New Books on Race and Racism in East Asia: China, Japan, and Korea

If you want to chew on the topics of Race and Racism in East Asia (China, Japan, and Korea), have a look at these books. A bit pricey, but worth a look. This is cross-posted from an email by Rotem Kowner on H-Asia, an email list of https://networks.h-net.org/

– Tim

  • Rotem Kowner and Walter Demel (editors) Race and Racism in Modern East Asia (vol. II): Interactions, Nationalism, Gender and Lineage (Brill, May 2015)
  • Rotem Kowner and Walter Demel (editors) Race and Racism in Modern East Asia (vol. I): Western and Eastern Constructions (Brill, paperback edition, September 2014)
  • Rotem Kowner From White to Yellow (vol. I): The Japanese in European Racial Thought, 1300-1735 (McGill-Queen’s University Press, December 2014)

Race and Racism in Modern East Asia vol 2 - 59103

Race and Racism in Modern East Asia (vol. II): Interactions, Nationalism, Gender and Lineage (Brill, 2015; 674 pp). ISBN-10: 9004292926; ISBN-13: 978-9004292925

Rotem Kowner and Walter Demel (editors)

In this sequel to the volume, Race and Racism in Modern East Asia: Western and Eastern Constructions, we examine in depth interactions between Western racial constructions of East Asians and local constructions of race and their outcomes in modern times. Focusing on China, Japan and the two Koreas, we also analyze the close ties between race, racism and nationalism, as well as the links race has had with gender and lineage in the region. Written by some of the field’s leading authorities, our 23-chapter volume offers a sweeping overview and analysis of racial constructions and racism in modern and contemporary East Asia that is seemingly unsurpassed in previous scholarship.

For further details: http://www.brill.com/products/book/race-and-racism-modern-east-asia-0

Table of contents

Preface

1 Introduction: The Synthesis of Foreign and Indigenous Constructions of Race in Modern East Asia and Its Actual Operation
Rotem Kowner and Walter Demel

PART I: ANTECEDENTS
2 East Asians in the Linnaean Taxonomy: Sources and Implications of a Racial Image
Rotem Kowner and Christina Skott
3 Constructing Racial Theories on East Asians as a Transnational “Western” Enterprise, 1750–1850
Walter Demel
4 The ‘Races’ of East Asia in Nineteenth-Century European Encyclopaedias
Georg Lehner
5 The Racial Image of the Japanese in the Western Press Published in Japan, 1861–1881
Olavi K. Fält

PART II: INTERACTIONS
6 The Propagation of Racial Thought in Nineteenth-Century China
Daniel Barth
7 Learning from the South: Japan’s Racial Construction of Southern Chinese, 1895–1941
Huei-Ying Kuo
8 “The Great Question of the World Today”: Britain, the Dominions, East Asian Immigration and the Threat of Race War, 1905–1911
Antony Best
9 “Uplifting the Weak and Degenerated Races of East Asia”: American and Indigenous Views of Sport and Body in Early Twentieth-Century East Asia
Stefan Hübner
10 Racism under Negotiation: The Japanese Race in the Nazi-German Perspective
Gerhard Krebs
11 Discourses of Race and Racism in Modern Korea, 1890s–1945
Vladimir Tikhonov
12 The United States Arrives: Racialization and Racism in Post-1945 South Korea
Nadia Y. Kim
13 A Post-Communist Coexistence in Northeast Asia? Mutual Racial Attitudes among Russians and Indigenous Peoples of Siberia
David C. Lewis

PART III: NATIONALISM
14 Nationalism and Internationalism: Sino-American Racial Perceptions of the Korean War
Lü Xun
15 Gangtai Patriotic Songs and Racialized Chinese Nationalism
Yinghong Cheng
16 Japanese as Both a “Race” and a “Non-Race”: The Politics of Jinshu and Minzoku and the Depoliticization of Japaneseness
Yuko Kawai
17 Ethnic Nationalism in Postwar Japan: Nihonjinron and Its Racial Facets
Rotem Kowner and Harumi Befu
18 Ethnic Nationalism and Internationalism in the North Korean Worldview
Tatiana Gabroussenko

PART IV: GENDER AND LINEAGE
19 In the Name of the Master: Race, Nationalism and Masculinity in Chinese Martial Arts Cinema
Kai-man Chang
20 Sexualized Racism, Gender and Nationalism: The Case of Japan’s Sexual Enslavement of Korean “Comfort Women”
Bang-soon L. Yoon
21 “The Guilt Feeling That You Exist”: War, Racism and Indisch-Japanese Identity Formation
Aya Ezawa
22 ‘The “Amerasian” Knot: Transpacific Crossings of “GI Babies” from Korea to the United States
W. Taejin Hwang

PART V: CONCLUSIONS
23 The Essence and Mechanisms of Race and Racism in Modern East Asia
Rotem Kowner and Walter Demel

