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    "body": "<html><body><br/>\n<div id=\"databox-PeopleDisplay\">\n<table class=\"infobox\" width=\"200px;\">\n<tr>\n<th scope=\"row\" style=\"text-align:left;\">Name</th>\n<td style=\"text-align:left;\">James \"Jimmie\" Sakamoto</td>\n</tr>\n<tr>\n<th scope=\"row\" style=\"text-align:left;\">Born</th>\n<td style=\"text-align:left;\">1903</td>\n</tr>\n<tr>\n<th scope=\"row\" style=\"text-align:left;\">Died</th>\n<td style=\"text-align:left;\">December 3 1955</td>\n</tr>\n<tr>\n<th scope=\"row\" style=\"text-align:left;\">Birth Location</th>\n<td style=\"text-align:left;\">Seattle, WA</td>\n</tr>\n<tr>\n<th scope=\"row\" style=\"text-align:left;\">Generational Identifier</th>\n<td style=\"text-align:left;\">\n<p><a href=\"/wiki/Nisei\" title=\"Nisei\">Nisei</a>\n</p>\n</td>\n</tr>\n</table>\n</div>\n<div id=\"databox-People\" style=\"display:none;\">\n<p>FirstName:James;\nLastName:Sakamoto;\nDisplayName:James \"Jimmie\" Sakamoto;\nBirthDate:1903-01-01;\nDeathDate:1955-12-03;\nBirthLocation:Seattle, WA;\nGender:Male;\nEthnicity:JA;\nGenerationIdentifier:Nisei;\nNationality:US;\nExternalResourceLink:;\nPrimaryGeography:;\nReligion:;\n</p>\n</div>\n<div class=\"floatright\"></div>\n<div class=\"floatright\"></div>\n<p>Boxer, newspaper publisher, and <a href=\"/wiki/Japanese_American_Citizens_League\" title=\"Japanese American Citizens League\">Japanese American Citizens League</a> (JACL) founder. James \"Jimmie\" Sakamoto (1903–55) was an influential leader of one segment of the <a href=\"/wiki/Nisei\" title=\"Nisei\">Nisei</a> community before World War II. Urging fellow Nisei down an Americanization path in his Seattle-based newspaper, the <i>Japanese American Courier</i>, the blind former boxer was also one of the architects of the JACL philosophy. After being granted a leadership position in the administration of the <a href=\"/wiki/Puyallup_(detention_facility)\" title=\"Puyallup (detention facility)\">Puyallup Assembly Center</a>, his influence waned after the war. He died at age 52 from injuries sustained from getting hit by a car.\n</p>\n<div class=\"toc\" id=\"toc\"><div id=\"toctitle\"><h2>Contents</h2></div>\n<ul>\n<li class=\"toclevel-1 tocsection-1\"><a href=\"#Early_Life_and_Courier\"><span class=\"tocnumber\">1</span> <span class=\"toctext\">Early Life and <i>Courier</i></span></a></li>\n<li class=\"toclevel-1 tocsection-2\"><a href=\"#The_Crisis_of_War_and_Aftermath\"><span class=\"tocnumber\">2</span> <span class=\"toctext\">The Crisis of War and Aftermath</span></a></li>\n<li class=\"toclevel-1 tocsection-3\"><a href=\"#For_More_Information\"><span class=\"tocnumber\">3</span> <span class=\"toctext\">For More Information</span></a></li>\n<li class=\"toclevel-1 tocsection-4\"><a href=\"#Footnotes\"><span class=\"tocnumber\">4</span> <span class=\"toctext\">Footnotes</span></a></li>\n</ul>\n</div>\n<h2><span class=\"mw-headline\" id=\"Early_Life_and_Courier\">Early Life and <i>Courier</i></span></h2>\n<p>James Yoshinori Sakamoto was born in Seattle in 1903 to Osamu and Tsuchi Sakamoto, <a href=\"/wiki/Issei\" title=\"Issei\">Issei</a> who had migrated to the U.S. from Yamaguchi prefecture in 1894. Osamu had worked in a sawmill and as a farm worker before embarking on a string of businesses that included a restaurant, hotel, and used furniture store. Jimmie attended Seattle public schools including Pacific Grammar School and Franklin High School. At Franklin, be became a star athlete despite weighing less than 130 pounds. At age seventeen, the confident high schooler testified before a U.S. House committee investigating <a href=\"/wiki/Immigration\" title=\"Immigration\">Japanese immigration</a>. He also tried to enlist in the U.S. Army when the U.S. entered World War I, but was turned away due to his age.\n</p><p>Before graduating from high school, he decided to move east, finishing school in Princeton, New Jersey, and subsequently becoming the English language section editor of the<i> Japanese American News</i> in New York, position he held for three years. He married Frances Imai while in New York and had a daughter. He also pursued professional boxing, even fighting in Madison Square Garden. But his New York sojourn ended badly, with the untimely death of his wife and with eye injuries suffered in the ring putting him on the road to total blindness. He returned to Seattle in 1927.