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Interview with Janice Nimura, author of "Daughters of the Samurai"

Janice Nimura

Japan and the U.S. have a long history together. In the late 1800s, Japan had just emerged from a civil war, and the government had a mission to build the country back up again by learning the ways of the West. So they started sending young men to the U.S., to learn how Americans do business, build and work. Then, came the idea to send young women. Actually -- girls.


In 1871, Japan shipped five girls from Samurai families to live in America. That story is told in the new book "Daughters of the Samurai" by Janice Nimura.


"Maybe we should send some little girls over to America, and drop them off -- and let them grow up there for 10 years. And then they can come back and help spawn a new generation of enlightened men."

KALW's Hana Baba spoke to Nimura in our studio.



Click the audio player above to hear the interview.

Crosscurrents HistoryImmigration
Hana Baba is host of Crosscurrents, KALW's weeknight newsmagazine that broadcasts on KALW Public Radio in the San Francisco Bay Area.