Amazon site:
http://www.amazon.com/Race-Racism-Modern-East-Asia/dp/9004292926/


Race and Racism in Modern East Asia vol 1 - 70589Now in paperback edition!
Race and Racism in Modern East Asia (vol. I): Western and Eastern Constructions (Brill, 2014; 618 pp.) ISBN-10: 9004285504; ISBN-13: 978-9004285507
Rotem Kowner and Walter Demel (editors)

In Race and Racism in Modern East Asia: Western and Eastern Constructions we juxtapose Western racial constructions of East Asians with constructions of race and their outcomes in modern East Asia. It is the first endeavor to explicitly and coherently link constructions of race and racism in both regions. These constructions have not only played a decisive role in shaping the relations between the West and East Asia since the mid nineteenth century, but also exert substantial influence on current relations and mutual images in both the East-West nexus and East Asia. Written by some of the field’s leading authorities, this 21-chapter volume offers an analysis of these constructions, their evolution and their interrelations.

For further details: http://www.brill.com/products/book/race-and-racism-modern-east-asia

“Within the historical research on the topic of racism, East Asia has barely played any role. This volume, the outcome of a multi-year project closes this research lacuna. … Overall, the volume is superbly edited and easy to read and will undoubtedly remain, until further notice, the standard work on the subject of race in East Asia. For those interested in the historical development of the concept of race and wish to go beyond the European framework, this volume is highly recommended.”
Sven Saaler, Historische Zeitschrift (2014)

“A gigantic volume, its real strong point is its variety, with papers probing such interesting and understudied topics … The scholarly summaries are very accomplished and provide a wealth of material for understanding that race is neither a fixed nor an atemporal construct, nor is it one that can be simply transferred from Western contexts into Eastern ones. … The essays represent starting points for a variety of new work as such they are very valuable contributions to the burgeoning field. Highly recommended.”
Michael Keevak, Asian Ethnicity (2014)

“This collection of scholarly works explores racial constructions of East Asians from both external and internal perspectives. … Not only does this book help readers understand how racial constructions of the West and East Asia interacted in shaping their relationships in the past, but also, more importantly, how these constructions still influence their current relationships in the 21st century. Summing up: Recommended. All levels/libraries.”
A.Y. Lee, Choice (2013)

Table of contents

Preface

1 Introduction: Modern East Asia and the Rise of Racial Thought: Possible Links, Unique Features, and Unsettled Issues
Rotem Kowner and Walter Demel

PART I: WESTERN RACE THEORIES, RACIAL IMAGES AND RACISM
2 Early Modern European Divisions of Mankind and East Asians, 1500-1750
Walter Demel and Rotem Kowner
3 How the “Mongoloid Race” Came into Being: Late Eighteenth-Century Constructions of East Asians in Europe
Walter Demel
4 Between Contempt and Fear: Western Racial Constructions of East Asians since 1800
Rotem Kowner
5 “A Very Great Gulf”: Late Victorian British Diplomacy and Race in East Asia
T.G. Otte
6 Pan-Mongolians at Twilight: East Asia and Race in Russian Modernism, 1890-1921
Susanna Soojung Lim
7 National Identity and Race in Post-Revolutionary Russia: Pil’niak’s Travelogues from Japan and China
Alexander Bukh
8 Class, Race, Floating Signifier: American Media Imagine the Chinese, 1870-1900
Lenore Metrick-Chen
9 Racism for Beginners: Constructions of Chinese in Twentieth Century Belgian Comics
Idesbald Goddeeris
10 Race, Imperialism, and Reconstructing Selves: Late Nineteenth Century Korea in European Travel Literature
Huajeong Seok
11 Race, Culture and the Reaction to the Japanese Victory of 1905 in the English-Speaking World
Philip Towle

PART II: EAST ASIAN RACE THEORIES, RACIAL POLICIES AND RACISM
12 A Certain Whiteness of Being: Chinese Perceptions of Self by the Beginning of European Contact
Don J. Wyatt
13 Racial Discourse and Utopian Visions in Nineteenth Century China
Sufen Sophia Lai
14 The Discourse of Race in Twentieth-Century China
Frank Dikötter
15 Racist South Korea? Diverse but not Tolerant of Diversity
Gi-Wook Shin
16 Skin Color Melancholy in Modern Japan: Male Elites’ Racial Experiences Abroad, 1880s-1950s
Ayu Majima
17 Anatomically Speaking: The Kubo Incident and the Paradox of Race in Colonial Korea
Hoi-eun Kim
18 Who Classified Whom, and for What Purpose? The “Japanese” in Northeast China in the Age of Empire
Mariko Asano Tamanoi
19 Race and International Law in Japan’s New Order in East Asia, 1938-1945
Urs Matthias Zachmann
20 East Asia’s “Melting-Pot”: Reevaluating Race Relations in Japan’s Colonial Empire
Yukiko Koshiro
21 Categorical Confusion: President Obama as a Case Study of Racialized Practices in Contemporary Japan
Christine R. Yano

