Event—Public Programming

The Love and Life of Jun Fujita


This Valentine’s Day-themed program is devoted to the lives and love of early 20th-century poet and photojournalist Jun Fujita and the journalist Florence Carr and their struggles against the racist marital norms, miscegenation laws, and xenophobia that complicated their relationship.

In addition to discussing the relationship of Fujita and Carr and the social and legal challenges they faced, speakers Graham Lee, Ryan Yokota, and Takako Day will read a selection of love letters exchanged between the two.

Speakers’ Bios:

Originally from Kobe, Japan, Takako Day is an independent researcher who has published seven books and hundreds of articles in Japanese and English. Her latest English book, Show Me the Way to Go Home: The Moral Dilemma of Kibei No No Boys in World War Two Incarceration Camps, was published in 2014. Her current research focuses on the history of Japanese, Japanese Americans, and Japanese socialists in prewar Chicago.

Graham Lee is a writer, graphic designer, and the great nephew of Jun Fujita. Lee spent the last five years researching Fujita’s life, retracing his great uncle’s footsteps, and creating a story that combines a rich family history with historical and personal photographs of extraordinary Chicago events.

Ryan Yokota is Development and Legacy Center Director at the Japanese American Service Committee and teaches at DePaul University. He received his PhD in East Asian-Japanese History at the University of Chicago and his MA in Asian American Studies from UCLA. His publications have dealt with Okinawan autonomy movements and Indigenousness, Okinawan Peruvians in Los Angeles, and Japanese and Okinawans in Cuba.

This event is being held in conjunction with the Newberry’s current exhibition, Jun Fujita: American Visionary. The exhibition is co-sponsored by the Poetry Foundation.

This event is made possible by a major grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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