Yamato Ichihashi

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Yamato Ichihashi (1878–1963) was one of the first academics of Asian ancestry in the United States. Ichihashi wrote a comprehensive account of his experiences as an internee at the Tule Lake War Relocation Center where he was imprisoned in World War II along with other relocated Japanese Americans.

Ichihashi was born in Nagoya, of the Aichi prefecture of Japan in 1878. He was the son of Ichihashi Hiromasha, a former samurai, and Maizuno Ai. He came to the United States in 1894 at the age of 16. He completed public school in San Francisco, graduated from Stanford University with a bachelors and a master's degree in economics, and earned his Ph.D. at Harvard. In 1913, he began teaching about Japanese history and government, international relations, and the Japanese American experience at Stanford. This continued until World War II began. Ichihashi was upset that Japan started the war and purchased US war bonds in support of the Americans. Despite this, he and his wife, Kei, were uprooted and imprisoned as part of the mass relocation of Japanese Americans during World War II. Ichihashi and many other of the relocated were at first housed in California's Santa Anita racetrack, where 5 to 6 people were housed in horse stables before being relocated to more permanent camps.

In 1932, Ichihashi wrote a classic account of the early history of Japanese in the United States.

Ichihashi's papers are housed in the special collections of Stanford University's Green Library.


  • Chang, Gordon H. Morning Glory, Evening Shadow: Yamato Ichihashi and His Internment Writings, 1942-1945. Stanford University Press, 1999.
  • Chang, Gordon H. "We almost wept." Stanford Today Online. Nov/Dec, 1996.