Amazon site:
http://www.amazon.com/Race-Racism-Modern-East-Asia/dp/9004285504/


From White to Yellow - 9780773544550From White to Yellow (vol. I): The Japanese in European Racial Thought, 1300-1735 (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2014, 706 pp.) ISBN-10: 0773544550; ISBN-13: 978-0773544550

Rotem Kowner (author)

When Europeans first landed in Japan they encountered people they perceived as white-skinned and highly civilized, but these impressions did not endure. Gradually the Europeans’ positive impressions faded away and Japanese were seen as yellow-skinned and relatively inferior. Accounting for this dramatic transformation, I examine of the evolution of European interpretations of the Japanese and the emergence of discourses about race in early modern Europe. Transcending the conventional focus on Africans and Jews within the rise of modern racism, I seek to demonstrate that the invention of race did not emerge in a vacuum in eighteenth-century Europe, but rather was a direct product of earlier discourses of the “Other.” All in all, I contend that the racial discourse on the Japanese, alongside the Chinese, played a major role in the rise of the modern concept of race. While challenging Europe’s self-possession and sense of centrality, the discourse delayed the eventual consolidation of a hierarchical worldview in which Europeans stood immutably at the apex. Drawing from a vast array of primary sources, I also attempted to trace the racial roots of the modern clash between Japan and the West.

For further details: http://www.mqup.ca/from-white-to-yellow-products-9780773544550.php

“This magisterial work fills an important gap in contemporary scholarship about racial history and European perceptions of the Japanese during the age of maritime explorations, beginning with the voyages of Marco Polo. The author approaches a delicate and complex topic with a breadth of knowledge and erudition based on the careful analysis of primary documents from a wide variety of both printed and manuscript sources in numerous languages.”
M. Antoni J. Ucerler, S.J. Director, Ricci Institute, University of San Francisco

“Rotem Kowner has written an extraordinary book which will be must-reading for anyone interested in Western perceptions of the Japanese from the beginning (Marco Polo’s account) to the 18th century, and to anyone interested in the history of the very concept of ‘race.’”
Gary Leupp, Department of History, Tufts University

“Erudite, comprehensive, and clearly-written, From White to Yellow offers the reader a panorama of the Euro-Japanese encounter in the pre-modern period that is unsurpassed in previous scholarship.”
Ronnie Hsia, Department of History, Pennsylvania State University

Table of contents

Preface
Introduction

PHASE I – SPECULATION: Pre-Encounter Knowledge of the Japanese (1300-1543)
1 The Emergence of “Cipangu” and Its Precursory Ethnography
2 The “Cipanguese” at the Opening of the Age of Discovery

PHASE II – OBSERVATION: A Burgeoning Discourse of Initial Encounters (1543-1640)
3 Initial Observations of the Japanese
4 The Japanese Position in Contemporary Hierarchies
5 Concrete Mirrors of a New Human Order
6 “Race” and Its Cognitive Limits during the Phase of Observation

PHASE III – RECONSIDERATION: Antecedents of a Mature Discourse (1640-1735)
7 Dutch Reappraisal of the Japanese Body and Origins
8 Power, Status, and the Japanese Position in the Global Order
9 In Search of a New Taxonomy: Botany, Medicine, and the Japanese
10 “Race” and Its Perceptual Limits during the Phase of Reconsideration

Conclusion: The Discourse of Race in Early Modern Europe and the Japanese Case

Amazon sites:

http://www.amazon.ca/White-Yellow-Japanese-European-1300-1735/dp/0773544550/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=1-1&qid=1418745991

or

http://www.amazon.com/White-Yellow-Japanese-European-1300-1735/dp/0773544550/ref=la_B001HPYIKK_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1418745737&sr=1-1

Korean American Christian history contest

January 22, 2014

In the interest of promoting the history of Asian American Christianity, I’d like to announce Asian American Christian Legacy’s first blog/essay contest! (Deadline March 31, 2014)

Here are the details…

Please submit a blog or short essay about a Korean American Christian who played a significant role in Korean American, Asian American, and/or overall American Christian history (In the future, we will seek other themes. But for this contest, we’d like to encourage more engagement in the Korean American Christian experience).

David K. Yoo, Contentious Spirits. Religion in Korean American History. 1903-1945. (2010)

The winner of this contest will receive a free copy of David K. Yoo’s book Contentious Spirits: Religion in Korean American History. 1903-1945 (2010) and a $50 gift certificate.

For more information about the book go to this link:

http://www.sup.org/book.cgi?id=18209

Dr. David K. Yoo is currently the Director of the Asian American Studies program at UCLA. He and I go way back! He received his M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary and Ph.D. from Yale University. I completed my M.Div. and Ph.D. from Union Seminary (NY) at the same time. We’ve worked together on a number of ecumenical and academic projects over the years. For example, one my favorite projects was an essay about race relations for Sojourners. Here is the link to “The Changing Face of America” (1998).

