JAPANESE AMERICAN WARTIME EXPERIENCE, TAMOTSU SHIBUTANI AND METHODOLOGICAL INNOVATION, 1942–1978
Article first published online: 4 SEP 2012
© 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences
Volume 48, Issue 4, pages 318–338, Autumn 2012
How to Cite
INOUYE, K. M. (2012), JAPANESE AMERICAN WARTIME EXPERIENCE, TAMOTSU SHIBUTANI AND METHODOLOGICAL INNOVATION, 1942–1978. J. Hist. Behav. Sci., 48: 318–338. doi: 10.1002/jhbs.21564
- Issue published online: 12 OCT 2012
- Article first published online: 4 SEP 2012
A case study of how wartime internment reverberated in the life and work of Japanese American intellectuals, this essay discusses the career and interests of Tamotsu Shibutani, a sociologist who began his training as part of Dorothy Swaine Thomas’ Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study (JERS). Though recent scholarship has noted some of the ethical problems that attended the use of Japanese American participant observers during the war, this essay concentrates instead on how interned intellectuals responded to their double role of both researcher (and intellectual) and object of study. I argue that in the case of Shibutani, his circumstances and identity shaped his scholarship, both as an academic endeavor and a political project. By tracking Shibutani's postwar scholarly activities, I show that his wartime experiences—as an internee, military officer, and participant-observer—reverberated in his sociological publications long after the war's end.