Voices Rising

Asian Canadian Cultural Activism

Xiaoping Li

  • Published: 2007
  • Subject Listing: American Ethnic Studies, Asian American Studies, Cultural Studies
  • Bibliographic information: 296 pp., 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: Usa Only
  • Distributed for: UBC Press
  • Contents

The uprooting and confinement of Japanese Americans and Japanese Canadians during the Second World War constituted the worst violations of citizenship rights in twentieth-century North America. Voices Raised in Protest examines the meaning and impact of these actions and how they diverged in Canada and the United States.

Many North Americans opposed their governments' wartime policies toward their fellow citizens of Japanese extraction. In this timely book, Stephanie Bangarth studies the efforts and discourse of anti-internment advocates, and discusses the various cases they brought before the courts. Persons of Japanese ancestry were also active in their own defence. Their critiques of the removal and deportation policies were seminal examples of a growing general interest in civil rights, and would provide a foundation for rights activism in subsequent years.

Voices Raised in Protest offers valuable perspective for today's debates over ethnic and racial profiling, treatment of "enemy combatants," and tensions between civil-liberty and security imperatives. It will be of interest to activists and general readers as well as to scholars and students in history, law, politics, and Asian Canadian/American studies.
Stephanie Bangarth is an assistant professor of history at King's University College at The University of Western Ontario.

"A meticulously researched book on the campaigns to protect the citizenship rights of Japanese Americans and Japanese Canadians amid their wartime exclusion and confinement. Bangarth skilfully contrasts American and Canadian institutions and ideas, presenting readers from each country a chance to better grasp the nature of civil society and race relations in the other - areas in which complacency, defensiveness, and stereotyping all too frequently take hold."
-Greg Robinson, author of By Order of the President: FDR and the Internment of Japanese-Americans

"This important book should be part of any senior undergraduate or graduate course on human rights history, ethnic history, or even comparative history."
-Ross Lambertson, author of Repression and Resistance: Canadian Human Rights Activists, 1930-1960


Part I: Mapping Asian Canadian Cultural Activism
1. The Culture Question
2. Inventing Asian Canadian Culture
3. Becoming "Asian Canadian"
4. The Site of Memory
5. Differently Together
6. Redefining Asian Canadian Women

Part II: Voices
7. Emergence
- Harry Aoki
- Tamio Wakayama
- Aiko Suzuki
- Keith Lock
- Terry Watada
- David (Kenji) Fujino
- Sean Gunn
- Keeman Wong

8. Cross the Threshold
- Fumiko Kiyooka
- William Lau
- Brenda Joy Lem
- Gu Xiong
- Kyo Maclear
- Mina Shum
- Valerie Sing Turner

9. Moving Ahead
- Alvin Erasga Tolentino
- Wayne Yung
- Kagan Goh
- Norman Lup Man Yeung
- Jen Lam


"This is an important and largely useful book. Its more trenchant perceptions should become embedded in the textbooks that still largely understate the overall significance of the long ordeal of the North American Japanese."
-Roger Daniels, Journal of American Ethnic History, Winter 2012