It has been a privilege for me to partner with David and be considered his friend! I’m delighted to make his book available

Criteria for selecting the winner:

1. Email me the essay/blog/photos/video links no later than March 1, 2014.
2. I will judge the winning entry (with consultation with others who are familiar with the history of Korean American Christianity) by March 31, 2014.
3. The winning essay/blog will be cross-posted on the Asian American Christian Legacy Facebook page (and my blog if the winner is okay with this).
4. Criteria for selecting the winner. Please address these questions:
Does the essay/blog…
– avoid excessive academic terminology or technical jargon? The blog/essay should be accessible to a general audience.
– avoid hagiography? (e.g., only treating the subject heroically). Allow your subject to be fully human – one who is animated by complex motives and desires.
– pay enough attention to the interaction between the individual you write about and his or her historical contexts? Do race, ethnicity, culture, and politics – as well as Christian faith – affect (or is affected by) the individual? So don’t just write about a person who was a powerful evangelist or an incredible church planter.
– provide proper footnotes and attributions? The blog/essay should be familiar with relevant historical issues and historiography.
– include photos and/or audio-video materials? Though these are not required, they will be strongly considered in the final selection.

Any questions? Feel free to contact me.

Thanks!

Tim Tseng

Tribute to James M. Washington, a man who knew the MLK legacy

Twenty years ago today, I was holed up in my study in our Upper West Side coop pecking away on one of the original versions of the Apple MacIntosh. Ostensibly, I had stepped away from a “part-time” pastoral position the previous summer to complete my dissertation. I had been a full-time student in Union Seminary’s M.Div. and Ph.D. program for nine years – as long as Betty and I were married. Our oldest son was born in 1991 and we were expecting another one later that summer. I was also candidating for a position at Denver Seminary (the late Bruce Shelly had just retired).

Two years earlier, I almost abandoned my doctoral studies. Not because church ministry felt so much more compelling (it did), but because life outside the student experience was rushing in on me. I wanted to, needed to, move on.

James Washington (1948-1997) and me

James Washington (1948-1997) and me

But instead of walking away from my studies, I kept on doing the research and writing. I worked intensely day and night and was rewarded with a mild case of carpal tunnel. I completed my manuscript just in the nick of time. The dissertation defense, job interviews, and commencement then raced by so quickly and seemed so surreal. At last, I was able to fully immerse myself into my vocation!

Though I’m no longer officially a full-time theological educator and scholar, I’m grateful to have inhabited these circles for so many years. Academia has its flaws, but I will never regret the intellectual vistas and the abiding friendships it provided for me.

I owe so much of that part of my life to James Melvin Washington, my doctoral adviser. When I wanted to give up my studies, he convinced me that I had a calling in theological education and academia. Indeed, his own life was a testimony to scholarship as ministry. He practically willed me to complete the race.

Less than three years after I was robed, he was dead. Just a few weeks before he died, we talked about collaborating on some research projects. To this day, I wonder how my life would had turned out if not for Dr. Washington’s untimely death (he just turned 49). I may have stayed on the East Coast. Heck, I might still be in academia!

In any case, today I felt the need to honor Jim Washington’s legacy and thank God for letting our paths cross.

Others who knew Jim Washington better than I (e.g., James Forbes and Cornel West) have honored his memory well. In The Courage to Hope: From Black Suffering to Human Redemption (1999) Cornel West and Quinton Hosford Dixie (my fellow doctoral student who also studied under Dr. Washington) bring together essays by some of Dr. Washington’s colleagues in order to “offer a new understanding of American spiritual life by placing African-American religious experience at its center.”

Washington’s dissertation, published as Frustrated Fellowship: The Black Baptist Quest for Social Power, established him as a leading expert in the history of Black religion. Jim Washington is also known for his collection of Martin Luther King’s writings in A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings of Martin Luther King Jr., and collection of African American prayers in Conversations with God: Two Centuries of Prayers by African Americans

.

Jim Washington’s scholarship and teaching helped change the dominant narrative of American Christianity by giving African Americans a more central role. He gave me the permission and inspiration to explore the history of Asian American Christianity. Though I have not lived up to his hopes and expectations yet, my memory of him (and my experience at Union) sustains my drive to study and advocate for Asian American Christianity.

Ten years ago, I wrote “Beyond Orientalism and Assimilation: The Asian American as Historical Subject” (in Realizing the America of our Hearts: Theological Voices of Asian Americans edited by Fumitaka Matsuoka and Eleazar S. Fernandez [Chalice Press, 2003]) as a tribute to James Washington. To this date, this is my favorite essay because it helped me see that my task as a historian of American religion was not merely to add the Asian American experience to the dominant narrative, but also to challenge that narrative’s construction of Asian Americans.

