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By Jack Matsuoka
1978, 86 pages, Paperback.

Book Description from Back Cover
About the Author

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Book Description from Back Cover

Sensei is a collection of cartoonist Jack Matsuoka's strips by the same name. The comic strip regularly appeared in the Japanese American daily newspaper Hokubei Mainichi.

Jack Matsuoka was inspired by the introduction of a black cartoonist's strip to the San Francisco Examiner in the early 1970s. Having seen this change, Jack thought it was time for Asian Americans to be featured in the comics section too.

Having observed the Asian American movements in the 1960s and 70s, and their renewed interest in self-identity, Jack wanted to do something to help them.

"In my generation," he says, "I have a little bit of experience of Issei, some knowledge of the hardships they went through. The Sansei today mostly get the Issei's experience from books. I want to provide them with something that can help them know what the Issei went through. Also, I want to leave something for the Issei. It's my contribution for what the Issei have done for the Japanese in America."

Sensei gives a lighter look at the daily life of Japanese Americans.

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Background on Jack Matsuoka

Jack Matsuoka was born on November 6, 1925, in Watsonville, California, where he grew up. After spending his late teen years in the relocation camp that gives this book its title, he relocated to Cleveland, Ohio, where he spent one semester at the Cleveland School of Fine Arts before being drafted into the army.

His army time was passed in Japan acting as an interpreter. He attended Hartnell College in the United States and then transferred to Keio University and later to Sophia University (both in Tokyo). He struggled through these schools on the GI bill and can now claim to be one of the few who experienced postwar life in Japan both as a member of the occupation forces and as a student. During this period, Jack contributed many sports cartoons to the Japan Times and Japanese sports magazines. In addition, he did political cartoons for the Yomiuri News, drew humorous illustrations for books about Japan, and published his first cartoon book, Rice-Paddy Daddy.

Jack Matsuoka was a San Jose freelance cartoonist contributing to newspapers and magazines in the San Francisco Bay Area. He had contributed to the Pacific Tribune from 1974 to 2000 as an editorial cartoonist. He was a member of the National Cartoonist Society.

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