DACA 1900

About five year ago I came across this striking portrait and posted it with the following backstory. Then my friend Reuben McKnight added the subsequent wiki post in answer to my wondering.

This is Taku Yamashita’s senior picture at Tacoma High School, a member of the millennium generation. He was graduating into a new century, in a fine vested suit, delicate silk tie and confident gaze of a young man with great promise. Twenty years later his hometown congressman would question his sense of belonging and by the time he was in his early sixties, if still here, he was relocated. What he couldn’t know in this youthful photograph would have broken his heart but on this hopeful day in the early summer of 1900 the new century was just ahead. He was determined and smart and I have a feeling Taku succeeded. Wish I knew.



Reuben McKnight: Perhaps he did succeed after all.

Takuji Yamashita (1874–1959), born in Yawatahama on Ehime, Shikoku, Japan, was a civil-rights campaigner. In spite of social and legal barriers, he directly challenged three major barriers against Asians in the United States: citizenship, joining a profession, and owning land.


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This site is about the way history, in this case of a city and it's surrounds, is remembered or recorded in stories and small bits of memory. It's also about the way images and stories go together, how they inform and enrich each other and how we as thinking people fill in the content between a narrative and a visual document. So here is my city in time past, the way it looked and the people and events that create its character. For more than 20 years I have taught a 5 credit course on the History of Tacoma at the University of Washington Tacoma. With an average of 30 or 40 students a year, each doing a research paper as their primary focus for the course, I have benefited from many paths of inquiry and many researched and assembled stories. Here are some of them in the retelling along with the treasures of photographs and images in the collections of the Washington State Historical Society, Tacoma Public Library, University of Washington Digital Archives, Washington State Archives at the Office of the Secretary of State, Library of Congress, Washington State University, Alaska State Library, and many other archives, libraries and private collections.

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