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From Debito's doctoral research:

Embedded Racism: Japan's Visible Minorities and Racial Discrimination

  • Embedded Racism: Japan's Visible Minorities and Racial Discrimination
  • (Lexington Books, Rowman & Littlefield HB 2015, PB 2016)

    Click on book cover for reviews, previews, and 30% discount direct from publisher. Available in hardcover, paperback, and Kindle eBook on

  • Book IN APPROPRIATE: A novel of culture, kidnapping, and revenge in modern Japan
  • From even farther back: “Penny the Hamster”, drawn in Second Grade when I was seven

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on December 28th, 2010

    Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\Foreign Residents and Naturalized Citizens Association forming NGO\「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatardebitopodcastthumb
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    Hi Blog.  Thanks for indulging me this holiday season with archiving things that feel more precious the more I look at them.  Here is something even older than the first two entries:  “Penny the Hamster”, named after our Second Grade class’s pet, who had a history of escaping (and inspiring me to write).  The comic is more primitive in drawing (thanks to the younger age — I mean, seven years old?), but the narrative structure is, once again, still there.  Dedicated to classmate Steve Chilbert (with whom I’ve gotten back in touch with after nearly 27 years thanks to Facebook) at the bottom of the cover (until, it seems, we had some kind of fight and I tried to erase him).  Let’s see what travails await this main character in young David Aldwinckle’s world.  Arudou Debito

    7 Responses to “From even farther back: “Penny the Hamster”, drawn in Second Grade when I was seven”

    1. Selena Says:

      Very entertaining again. What is that blue thing in the cage? An eggplant? I also noticed that there were 48 eggs in the fridge at the time of Penny’s entrance and only 25 when your mother opened the fridge.

      — That blue thing in the cage is his water feeder. Seems Penny really pigged out on the eggs, good thing Mom only noticed the celery!

    2. PKU Says:

      I don’t want to be over-analytical here, but trapped in cages, escaping, hunting and searching for answers, being put back in the cage…I am not sure about the ending to this particular story.

      I feel a song coming on:

      Ah happy 90s, when I was younger and dumber….

    3. OG Steve Says:

      The celery has been nibbled. :-)

    4. OG Steve Says:

      That made Mom so angry that even the sun got sad. :-)

    5. Tom Says:

      Shouldn’t we all be so happy to live in cages, just like Penny. Life, as the young author depicted, is best lived in minimum security prison settings where the guards are serious, but at least one is kind and friendly! Really, what more to life is there? “All in all you’re just another brick in the wall!”

    6. Steve von Maas Says:

      Wait a minute?! Did Penny begin as a girl hamster and then become a boy hamster following her/his adventure? It seemed like a perfectly continuitous story until the second-to-last panel.

      — To this day, I don’t remember Penny’s gender. I guess I was hedging my bets.

    7. Steve Chilbert Says:

      Thank you my friend…it’s funny how I remember things from those days more easily than I remember yesterday. I’m grateful technology has allowed for a reconnection after nearly three decades, not only for communication, but for the continued reading for your work. I guess that makes me a life long follower!

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