Tattered Cover is pleased to welcome Art Hansen and Gail Kuromiya to our McGregor Square location on May 29th at 6pm! They will be discussing and celebrating Beyond the Betrayal: The Memoir of a World War II Japanese American Draft Resister of Conscience (Nikkei in the Americas)! This event is free to the public and does not require a ticket for entry.
Arthur will also say a few words about his other book, Manzanar Mosaic, that shares themes with Beyond the Betrayal! Find a review of Manzanar Mosaic here.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Beyond the Betrayal is a lyrically written memoir by Yoshito Kuromiya (1923–2018), a Nisei member of the Fair Play Committee (FPC), which was organized at the Heart Mountain concentration camp. The first book-length account by a Nisei World War II draft resister, this work presents an insider’s perspective on the FPC and the infamous trial condemning its members' efforts. It offers not only a beautifully written account of an important moment in US history but also a rare acknowledgment of dissension within the resistance movement, both between the young men who went to prison and their older leaders and also among the young men themselves. Kuromiya’s narrative is enriched by contributions from Frank Chin, Eric L. Muller, and Lawson Fusao Inada.
Of the 300 Japanese Americans who resisted the military draft on the grounds that the US government had deprived them of their fundamental rights as US citizens, Kuromiya alone has produced an autobiographical volume that explores the short- and long-term causes and consequences of this fateful wartime decision. In his exquisitely written and powerfully documented testament he speaks truth to power, making evident why he is eminently qualified to convey the plight of the Nisei draft resisters. He perceptively reframes the wartime and postwar experiences of the larger Japanese American community, commonly said to have suffered in the spirit of shikata ga nai—enduring that which cannot be changed—and emerged with dignity.
Beyond the Betrayal makes abundantly clear that the unjustly imprisoned Nisei could and did exercise their patriotism even when they refused to serve in the military in the name of civil liberties and social justice. Kuromiya’s account, initially privately circulated only to family and friends, is an invaluable and insightful addition to the Nikkei historical record.
ABOUT ART HANSEN
ARTHUR A. HANSEN is emeritus professor of history, founding director of the Japanese American Project of the Oral History Program and the Center for Oral and Public History, and founding faculty member of the Asian American Studies Program at California State University, Fullerton. He has been honored as both the Outstanding Teacher and the Outstanding Faculty Member in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at CSUF. He was senior historian at the Japanese American National Museum and received the Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Asian American Studies in 2007 and the Sue Kunitomi Embrey Legacy Award from the Manzanar Committee in 2014. He is also the author of Barbed Voices: Oral History, Resistance, and the World War II Japanese American Social Disaster and Manzanar Mosaic: Essays and Oral Histories on America's First World War II Japanese American Concentration Camp and editor of Nisei Naysayer: The Memoir of Militant Japanese American Journalist Jimmie Omura and Beyond the Betrayal: The Memoir of a World War II Japanese American Draft Resister of Conscience.
ABOUT GAIL KUROMIYA
Gail Kuromiya is the third of four daughters of Yoshito Kuromiya. She grew up in southern California and after stints at Pasadena City College, Cal Poly Pomona and Southern California Institute of Architecture, graduated from Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington with a degree in Visual Communications Education in 1981. She worked in the private architectural and graphic design fields for ten years before returning to WWU as staff in the Facilities Development Department. She worked in various capacities (master planning, graphics, communications) for 28 years and retired in 2019. The same year, Art Hansen offered to edit and submit her father’s (Yosh Kuromiya) memoir for publishing by an academic press. It is the only book length account by a Nisei WWII draft resister. The memoir had already been rejected by one university press; the sisters had created a family version prior to Yosh’s death in 2018. Gail became Art’s family contact person and assistant in what would become a nearly three-year project. Her sisters, Suzi, Sharon and Miya, contributed to the preparation of the manuscript using their design and research skills. A book contract was signed with the University Press of Colorado in May 2020 followed by the first printing the end of 2021. A paperback version was printed in December 2022.