacker, “The Manzanar Riot,” 124. Much has been written about the JACL. See, for example, Roger Daniels, “The Japanese,” in Higham, John ed., Ethnic Leadership in America (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1978), 3663; Spickard, Paul R. “The Nisei Assume Power: The Japanese (American) Citizens League, 1941–42,” Pacific Historical Review 52 (1983): 147–74; Ichioka, Yuji Before Internment, 46–47.

60 For Kurihara's membership in the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, see FBI report, Kurihara et al., Internal Security-Sedition-Public Law 503, 13 September 1942, pp. 2 5–26, Assistant Secretary of War 020, Civil Affairs Division, Box 9, Entry 47, RG 107, Office of the Secretary of War, National Archives, Washington, DC.

61 Hansen and Hacker, “The Manzanar Riot,” 124–25.

62 James, Thomas Exile Within: The Schooling of Japanese Americans 1942–1945 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1987), 3740, 52–54. For a striking contrast between the planned curriculum for the schools and the reality of camp life, see James, Thomas “The Education of Japanese Americans at Tule Lake,” Pacific Historical Review 56, no. 1 (February 1987): 25–58.

63 Kurihara, Joseph Y. [Speeches], Unpublished typescript, 1–2, [Nov. 1945], JAERR. For names of the original organizers of the Manzanar Citizens Federation and other details of the meeting, see Yoneda, Karl G. Ganbatte: The Sixty-Year Struggle of a Kibei Worker (Asian American Studies Center, University of California Los Angeles, 1983), 135–37.

64 Tanaka, Togo and Masaoka, Joe, “Project Report No. 36,” p. 1, 29 July 1942, 01.78, 67/14c, JAERR; Kurihara, [Speeches], 3.

65 Tanaka, and Masaoka, , “Project Report No. 47,” pp. 257–58, 12 August 1942, 010.08, 67/14c, JAERR; Kurihara, “Autobiography,” 40; Hansen and Hacker, “The Manzanar Riot,” 131. For discussion on the clash of opposing views, see Tanaka and Masaoka, Project Report No. 45, 6 August 1942, Manzanar War Relocation Records, Collection 122, Department of Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, University of California Los Angeles, hereafter UCLA. Jack Mezirow, Trailsfonnative Dimensions of Adult Learning (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1991), 94; Mezirow, p. 5, defines meaning schemes as “specific knowledge, beliefs, value judgments, or feelings involved in making an interpretation.” Togo Tanaka, “An Analysis of the Manzanar Riot and Its Aftermath,” 25 January 1943, p. 3, Mananar-Incident Material, Box 69, Entry 4b, RG 210, Records of the War Relocation Authority, National Archives, Washington, DC.

66 Kurihara, [Speeches], 3.

67 Information on the meeting and Kurihara's remarks are in Tanaka and Masaoka, “Project Report No. 47,” p. 259; Tayama to Rudisill, 9 August 1942, file 323.3 Manzanar, Box 12, General Correspondence, 1942–46, Wartime Civil Control Administration, Western Defense Command, RG 338, National Archives, Washington, DC. Information on Yoneda's remarks is in FBI report, Kurihara et al., p. 10; and Yoneda, Ganbatte, 123, 13 7–38. Yoneda was a Communist who supported the U.S. war effort against the “fascist” government of Japan. The ban on speaking in Japanese at meetings had come earlier, on July 4, from the WRA office in Washington, DC. At that time, Manzanar administrators chose to interpret the directive as allowing spoken Japanese, as long as the meeting included an English translation.

68 Unrau, The Evacuation and Relocation, 513.

69 Togo Tanaka, “Special Report,” 10 October 1942, pp. 2–3, microfilm reel 149, 67/14c, JAERR.

70 Quoted in Unrau, The Evacuation and Relocation, 516, from “Project Director's Report,” Final Report, Manzanar, Vol. 1, pp. A-26–38, Entry 4b, Box 71, File, “Manzanar Final Reports,” 1946, RG 210, National Archives, Washington, DC. Similar sentiments were expressed at another meeting held on 30 November 1942. See Tanaka and Masaoka, Project Report No. 76, 1 December 1942, Manzanar War Relocation Records, Collection 122, UCLA.

71 For a sense of the rancor and heated discussions at these meetings, see Yoneda, Karl G.Notes and Observations of ‘Kibei Meeting’ Held August 8th, 1942 at Kitchen 15–Only Japanese Spoken,” Folder 2-Manzanar Diary-1 August to 30 September 1942, Box 8, Karl Yoneda Papers, Collection 1592, U.S. War Relocation Records, Department of Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, University of California Los Angeles; Yoneda, “Manzanar Citizens' Federation–July 28, 1942,” and “Block Meeting, Block 4, July 30, 1942,” Folder 1-Manzanar Diary-1 June to 30 July 1942, Box 8, Karl Yoneda Papers.

72 Memorandum to Merritt from Throckmorton, 2 January 1943, Mananar-Incident Material, Box 69, Entry 4b, RG 210, Records of the War Relocation Authority, National Archives, Washington, DC; Togo Tanaka, “An Analysis of the Manzanar Riot and Its Aftermath,” p. 9.

73 Joseph Y. Kurihara, “Niseis and the Government of the United States,” p. 18, Unpublished typescript, [1943], JAERR.

74 Storr, RichardThe Education of History: Some Impressions,” Harvard Educational Review 31, no. 2 (Spring 1961): 1, emphasis is mine; Donald Warren, “The Wonderful Worlds of the Education of History ” American Educational History Journal 32, no. 1 (Spring 2005): 109; Bernard Bailyn, Education in the Forming of American Society (New York: Vintage Books, 1960); Cremin, Lawrence A. The Wonderful World of Ellwood Patterson Cubberley (New York: Teachers College Press, 1965). A full discussion of the inductive approach in educational history is in Donald Warren, “History of Education in a Future Tense,” forthcoming. For an insightful critique of Bailyn's Education in the Forming of American Society, see Gaither, Milton American Educational History Revisited (New York: Teachers College Press, 2003), in particular, pp. 91–104, 138–164. Storr was part of two working groups of historians whose efforts eventually led to the conference in which Bailyn made his address, which was later published as Education in the Forming of American Society. See Gaither, American Educational History Revisited, 158.

This essay was the History of Education Society Presidential Address delivered at the annual meeting in Philadelphia, October 2009. I would like to thank the following people for their helpful comments and encouragement on drafts of this essay: Donald Warren, Patricia Alvarez, Roger Daniels, Karen Graves, Arthur Hansen, Dwight Hoover, Father Michael Kotlanger, Idus Newby, Warren Nishimoto, Anne Marie Ryan, and colleagues at the College of Education, University of Hawaii: Baoyan Chun, Ernestine Enomoto, David Ericson, Marsha Ninomiya, Gay Reed, and Hannah Tavares. Wayne Urban's, “History of Education: A Southern Exposure,” History of Education Quarterly 21, 2 (1981): 135–45, is an essay that remains with me decades after reading it. In it, Urban not only sought to stimulate educational research outside the Northeast, but also encouraged a study of education beyond schooling.

Value Messages Collide with Reality: Joseph Kurihara and the Power of Informal Education

  • Eileen H. Tamura (a1)


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