I’m also grateful for Jim Washington’s faith and religious convictions. He was a wonderful preacher and a deeply spiritual Christian who loved the Church. I was a shy, Chinese American evangelical seminarian at Union. I wanted to get exposed to different theological perspectives but was fearful of losing my faith. As it turned out, because of teachers like Jim Washington, Union Seminary actually strengthened my faith! But that’s a different story.

On this MLK day, the twentieth anniversary of the completion of my doctoral studies, I want to honor one my academic and spiritual mentors who really knew the MLK legacy and encouraged all his students to embody it! Thank you Jim Washington!

Resource “Churches Aflame: Asian Americans and United Methodism”

Churches Aflame: Asian Americans and United Methodism (Abingdon, 1991) edited by Artemio R. Guilermo

Churches Aflame: Asian Americans and United Methodism (Abingdon, 1991) edited by Artemio R. Guilermo

December 19, 2013

Church leaders often ask me about Asian American Christian history resources. There is a growing recognition that a multi-ethnic future in North America and the North American Church cannot be shaped by our contemporary experience of race and ethnicity alone. Indeed, if Asian American Christians are to contribute substantially to Church and society, historical reference points and narratives are needed. Unfortunately, historical resources are difficult to find and narratives have yet to be developed more fully by historians of Christianity. Hopefully the day will come when professional historians can be employed to develop this work. In the meantime, I’ll keep on trying to make resources available and create forums for discussion Asian American Christian narratives.

One helpful resource is a collection of essays about Asian Americans in the United Methodist Church. Churches Aflame, published in 1991, is now out of print. The essays offer insight into the efforts of Asian American United Methodists to gain greater visibility within the denomination. Like most Protestant denominations, the United Methodists were ill-equipped to adjust to the large influx of Asian immigrants since the late 1960s, despite their prophetic voices for civil rights and the elimination of anti-Asian immigration laws. Many of the immigrants were also unprepared to face the institutional inertia when their cries for representation and culturally relevant resources went unheard. The stories of how Asian American United Methodists attempted to bridge generational, cultural, racial, and gender divides offer good lessons for the next generation of Asian American Christians. I’ve posted the official book description and table of contents below.

BACK COVER DESCRIPTION

This detailed volume of Asian American history is a colorful testimony from each writer who writes from the vantage point as an active participant in the life of the church, an observer-eyewitness, or investigative journalist. The authors depict the rise of the Asian churches and their struggles against all odds to forge a new church in the new world. This struggle often took place in a hostile environment within the United States. It was not so much a struggle against physical forces that could be vanquished, but against the subtle and malignant forces of racism, discrimination, and bigotry.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Preface, page 7 (Roy I. Sano)

Acknowledgement, page 9 (Charles Yrignoyen, Jr.)

Overview, page 11 (Artermio R. Guillermo)

Contributors, page 15

1. Sojourners in the Land of the Free: History of Southern Asian United Methodist Churches, page 19 (Man Singh Das)

2. Birthing of a Church: History of Formosan United Methodist Churches, page 35 (Helen Kuang Chang)

3. Trials and Triumphs: History of Korean United Methodist Churches, page 46 (Key Ray Chong and Myoung Gul Son)

4. Strangers Called to Mission: History of Chinese American United Methodist Churches, page 68 (Wilbur W.Y. Choy)

5. Gathering of the Scattered: History of Filipino American United Methodist Churches, page 91 (Artermio R. Guillermo)

6. Persecution, Alienation, and Resurrection: History of Japanese Methodist Churches, page 113 (Lester E. Suzuki)

7. Movement of Self-Empowerment: History of the National Federation of Asian American United Methodists, page 135 (Jonah Chang)

CITATION

Artemio R. Guillermo, General Editor. Churches Aflame: Asian Americans and United Methodism. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1991.  ISBN 0-687-08383-4

Asian American Legacy: Hideo Hashimoto

One of the things I wanted to do when I was in academia was to bring about greater awareness of Asian American religious history. More specifically, I wanted to enrich the story of Christianity in the United States by shedding light on the legacy of Asian American Christian witness. But these plans were sidetracked when I left my position as a seminary professor in 2006 and helped to start the Institute for the Study of Asian American Christianity (ISAAC). As full-time Pastor of English Ministries at Canaan Taiwanese Christian Church over the past four years, I’ve also had little opportunity to pursue this dream. But I feel that the time is right to resume this quest.

So, I am starting an Asian American Christian Legacy collaborative blog series. I want to devote each blog to an Asian American Christian leader and a representative primary document. That person may or may not be well-known. But I believe that making that person’s story and his or her own words accessible to the public will add to our knowledge and appreciation of the Asian American Christianity. Because this is a collaborative effort, I invite anyone who has more information about a particular figure to share citations, links, photos, or videos. Please also recommend people to include in this series!

