IPR is featuring some of the many AAPI pioneers who impacted the field of public relations in celebration of AAPI Heritage Month.

Yuji Ichioka was born in San Francisco in 1936. During World War II, Ichioka and his family were incarcerated in a Japanese internment camp. After the war ended, Ichioka attended the University of California, Los Angeles. 

While studying Chinese history at Columbia University, Ichioka became a key figure in the Asian American activist movement, coining the term “Asian American” and founding the Asian American Political Alliance. In 1969, he taught the first Asian American Studies class at UCLA and played a crucial role in the formation of UCLA’s Asian American Studies Center.

Ichioka and his colleague, Yasuo Sakata, organized UCLA’s Japanese American Research Project (JARP) collection. In 1974, they published “A Buried Past,” the first comprehensive bibliography of the JARP collection. He made significant contributions to the academic community by guest editing two volumes of Amerasia Journal and organizing a conference that re-examined the Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study.

Ichioka served as a “research associate” and adjunct associate professor of history at UCLA’s Asian American Studies Center. He was passionately engaged with the Asian American community, delivering public lectures, teaching community classes, and advocating for social justice. He died in 2002.


Heidy Modarelli handles Growth & Marketing for IPR. She has previously written for Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, The Next Web, and VentureBeat.
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