Why Don’t We Know Mitsuye Endo?

The Layers of Silence Around a Japanese American Hero and Her Landmark Supreme Court Case

Since 2017, a famous black-and-white photo has stayed with me: a young Japanese American woman sitting in front of a typewriter, hands poised in the home position, looking over her left shoulder and directing a close-lipped smile at the camera.

The photograph depicts Mitsuye Endo. At the time it was taken, circa 1944, she was incarcerated in an American concentration camp in Topaz, Utah. Of the four young Nisei—American-born children of Japanese immigrants—who contested the grounds of their incarceration at the Supreme Court, Endo was the only one who won her …

The Tokyo Shrine That Will Never Find Peace | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Tokyo Shrine That Will Never Find Peace

What’s Left to Salvage in a Monument That Refuses to Accept the Sins of the Past?

The Yasukuni Shrine is an island of calm in an otherwise bustling city. Mature pines and cypress trees surround it, screening it from Tokyo’s relentless traffic noise. Shady walkways, sacred …

The Birth of Wheelchair Basketball | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Birth of Wheelchair Basketball

World War II Veterans Popularized the Sport—And Changed the Game for the Disability Rights Movement

On an unremarkable Wednesday evening in the spring of 1948, 15,561 spectators flocked to New York’s Madison Square Garden to watch two teams of World War II veterans play an …

What We Don’t Understand About Fascism | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

What We Don’t Understand About Fascism

Using the Word Incorrectly Oversimplifies History—And Won't Help Us Address Our Current Political Crisis

At the moment, fascism has to be the most sloppily used term in the American political vocabulary. If you think fascists are buffoonish, racist, misogynist despots, the people who support …

The West Virginia Hotel Workers Who Ironed the Sheets of Their Enemies | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The West Virginia Hotel Workers Who Ironed the Sheets of Their Enemies

After World War II Broke Out, Hundreds of Axis Diplomats Were Detained in America’s Rural Luxury Resorts

In the 1930s, as the drumbeats of war in Europe and the Far East grew louder, Americans maintained their workaday lives and strived for business as usual—as did their employers. …