“Undesirable Citizens and Neighbors”: Japanese Immigration and Life in the Pacific Northwest, 1890-1924

On March 16, 2021, a shooting spree took place in Atlanta, Georgia and resulted in eight victims killed and one injured. The shooting, which occurred at three different massage parlors and spas, has prompted a deeper national discussion than one typically had after such a tragedy. With the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, anti-Asian hate crimes have exploded since the outbreak of the virus as many Asian-Americans have been blamed for the spread of the virus. As the Atlanta shooting has highlighted the surge of anti-Asian sentiments across the country, the United States once again reckons with its ugly history of racism against Asians. Though many different groups of Asian-Americans have experienced discrimination in their history in the United States, the experience of Japanese Americans is well-known and pertinent to the discourse. Despite being seen as a “model minority” in the years since World War II, early Japanese immigration is riddled with examples of discrimination and viole

From Metrapolis to Palouse: Interview with Jade Shen

Washington State University is an institution that commits to being a welcoming school to students from any and all backgrounds. While the push for greater diversity on campus is slow compared to other universities, a growing number of international students have chosen to spend their college years at a school nestled within rolling hills of wheat-fields. In 2019, WSU reported that enrollment of international students totaled 2,267, with 1,001 undergraduate and 1,140 graduate students for all of its campuses. Despite the number rising to 2,351 during Spring 2020, international students only make up 7.1% of the total student population. [1]   Within the WSU History Department, only four international students are a part of the Graduate School. In this interview, we meet with Jade (Qianni) Shen, an MA student from Shanghai, China who is studying cultural and social differences between Chinese and Japanese soldiers during the Second Sino-Japanese War. Shen had attended WSU for her underg

Roots of American Individualism and the Current U.S. Response to COVID-19