Museum Picks

James Tanaka’s pick: Politics of Prejudice

Because the handout given to docents-in-training at the Japanese American National Museum provides only the facts, I turned to Politics of Prejudice: The Anti-Japanese Movement in California and the Struggle for Japanese Exclusion by Roger Daniels, to find out more about the “whys” behind the laws that were passed against the Japanese and the situation that existed between the United States and Japan before World War II.

I wanted to find out more about the “climate,” the anti-Japanese feeling, between the Americans and the immigrant Japanese and Japanese Americans. This study provided the answers I was searching for. Politics of Prejudice “covers the development of the anti-Japanese movement in California from its inception in the late nineteenth century until its ‘victory’ in the passage of the immigration act excluding Japanese from entering the United States in 1924.” Roger Daniels has documented the history of the anti-Japanese movement and the struggle to exclude the Japanese from immigrating to the United States with the Chinese, a movement that eventually led to the exclusion of all people of Asian descent.

James K. Tanaka is a Volunteer Docent at the Japanese American National Museum. He also assists the Museum Store.

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