The Feminist Poetics and Transformative Ministry of Mitsuye Yamada and Michael Yasutake
- PUBLISHED: December 2020
- SUBJECT LISTING: Asian American Studies, Biography, Autobiography, and Memoir, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
- BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION: 272 Pages, 6 x 9 in, 17 b&w illus.
- ISBN: 9780295748269
Demanding liberation, advocating for the oppressed, and organizing for justice, siblings Mitsuye Yamada (1923–) and Michael Yasutake (1920–2001) rebelled against respectability and assimilation, charting their own paths for what it means to be Nisei. Raised in Seattle and then forcibly removed and detained in the Minidoka concentration camp, their early lives mirrored those of many second-generation Japanese Americans. Yasutake’s pacifism endured even with immense pressure to enlist during his confinement and in the years following World War II. His faith-based activism guided him in condemning imperialism and inequality, and he worked tirelessly to free political prisoners and defend human rights. Yamada became an internationally acclaimed feminist poet, professor, and activist who continues to speak out against racism and patriarchy.
Weaving together the stories of two distinct but intrinsically connected political lives, Nisei Radicals examines the siblings’ half century of dedication to global movements, including multicultural feminism, Puerto Rican independence, Japanese American redress, Indigenous sovereignty, and more. From displacement and invisibility to insurgent mobilization, Yamada and Yasutake rejected stereotypes and fought to dismantle systems of injustice.
Authors & Contributors
Diane C. Fujino is professor of Asian American studies at University of California, Santa Barbara. Her books include Heartbeat of Struggle: The Revolutionary Life of Yuri Kochiyama and Samurai among Panthers: Richard Aoki on Race, Resistance and a Paradoxical Life.
Exquisite in its rendering of the subject matter. A stunning piece of historical scholarship.- Arthur A. Hansen, editor of Nisei Naysayer
This transformative work emerges from the author's political commitments and determination, like those of Yamada and Yasutake, to act against exploitation and oppression in time and place.- Gary Y. Okihiro, author of The Boundless Sea: Self and History
A significant contribution to the fields of Asian American studies and history. By tracing how the siblings' confrontations of sexism, racism, and imperialism evolved over decades, Fujino shows how activism in prior eras informed activism in others.- Daryl Joji Maeda, author of Rethinking the Asian American Movement