* * *

Hideo Hashimoti c. 1955 from Lewis & Clark Digital Collections

Let’s start with Rev. Dr. Hideo Hashimoto (1911-2003).

I first became aware of Dr. Hashimoto while reading his sermon, “The Babylonian Exile and the Love of God.” The sermon was part of a collection of messages delivered by Japanese American pastors on the Sunday before all West Coast Japanese Americans were relocated from their homes and, eventually, into internment camps. Each pastor and congregant knew that their lives would be disrupted and forever altered. The pastors all encouraged their flocks to stand firm and face the future with faith and courage. Hashimoto, ordained in the Methodist Church in 1939 and a graduate of Union Theological Seminary in New York, spoke poignantly about the significance of suffering and recognition of sin. He linked the Japanese American experience to Israel’s exilic period. I have posted the sermon in its entirety below.

At the moment, I know very little about Dr. Hashimoto and almost nothing about his parents – except that his mother was killed by the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.[1] Nor do I know whether he grew up in a Christian family or came to profess his faith later in life. I do know that Hideo Hashimoto was born in the United States on Feb. 13, 1911 (I’m not sure of the location). His parents sent him to Japan for primary school education, but he returned to the U.S. for high school. He could marginally be considered a kibei (i.e., a person born in the United States of Japanese immigrant parents and educated chiefly in Japan). In 1934, Hashimoto received a B.S. degree from the University of California and became very interested in Japan-U.S. relations and, apparently, ministry. In 1940 he earned a Bachelor of Divinity in Christian ethics from Union Theological Seminary, New York. He studied under Reinhold Niebuhr, who he considered his most important professor at Union (Hashimoto would “fondly remember Niebuhr’s wartime efforts to persuade the [Roosevelt] administration not to intern the Japanese.”)

But he disagreed sharply with Niebuhr regarding public and international affairs. Niebuhr urged the United States to enter the war against the Axis Powers, but Hashimoto favored neutrality. Hashimoto noted that “that has been the story of my theology and ethics pretty much since my seminary days, especially on the issue of war and politics.” [2]

In the 1940s, Hashimoto was pastor at several Japanese American Methodist congregations and at the Jerome Relocation Center in Arkansas, where he met his wife, Rayko. He then earned a Th.D. from the Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, Ca. in 1949. That summer, just as he was about to assume a pastoral position at a Japanese American Methodist Church in Spokane, Washington, he was invited to join the faculty of Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon where he served until retirement [3]

Incidentally, there was a Japanese American Captain – a Korean War hero – who was also named Hideo Hashimoto. See
http://www.history.army.mil/books/korea/20-2-1/sn24.htm

But our Hideo Hashimoto taught in the Department of Religious Studies from 1949 until 1976. Throughout his teaching career he invested an enormous amount of energy into peace and social justice efforts. He was active in the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the Oregon Inter-religious Committee for Peace in the Middle East, the American Friends Service Committee, the Portland Urban League, and the Oregon-Idaho Conference Board of Church and Society.

In fall 1969, Hashimoto was appointed by the American Friends Service Committee to be special Quaker representative for United States-Japan relations. He devoted his sabbatical to facilitating the return of Okinawa to Japan. [4]

After his retirement, he worked tirelessly against the proliferation of nuclear arms, earning him Multnomah County’s first Peace Award in 1991.[5]

After his death on June 22, 2003, John Anderson, professor emeritus of religious studies at Lewis & Clark noted that “Hideo was a great peace lover and activist…He was an energetic social activist up to his death.” [6]

His papers (Hideo Hashimoto papers) are located at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland, so perhaps someone has or can take a look. More details about his faith-inspired public witness would be truly invaluable!

NOTES:

[1] Board of County Commissioners for Multnomah County, Oregon. “Proclamation 91-111: In the Matter of Honoring Dr. Hideo Hashimoto for his Contribution to the National and Local Peace Movement on the Occasion of the 46th anniversary of the Bombing of Hiroshima.” (August 6, 1991)

[2] cited in Ronald H. Stone, Professor Reinhold Niebuhr: A Mentor to the Twentieth Century (Westminster/John Knox, 1992), p 144.

