More About the Author
Dr. ARUDOU, Debito, formerly Dave Aldwinckle, was born in Walnut Creek, California, raised in Geneva, New York, and graduated from Cornell University, the University of California San Diego, and Meiji Gakuin University in Tokyo. Trained in international relations, political science, public policy and business, he first visited Japan in 1986, staying in Sapporo permanently from 1991.
Dr. Arudou was soon known for his activism against discrimination towards foreign educators in Japanese academia. He later more famously got involved in a campaign against onsen (public hot spring baths) in a nearby city called Otaru in 1999. Several establishments there and elsewhere in Hokkaido had put up "Japanese Only" signs, refusing entry to all "foreigners" (including one of his Japanese daughters). When an Otaru onsen still refused Arudou entry despite his taking out Japanese citizenship in 2000, he sued for racial discrimination with a group of foreign plaintiffs, in a landmark case that went all the way to Japan's Supreme Court. Arudou wrote about this experience in book "JAPANESE ONLY" (2003) in English and Japanese, which has come out in an updated Tenth Anniversary Edition as a Kindle eBook.
So that others could follow in his footsteps and make a better life for themselves in Japan, Dr. Arudou also co-wrote with legal scrivener Akira Higuchi the "HANDBOOK FOR NEWCOMERS, MIGRANTS, AND IMMIGRANTS TO JAPAN" (2008, 2nd Ed. and eBook 2013). He has also written since 2008 a regular monthly newspaper column for The Japan Times called JUST BE CAUSE, managed an award-winning web archive called Debito.org since 1996, and written about another important but understudied issue, child abductions after divorces in Japan, in his nonfiction novel "IN APPROPRIATE: A Novel of Culture, Kidnapping and Revenge in Modern Japan" (2011, eBook 2013). Awarded in 2012 an Affiliate Scholar position at the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, he received a Ph.D. in 2014 for researching "Embedded Racism and Japan's Visible Minorities".
He has several more books in mind (including a forthcoming book from his doctoral dissertation), so stay tuned.