Hyphen Magazine: On the life of Richard Aoki

By Momo Chang
Hyphen Magazine

Fujino_Samurai coverDiane C. Fujino’s biography on the iconic Asian American activist Richard Aoki is revealing, fascinating, and at times intensely moving. The book is a hefty 400 pages (100 pages of which are the often-enlightening footnotes). A project that began in 2003 at Aoki’s request, it took Fujino another nine years before the book was published. Samurai Among Panthers: Richard Aoki on Race, Resistance, and a Paradoxical Life switches in each chapter from Aoki’s own narration to Fujino’s historical and sometimes psychological analyses. Fujino is a feminist scholar who teaches in and chairs the Asian American studies department at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has written about Yuri Kochiyama and Fred Ho and her research and writings focus on the Asian American movement, Japanese and Asian American radicalism, and Afro-Asian solidarity. Fujino is currently working on two books, one about Japanese American radicalism and the other about the Asian American movements primarily of the 60s and 70s.

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