Duncan Williams on the Pendulum of American History

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  1. Given recent calls for a Muslim registry, this chapter of American history has now become especially relevant. Enter Duncan Ryuken Williams, a Soto Zen priest and Director of the Shinso Ito Center for Japanese Religions and Culture at the University of Southern California. Williams has spent the past ten years researching the history of Japanese American internment and the ways in which Asian American communities maintained their religious traditions throughout a time of extreme racial and religious discrimination. His soon-to-be-published book, “Camp Dharma: Buddhism and the Japanese American Incarceration During World War Two,” tells stories drawn from the letters, diaries, and memories of people who were torn from their homes and forced to live in squalid camp conditions.

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