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The Long Afterlife of Nikkei Wartime Incarceration$
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Karen M. Inouye

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780804795746

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804795746.001.0001

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Personal Disclosure as a Catalyst for Empathetic Agency

Personal Disclosure as a Catalyst for Empathetic Agency

(p.55) Two Personal Disclosure as a Catalyst for Empathetic Agency
The Long Afterlife of Nikkei Wartime Incarceration
Karen M. Inouye
Stanford University Press

Chapter Two examines the growing willingness of Japanese Americans to engage in personal disclosure regarding wartime incarceration. Taking former U.S. Representative Norman Mineta as a case study, it demonstrates that Nikkei did not undertake such disclosures lightly, but rather recognized the importance of first-person singular modes of address for creating legislative coalitions. With respect to Mineta, that willingness to disclose the particulars of incarceration built on an empathetic engagement with economic and social justice that had informed his career from early on. During the pursuit of redress in the United States, however, what had been an implicit engagement with the past became explicit, so much so that it came eventually to inform Mineta's decisions concerning post-9/11 policy. In this respect, the pursuit of empathetic agency not only changed Mineta; it also changed him, rendering that agency both transmissible and reciprocal.

Keywords:   Civil Liberties Act, first-person plural address, Heart Mountain, Daniel Inouye, Spark Matsunaga, Norman Mineta, Alan Simpson, personal disclosure, racial profiling, redress

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