The Asian/American Studies Collective is proud to celebrate the publication of Dr. Diane Fujino’s book, Nisei Radicals: The Feminist Poetics and Transformative Ministry of Mitsuye Yamada and Michael Yasutake.
About the book
While critiques of the model minority trope abound, this work has not dislodged the Nisei, or second-generation Japanese Americans, from the label of “Quiet Americans.” Working against the announced politics of Nisei assimilationism, this talk examines the feminist poetics of Mitsuye Yamada and the transformational “jubilee liberation” ministry of her brother, Rev. Michael Yasutake. Mitsuye Yamada’s sensitive writings are known for revealing tropes of silence in the lives of Japanese American women, often through critique of the complicated relationship with her own mother. Michael Yasutake moved from military resistance during World War II, to counseling draft objector during the Vietnam War, to explicit opposition to US and Japanese imperialism and support for political prisoners. Through biographical study, the book reveals Nisei resistance in the 1970s to 1990s (an ostensibly dormant period of Asian American struggle), understudied intergenerational continuity, and a radical lineage of Japanese American activism.
Diane Fujino is professor of Asian American Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her scholarship centers on Asian American and Black liberation struggles and includes books on Yuri Kochiyama, Richard Aoki, and the Black Panther Party. She is active with Ethnic Studies Now! Santa Barbara and Cooperation Santa Barbara.
Cosponsored by the IHC’s Asian/American Studies Collective Research Focus Group and the Department of Asian American Studies