Home Page | Nobu's Page | Schedule | Map | Related Sources


Nobu Miyoshi

A clear statement on the effects of internment on Sansei is found in the work of Nobu Miyoshi, M.S.W., who has retired from her position as Director of Family Therapy at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, where she was instrumental in developing the Residency Training Program for psychiatric, nursing, and other medical students. A pioneer in the field of family therapy that began in Philadelphia in the 1950s, Ms. Miyoshi has worked intensively with Ivan Nagy, M.D., in assessing the long-term impact of internment on Japanese American internees and their descendants. Among the ideas Ms. Miyoshi raises are:

"All of us who were torn from our physical and cultural base have been damaged. Restoration of the self worth of Japanese Americans is critical at this time."

"[T]he pain suffered by the Issei and the Nisei has been passed down to the succeeding generation through modes that were culturally influenced, that is, through non-verbal cues. The Nisei may not be acutely aware of their own pain as much as the Sansei who are bearing it for them."

Each year for a decade, Ms. Miyoshi attended the Holocaust Conference for Scholars. While fully recognizing the patent differences between the Holocaust and the Japanese American internment, she began considering the possible effects, within the Japanese American population, paralleling those experienced by Holocaust Survivors.

In 1978, Ms. Miyoshi wrote "The Identity Crisis of the Sansei and the Concentration Camp." In 1981, she testified before the Commission on Wartime Relocation and the Internment of Civilians with a statement entitled, "Restoration of Self Worth of the Japanese Americans." Within these two documents she puts forth her major ideas and hypotheses.

In association with the Sansei Legacy Project, Ms. Miyoshi has had the opportunity to advance her research and thinking on the long-term effects of the camps. Since 1992, she has met with 24 families, each of whom included at least one parent who was interned. This in-depth research holds much promise for the Japanese American as well as other communities.




Sansei Legacy Project
2311 Buena Vista Avenue, Alameda, CA 94501
Ph. (510) 523-6021, Fax (510) 522-1367

Funded partially by the Civil Liberties Public Education Fund.
Copyright 1998, Sansei Legacy Project. Send comments to
webmaster. Last edited 02/26/98.