Yuji Ichioka (1936-2002) was an American-born Japanese (Nisei) historian who pioneered in studies of Japanese American experiences.
Coining the term "Asian American," Ichioka was also instrumental in developing an academic field of Asian American Studies
since the late 1960s. The 2009 addition to the original Ichioka papers (processed in 2005) consists of personal documents,
materials relating to the establishment and initial operation of the UCLA Asian American Studies Center, Ichioka's involvement
in the early phase of an ethnic studies program at UC Berkeley and community activism in northern and southern California,
correspondence, conference planning and participations, publication drafts, research materials, teaching materials, and subject
Yuji Ichioka (1936-2002) was born in San Francisco, California, as a son of Japanese immigrants. Having interned at the Topaz
internment camp in Utah during the Pacific War, he returned to the San Francisco bay area with his parents and siblings to
start a new life in Berkeley, where he stayed until his high school graduation in 1954. Ichioka then served in the United
States Army to station in Germany, and after his discharge, he attended UCLA and graduated in 1962. Intending to pursue graduate
study in Chinese history with a fellowship from Columbia University, Ichioka moved to New York City, but he quit the program
soon after. Having served as a youth parole worker with the New York State Training School for Boys, he traveled to Japan
for the first time in the winter of 1966, an experience that inspired him to take up the study of Japanese language and pursue
research on Japanese immigrant experience in the United States. After he returned from the trans-Pacific trip, Ichioka enrolled
in an MA program in Japanese history at the University of California at Berkeley, which he completed in 1968. Around this
time, he also played a central role in forming the Asian American Political Alliance, and Ichioka, along with his partner
Emma Gee whom he had met at Columbia, steered the younger generations of Asian Americans to a civil right/antiwar movement.
Recruited as the instructor of the first Asian American studies course at UCLA, Ichioka took part in the establishment of
the UCLA Asian American Studies Center while maintaining his ties to early leaders in UC Berkeley's ethnic studies. By 1972,
Ichioka permanently moved to southern California, where he continued his research and writing on Japanese American history
until his death in September 2002. At UCLA he was Research Associate and Adjunct Associate Professor of History. Ichioka was
married to Emma Gee, a scholar of Asian American woman history, as well as a writer and labor activist.
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