\n</p><p>Well-known from his days as an athlete, he became involved in Japanese American community politics and in 1928, with help from his parents, he started a pioneering newspaper he called the <i>Japanese American Courier</i>, the first to be published entirely in English for a Nisei audience. Sakamoto also became one of the founders of the fledgling Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), serving as national president from 1936 to 1938. He also organized a sprawling Japanese American sports organization known as the Courier League that came to include dozens of teams in several sports from throughout the Pacific Northwest and that also included a number of Chinese Americans teams.<sup class=\"reference\" id=\"cite_ref-1\"><a href=\"#cite_note-1\">[1]</a></sup> When the JACL newspaper, the <i><a href=\"/wiki/Pacific_Citizen_(newspaper)\" title=\"Pacific Citizen (newspaper)\">Pacific Citizen</a></i>, ran into difficulties in 1933, Sakamoto agreed to take it on, doing the editing and typesetting of that paper in addition to the <i>Courier</i> until 1939. He also remarried, to the Japan-born Misao Nishitani, and had three more daughters. Misao managed the business end of the newspaper—which often struggled financially—and played a key role in its survival.\n</p><p>As \"one of the key ideologues of the JACL,\" Sakamoto and the <i>Courier</i> espoused a strong faith in American institutions and urged Nisei to do everything possible to prepare themselves to take part in those institutions. While acknowledging discrimination, he felt that Nisei could help bring down those barriers by educating other Americans and to \"be able to act and to talk like their fellow Americans. If they can do that there will be no question of their being accepted by their fellows.\"<sup class=\"reference\" id=\"cite_ref-2\"><a href=\"#cite_note-2\">[2]</a></sup> His conservative brand of Americanism also embraced anti-Communism, opposed militant labor organizations, and discouraged protest over racial issues.\n</p><p>At the same time, historian <a href=\"/wiki/Yuji_Ichioka\" title=\"Yuji Ichioka\">Yuji Ichioka</a> also points out that Sakamoto and the paper espoused the concept of Nisei as cultural bridge between Japan and the U.S. As part of that role, he argued that Nisei were ideally suited to educate Americans about Japan. The <i>Courier</i> did its part by presenting the Japanese perspective on its expansionism in Asia from 1931 to 1940, decrying the perceived pro-China position of most other American publications. He also encouraged Nisei to learn the Japanese language (Sakamoto himself was bilingual and \"as forceful an orator in Japanese as he was in English\" according to JACL chronicler and friend <a href=\"/wiki/Bill_Hosokawa\" title=\"Bill Hosokawa\">Bill Hosokawa</a>) and to travel to Japan to get first hand knowledge of Japanese cultural and society, as he did in 1931. He did not see any of this as being contradictory to promoting Americanism; indeed Nisei would be better Americans by playing the \"bridge\" role.\n</p>\n<div class=\"toplink\"><a href=\"#top\"><i class=\"icon-chevron-up\"></i> Top</a></div><h2><span class=\"mw-headline\" id=\"The_Crisis_of_War_and_Aftermath\">The Crisis of War and Aftermath</span></h2>\n<p>As tensions between the U.S. and Japan rose in 1940, the \"bridge\" concept became untenable, and the paper doubled down on the Americanism theme, promoting unquestioned patriotism. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, he became chair of the newly formed JACL Emergency Defense Council. In January, that group issued a statement in which they pledged \"to uncover all subversive activity in our midst, and if need be we are ready to stand as protective custodians over our parent generation to guard against danger to the United States arising from our midst.\" The <i>Courier</i> continued to publish into 1942, and, when the exclusion orders came down, advocated cooperation with them \"loyally\" and \"cheerfully.\" The <i>Courier'</i>s last issue was dated April 24, 1942.\n</p><p>Most of the Japanese population in Seattle was sent to the Puyallup Assembly Center, built on the site of a fairgrounds 35 miles to the south. In a unique arrangement, local army officials largely turned over administration of the camp to the JACL Emergency Defense Council. Sakamoto became \"chief supervisor\" of the \"Japanese staff.\" Puyallup historian Louis Fiset cites Sakamoto's management style and appointment of JACL friends to other top positions as a source of dissension in the camp that led to the eventual dissolution of <a href=\"/wiki/Nikkei\" title=\"Nikkei\">Nikkei</a> self-governance. When the Puyallup population moved on to the <a href=\"/wiki/Minidoka\" title=\"Minidoka\">Minidoka</a> \"Relocation Center\" in the fall of 1942, there was no leadership role for Sakamoto given the limitations the <a href=\"/wiki/War_Relocation_Authority\" title=\"War Relocation Authority\">War Relocation Authority</a> (WRA) placed on self-government and the growing unpopularity of JACL leaders in WRA camps.