In October of 2021, CC Special Collections acquired a first edition of John Okada’s No-No Boy. The 1957 novel, a staple of Asian American literature, tells the story of Ichiro Yamada, a man who answers “no” to the two so-called “loyalty” questions in a 1943 questionnaire for Japanese Americans: “Are you willing to serve in the armed forces of the United States on combat duty wherever ordered?” and “Will you swear unqualified allegiance to the United States of America and faithfully defend the United States from any or all attack by foreign or domestic forces, and forswear any form of allegiance or obedience to the Japanese emperor, to any other foreign government, power or organization?”
We’re especially excited to have the book here at CC because it connects with our collections on Camp Amache and also because it’s the first edition of a title with a complex and fraught publishing history — see “Dispute Arises Over ‘No-No Boy’” in the New York Times.
UPDATE September 2023: Colorado Senator Michael Bennet visited Special Collections in April of 2023 to view this book and research the history of Japanese American incarceration. In September, this article appeared in the CC alumni magazine, with input from CC faculty Aline Lo and Brandon Shimoda.