[3] “Japanese Pastor Wins High Post,” Spokane Daily Chronicle (Aug 1, 1949), p 1; “Rev. Maraji Goto takes post here,” Spokane Daily Chronicle (Aug 13, 1949), p 5

[4] “United States – Japan Relationship Reaches a Turning Point,” Friends Journal: Quaker Life and Thought Today, Dec 1, 1969 (vol 15, no 22), p 694
accessed at http://www.friendsjournal.org/wp-content/uploads/emember/downloads/1969/HC12-50466.pdf

[5]  “Hideo Hashimoto, Peace Activist” (Senate – August 02, 1991), Congressional Record, 102nd Congress (1991-1992) accessed at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?r102:S02AU1-3643:/

[6] “Hideo Hashimoto, professor emeritus of religious studies, died June 22, 2003, at age 92.” accessed at http://legacy.lclark.edu/dept/chron/profsmournedw04.html

* * *
Here is Rev. Hideo Hashimoto sermon to Fresno Japanese Methodist Church on the Sunday before evacuation. It is excerpted from Allan H. Hunter and Gurney Binford, eds., The Sunday Before (Sermons by Pacific Coast Pastors of the Japanese race on the Sunday before Evacuation to Assembly centers in the late spring of 1942) [unpublished manuscript, Graduate Theological Union Archives, Berkeley, CA http://gtu.edu/library/special-collections/archives]

The Babylonian Exile and the Love of God
(Sunday, May 10, 1942)

The order has been definitely issued that we are to be evacuated, beginning the coming Friday. This is the last Sunday of our life outside the barbed wire fences.

A myriad of mixed feelings overcomes us as we reflect upon the past – how we took freedom for granted; of the future – of the life in the concentration camps; children cramped and stunted; young people, demoralized; old people, bitter. And the present, a nightmare.

How are we going to “take it”? are we going to be bitter and resentful? Are we going to be cynical and indifferent? Or are we going to overcome the paralyzing and embittering experiences of these days and of even more critical days to come, and turn this evil to good?

Whenever we are confronted with the painfulness of the present, the immediacy of which overcomes us like a distorted out-of-focus close-up in a snapshot, it helps us to take a long look back to a period of human history when man had gone through similar experiences, unscathed, triumphant.

Compared with the harrowing experiences of the Jewish people following the defeat of Jerusalem, 597 B.C., ours is but nothing.

The terror of that war, the bitterness of defeat, the resentment against being torn away from home, still somewhat stunned but unconsciously the rebellious feeling of a despondent captive in the midst of repulsive splendor of the conquering civilization – these are all reflected in the sorrowful poetry of the Lamentations and the 137th Psalm:

By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.
. . . Ps 137

This song ends with the terrible vindictiveness of a wronged patriot. This was quite natural, and to be expected. Yet, this was not the only reaction of the Israelites in their suffering.

A great jump ahead in the history of the Jewish religion, in fact, in the whole history of religious experience of the human race came out of the experience of exile and captivity. The Providence and Love of God which passes all human understanding manifest themselves under strangely wonderful circumstances.

An unknown prophet, known to Old Testament scholars as the Second Isaiah, reveals the depth of the love of God which was not excelled until the coming of Jesus, the incarnation of the Love of God, himself. He began with the great triumphant and hopeful strain, set to the immortal music of Handel’s Messiah:

Comfort ye, comfort ye my people,
says your God.
Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem,
and cry unto her,
That her warfare is accomplished,
that her iniquity is pardoned:
That she has received of Yahweh’s hand
double for all her sins.
(Isa. 40:1-2) (Bewer)

The first great emphasis was that God is One. There is no other God. The Lord is the Creator. He uses his instruments, as he will – Babylonians or Cyrus. The creature has no right to question the Creator.

Does one strive with his Maker?
a potsherd with the potter?
Does the clay say to him that fashions it,
“What makest thou?
And thy work has no handles”? …

I have made the earth, and created man upon it;
I, even My hands, have stretched out the heavens,
and all their hosts have I commanded,
I have raised him up in righteousness,
and I will make straight all his ways;
He shall build My city, and let My exiles go free,
Not for price nor reward, says Yahweh of hosts.
(Isa. 45:9-11) (Bewer) {n.b.: correct citation is Isa 45:9, 12-13}

Israel is the chosen race of Yahweh. “For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name.” (45:4)

But this relationship is not that of special favoritism. Israel is not to be the conquerors and victors. They are to be redeemers, the Suffering Servant.

Behold, My servant, whom I uphold,
My chosen, in whom My soul delights;
I have put My Spirit upon him,
he shall bring forth justice to the Gentiles.
He will not cry, nor lift up his voice,
nor cause it to be heard in the street.
A bruised reed will he not break,
and the dimly burning wick will he not quench.
He will bring forth justice in truth.
He will not fail nor be discouraged,
Till he have set justice in the earth:
and the isles shall wait for his instruction.
(Isa. 42:1-4) (Bewer)

This second point concerning the Suffering Servant was a great forward step in the evolution of religion. It was no less the revelation of the depth of the Love of God! Until then, Jewish religion had been teaching that the righteous will prosper and the wrongdoers, suffer. Now, this great Prophet reveals the Love of God which turns the misfortunes of a chosen people into their own good, using both the chosen and the foreign races as instruments in His Divine Plan.

Six hundred years later, Jesus Christ fulfilled the prophecy of this great seer, who laid the very foundations of the belief in the redemptive love, central in the Christian faith.

