Distant Islands

By Daniel H. Inouye

Distant Islands is a narrative history of the Japanese American community in New York City between America’s centennial year and the Great Depression of the 1930s. Often overshadowed by the Japanese diaspora on the West Coast, this community, which dates back to the 1870s, was a composite of several micro communities divided along status, class, geographic, and religious lines. Using oral histories, memoirs, newspapers, government documents, photographs, and more, Daniel H. Inouye, a lecturer in history, tells the stories of business and professional elites, midsized merchants, small business owners, workingclass families, menial laborers, and students in these communities. The book reveals the common humanity of pioneering Japanese New Yorkers despite diverse socioeconomic backgrounds and life stories.