\n</p><p>When the opportunity came, Misao and the two older daughters left Minidoka to resettle in Indiana, while Sakamoto stayed at Minidoka with the youngest daughter and his elderly parents. When the camp closed, he returned to Seattle, with his family joining him later. Lacking the capital to restart the paper, he eventually took a job with the St. Vincent de Paul Salvage Bureau, a Catholic run charity, where he worked for the rest of his life. On December 3, 1955, he was hit by a car while crossing a street on his way to work and died later that day.\n</p>\n<div id=\"authorByline\"><b>Authored by <a href=\"/wiki/Brian_Niiya\" title=\"Brian Niiya\">Brian Niiya</a>, Densho</b></div>\n<div id=\"citationAuthor\" style=\"display:none;\">Niiya, Brian</div>\n<div class=\"toplink\"><a href=\"#top\"><i class=\"icon-chevron-up\"></i> Top</a></div><h2><span class=\"mw-headline\" id=\"For_More_Information\">For More Information</span></h2>\n<p>Daniels, Roger. <i>Asian America: Chinese and Japanese in the United States since 1850</i>. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1988.\n</p><p>Fiset, Louis. <i>Camp Harmony: Seattle's Japanese Americans and the Puyallup Assembly Center</i>. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2009.\n</p><p>Hosokawa, Bill. \"Blind, But with Vision.\" <i>Pacific Citizen</i>, December 23, 1955, A4–6, 11. <a class=\"external free\" href=\"http://pacificcitizen.org/digitalarchives/assets/pdf/19551223.pdf\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://pacificcitizen.org/digitalarchives/assets/pdf/19551223.pdf</a>.\n</p><p>———. <i>Nisei: The Quiet Americans</i>. New York: William Morrow &amp; Co., 1969.\n</p><p>———. <i>JACL in Quest of Justice: The History of the Japanese American Citizens League</i>. New York: William Morrow, 1982.\n</p><p>Ichioka, Yuji. \"A Study in Dualism: James Yoshinori Sakamoto and the Japanese American Courier, 1928-1942.\" <i>Amerasia Journal</i> 13.2 (1986-87): 49-81.\n</p><p>———. <i>Before Internment: Essays in Prewar Japanese American History</i>. Edited by Gordon H. Chang and Eiichiro Azuma. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2006. [This compilation includes the earlier article listed above.]\n</p><p>Takahashi, Jere. <i>Nisei/Sansei: Shifting Japanese American Identities and Politics</i>. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1997.\n</p>\n<div class=\"toplink\"><a href=\"#top\"><i class=\"icon-chevron-up\"></i> Top</a></div><h2><span class=\"mw-headline\" id=\"Footnotes\">Footnotes</span></h2>\n<div class=\"reflist\" style=\"list-style-type: decimal;\">\n<ol class=\"references\">\n<li id=\"cite_note-1\"><span class=\"mw-cite-backlink\"><a href=\"#cite_ref-1\">↑</a></span> <span class=\"reference-text\">For more on the Courier League, see Samuel O. Regalado, “Play Ball—Baseball and Seattle’s Japanese-American Courier League, 1928-1941” <i>Pacific Northwest Quarterly</i> 87.1 (Winter 1996): 29-37 and <i>Nikkei Baseball: Japanese American Players from Immigration and Internment to the Major Leagues</i> (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2013), 70–90; and Shelley Sang Hee Lee, <i>Claiming the Oriental Gateway: Prewar Seattle and Japanese American</i> (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2011): 142–77.</span>\n</li>\n<li id=\"cite_note-2\"><span class=\"mw-cite-backlink\"><a href=\"#cite_ref-2\">↑</a></span> <span class=\"reference-text\">Yuji Ichioka, <i>Before Internment: Essays in Prewar Japanese American History</i> (Ed. Gordon H. Chang and Eiichiro Azuma; Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2006), 96–97.</span>\n</li>\n</ol></div>\n<!-- \nNewPP limit report\nCPU time usage: 0.096 seconds\nReal time usage: 0.101 seconds\nPreprocessor visited node count: 203/1000000\nPreprocessor generated node count: 1182/1000000\nPost‐expand include size: 2052/2097152 bytes\nTemplate argument size: 253/2097152 bytes\nHighest expansion depth: 5/40\nExpensive parser function count: 0/100\nExtLoops count: 0/100\n-->\n<!-- Saved in parser cache with key mediawiki:pcache:idhash:666-0!*!0!!en!5!* and timestamp 20170309214454 and revision id 13839\n -->\n<div class=\"toplink\"><a href=\"#top\"><i class=\"icon-chevron-up\"></i> Top</a></div></body></html>",
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    "title": "James Sakamoto",
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