Here is something a little strange: a scan of a series of essays by poet Ronald Tanaka (1944-2007) about Sansei (second generation Japanese American) identity — or even the possibility of identity — published in the Journal of Ethnic Studies in, I think, the late 1970s. I haven’t been able to locate bibliographical information.

It starts as something like first person sociology, moves through a logic section, incorporates bits of poetry, drama and calligraphy, and ends with a series of Wittgensteinian mediations, parts resembling the Philosophical Investigations, but finally descending into a series of numbered single sentences resembling the Tractatus.

18.6. Yuck! (As Shino would say.)

I wrote about Tanaka a bit in “Remote Parsee” a long time ago but really didn’t know what to make of him. Thanks as ever to Walter Lew for bringing this to my attention. I think I have more tools with which to get a grip on this now.

Ronald Tanaka (Wikipedia)

The Circle of Ethnicity

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