Out of the depth of despair and suffering, the prophet saw the truth of Love that stoops to save the most undeserving sinner. He showed thus that even out of racial disaster and tragedy can come a great good; that out of the depth of despair one can peer into the depth of unfathomable Love of God.

The situation which confronts us as we meet together in this last Sunday service before evacuation is far from the horror and disaster of the people of Jerusalem. There is not the physical suffering nor the bitterness toward those who must carry out the order. We go as residents and citizens of a nation cooperating in the efforts for national defense. We have grave doubts as to the wisdom of this procedure and as to the motives of some of the groups that engineered this evacuation. Yet we have nothing but good will and the sense of loyalty to the people and the nation.

Yet some of the elements of the circumstances and the feeling of Israel are there. We are branded as enemy aliens. We are to be uprooted from HOME as we know and loved it. We must cast away the business and other endeavors for livelihood built after a generation of toil and seat. We are to be carried away captive, exiles – destination unknown. The same longing for home, for creative participation in the nation in crisis, for freedom, above all, is there.

In a sense, our being evacuated is the consequence of our sinfulness. As American citizens of Japanese ancestry, we had a great mission to fulfill. We were destined to be the bridge-builders of the Pacific.

But we failed. In our self-centeredness, like Jonah, we ran away from our great mission. We thought only of fun, thrill, and good time. We sought fame, reputation, to be a “good sport.” We sought money and soft, easy, comfortable lives. We were constantly reminded of our task, until we were sick and tired of hearing about “Bridge-builders of the Pacific.” Yet, instead of going straight toward our responsibility, we went in the opposite direction – money making, self seeking, sin. For sin means going the opposite direction from God-given destiny.

This war, this suffering, and our evacuation, is partially our fault and our making. If we had been vigilant, and stuck to our God-given mission, working with all our heart and soul to prevent war and make for peace, justice and true democracy, the situation may have been different somewhat.

From the standpoint of American democracy, this evacuation is a sham, a dangerous attack upon the fundamental principle upon which our nation in built.

But from the standpoint of a Christian Nisei, it is a well-deserved punishment for our indifference, our falling down on the job, our self-centeredness, our sin.

Yet, it is far more than punishment. God turns even the sins of man to work for his redemption. The people of Israel saw a great light in the prophecy of Second Isaiah in the pitch darkness of despair. We must seek the same light.

A piece of grit gets into an oyster shell. The oyster senses what corresponds to human pain. It builds hard tissue around it to protect itself. Lo, a pearl!

God does not purposefully give suffering to man. Suffering comes from the result of man’s sin.

Yet, God uses even the consequence of sin to the end that man should see aright and turn to Him, and turn back to the God-given mission for his life.

Our evacuation must prove more redemptive than punitive. We have been shocked into the realization that we have fallen down upon the God-given task. We have come to realize that we have been sinful. We have been shocked into realizing that the world is not an easy-going, happy-go-lucky sort of picnic, but a just, righteous, and moral one, where man reaps what he sows.

Moreover, in the congested Centers where we are destined to stay, perhaps for the “duration”, we shall be given an unexcelled opportunity for the practice of what we have been taught to believe. It was difficult in the world, where competition was the order of society to practice neighborliness and brotherhood. In the camps, cooperation will not only be highly desirable, it will be the absolute opportunity to prove that Christianity works and the Christian spirit alone works. If it doesn’t work in the Centers, it will not work anywhere. For that very reason, Christians are on the trial. This is the testing of our faith.

It is not enough that we go half the way; we must go the whole way – to make friends, to be good neighbors (a good neighbor means a great deal when there is but a partial partition between the apartments), to serve, and to sacrifice.

God is ever with us; but especially in our trials and tribulations. Like another Isaiah, we turn from despair and find God, forever ready to stoop down to save us, giving us a new insight into the Heart of Hearts, the citadel of Love. The minute we realize our relation with the Eternal, the Creator, we are free. The army rules, bayonets, and barbed wire fences cannot hold us.

If only there are stars,
I have my friends.
But in the dark
I think upon my fate,
And all
My spirit sickens
And the hard tears fall.

Around my prison
Runs a high stockade;
And from my wrists
Chains dangle;
But no power
Can lock my eyes.

So can I steal
This lovely light
That wraps me –
This radiance
That drips
Out of the Dipper

Dragging my chains
I climb
To the tall window-ledge;
And though
My body cannot crawl
Between those grim iron rods,
Still can I
Laugh as my spirit flies
Into the purple skies!

Northward and northward,
Up and up,
Up to the world of light
I go bounding;
Farewell, O Earth, farewell,
What need I now of your freedom?

Fearless, I fly and fly,
On through the heavenly sky;
Breaking all prison bars,
My soul sleeps with the stars!

(From SONGS FROM THE SLUMS – by Toyohiko Kagawa)

We are free – free to grow in faith, free to serve our fellow men, free to search the unfathomable depth of the Love of God, free to seek and fulfill our mission.

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