With a core group of 12 researchers and 100 volunteers undertaking thousands of hours of work, the Ireichō was born: it is a massive book listing the names of the 125,284 Japanese Americans who were incarcerated during World War II. The book is currently on display at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles’s Little Tokyo.

~ Line Sidonie Talla Mafotsing from, https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/ireicho-japanese-american-internment-names

It happened, regardless where you stand on the United States’ treatment of persons of Japanese heritage. I honestly cannot recall if it was presented as part of my U.S. history in primary education. If it was, then I forgot. I would prefer that—as a nation—we understand our history and, as much as possible, learn from it.


73 years in 5,000 words

If you fell asleep in 1945 and woke up in 2018 you would not recognize the world around you. The amount of growth that took place during that period is virtually unprecedented. […] And if you tried to think of a reasonable narrative of how it all happened, my guess is you’d be totally wrong. Because it isn’t intuitive, and it wasn’t foreseeable 73 years ago.

~ Morgan Housel from, http://www.collaborativefund.com/blog/how-this-all-happened/

The story this tells is one I’d never seen woven together this clearly. Over many years I’d heard each of the pieces which are included, and this lays out a coherent story that looks like a Chutes and Ladders playing board. (To my astonishment, I just learned that the beloved children’s board game I’ve mentioned is a dumbed-down version of a very old game called Snakes and Ladders.) If history is any teacher—and it is, because history rhymes—I will certainly be unable to imagine the actual story of the coming years writ large. That’s not a bad thing! Be sure you at least scroll to the bottom of that article as the author is optimistic. As am I.

In a completely different vein, as I was adding tags to this post I made an interesting discovery. I always create a tag for the person who wrote whatever-it-is that I’m referencing. I was surprised to find out that I already have a tag for Housel despite my not recognizing the name. Click the tag below, as it turns out there’s another gem from 2018.


What we seem to have forgotten

Here is what we seem to have forgotten: America is not some finished work or failed project but an ongoing experiment. And it is an experiment that, by design, will never end. If parts of the machine are broken, then the responsibility of citizens is to fix the machine—not throw it away.

~ James Mattis from, https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/12/james-mattis-the-enemy-within/600781/

I’ll just drop that there.

…and I’ll go on to add that it’s interesting how, through loops and curly-Q’s, I often find myself at the same place. There’s a copy of The American Idea: The Best of The Atlantic Monthly in my currently-reading stack.