Tsuru Scholars Council

Collage Map of the U.S. with fragments of letters writen between Japanese American incarcerees, newspapers reporting on Japanese American Incarceration, with tsuru marking the 10 main WRA camps geographically

Researchers and scholars operating both inside and outside of institutions of higher learning have long played a role in struggles for racial justice and solidarity. With that historical precedent in mind, student Mieko Kuramoto and professors Takeo Rivera and Franklin Odo established the Tsuru Scholars’ Council to provide to conduct research aligned with Tsuru’s educational mission, and to organize support for the work of Tsuru for Solidarity within universities and the broader academy.

Currently, the Scholars’ Council is working in collaboration with Densho to build a Japanese American Solidarity Resource Bank, currently still under development, to provide an academic reservoir for activists and educators interested in either teaching more about solidarity, or learning more for themselves.

In addition, university-affiliated faculty and graduate students operate as campus liaisons for Tsuru’s work, providing additional information and passing along Tsuru operations to student leaders at their organizations.

Several members of the Scholars’ Council developed a thorough curriculum on the incarceration through Brown University’s Choices Program, viewable here.

Other additional links:

Densho Resource Guide https://resourceguide.densho.org/

Black and Asian Feminist Solidarities Reading List: https://www.blackwomenradicals.com/blog-feed/black-and-asian-feminist-solidarities-a-reading-list

Out of the Desert (Yale) Historical Archive: https://outofthedesert.yale.edu/

If you would like to get involved with the Scholars’ Council, please email Takeo Rivera at tekr@bu.edu. 

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Header image: This map of the U.S. is made up of news clippings reporting on the Japanese American incarceration, files from the Department of Justice and War Relocation Authority documenting east and west coast evacuees, as well as excerpts of family letters sent to a Japanese American Issei father who was separated from his family and imprisoned shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Each War Relocation Authority Center is labeled by name and noted with a red tsuru. Credit: Lauren Sumida, 2020