Japanese Americans

The History and Culture of a People

by Jonathan H. X. Lee, Editor


The 442nd Regimental Combat Team—a U.S. Army infantry regiment in World War II that was almost entirely comprised of American soldiers of Japanese ancestry—was the most decorated military unit in United States history. Yet over the course of the war, more than 100,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans were interned under Executive Order 9066.

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Cover image for Japanese Americans

November 2017


Pages 462
Volumes 1
Size 7x10
Topics American History/Race and Ethnicity
  Race and Ethnicity/Asian American Studies

This book provides a comprehensive story of the complicated and rich story of the Japanese American experience—from immigration, to discrimination, to adaptation, achievement and contributions to the American mosaic.

Japanese Americans: The History and Culture of a People highlights the enormous contributions of Japanese Americans in history, civil rights, politics, economic development, arts, literature, film, popular culture, sports, and religious landscapes. It not only provides context to important events in Japanese American history and in-depth information about the lives and backgrounds of well-known Japanese Americans, but also captures the essence of everyday life for Japanese Americans as they have adjusted their identities, established communities, and interacted with other ethnic groups. This innovative volume will become the standard resource for exploring why the Japanese came to America more than 130 years ago, where they settled, and what experiences played a role in forming the distinctive Japanese American identity.


  • Includes more than 200 clearly written, cross-referenced entries that present brief histories on the key people, places, and events associated with Japanese American history
  • Highlights the distinctive contributions of Japanese Americans to the fabric and plurality of American life
  • Describes the political, social, and religious institutions founded by Japanese Americans and the community-building, activist, and philanthropic roles they have played
  • Provides a chronology of events, illustrations, and collection of primary documents
Author Info

Jonathan H. X. Lee is associate professor of Asian American studies at San Francisco State University. His published works include ABC-CLIO's Chinese Americans: The History and Culture of a People; Encyclopedia of Asian American Folklore and Folklife; History of Asian Americans: Exploring Diverse Roots; and Asian American Religious Cultures.



"Japanese Americans: The History and Culture of a People is a single-volume comprehensive resource that addresses many aspects of Japanese American history and culture. . . .highly recommended and would be a welcome and valuable addition to any academic or public library."RUSA

"This book will be a valuable resource for a variety of audiences interested in the history and contributions of Japanese Americans. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All public and academic levels/libraries."Choice

"This single-volume work provides a comprehensive look at the experiences and achievements of Japanese Americans in many facets of American history and life. . . . This volume would be a useful addition to public and undergraduate libraries."Booklist

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