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A Nikkei Harvest

By Arthur Hansen

“A Nikkei Harvest: Reviewing the Japanese American Historical Experience and Its Legacy” is authored by Arthur A. Hansen, a pre-eminent scholar of the Japanese American experience, with late scholar Wayne Maeda. More than a collection of their book reviews in the Nichi Bei Weekly and Nichi Bei News over a 14-year span, it intertwines together what University of Pennsylvania History Professor Eiichiro Azuma calls “A must read for both academics and laypersons.”

Through his “careful and conscientious reviews of scholarly and literary works,” Azuma says Hansen “tells us a lot about the state of the field of Japanese American studies and key aspects of Nikkei experience. But he also successfully weaves new research findings into narratives of his own to enhance a public understanding of their complex and fascinating history.” Hansen’s work is grouped within nine thematic chapters encompassing the Japanese American past and present.

All of these chapters are prefaced by extensive headnotes that provide a means of contextualizing their respective subject area, says Hansen. The reviews themselves, taken collectively, are designed “to simultaneously illuminate and interrogate the Japanese American historical experience and legacy.”