More About the Author
ARUDOU, Debito, formerly Dave Aldwinckle, was born in Walnut Creek, California, raised in Geneva, New York, and graduated from Cornell University and the University of California, San Diego. Trained in political science and business, he first visited Japan in 1986 to get to know his Japanese pen pal (whom he married in 1989) in Sapporo, and decided to stay there permanently from 1991.
Arudou's rather irrepressible personality soon made him known for activism against discrimination towards foreign educators in Japanese academia. Then he 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 well-studied case that went all the way to Japan's Supreme Court. Arudou wrote about this experience and the public debate in book "JAPANESE ONLY" (2003) in English and Japanese, which has just come out in an updated Tenth Anniversary Edition as a Kindle eBook.
So that others may follow in his footsteps and make a better life for themselves in Japan, Arudou also co-wrote with legal scrivener Akira Higuchi the "HANDBOOK FOR NEWCOMERS, MIGRANTS, AND IMMIGRANTS TO JAPAN" (2008, 2nd Ed. 2013). In addition, he has written for many years a regular monthly newspaper column for The Japan Times called JUST BE CAUSE, has run an award-winning blog and web archive called Debito.org since 1996, and wrote 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). He is currently researching and of course writing at the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawai'i.
He has several more books in mind, so stay tuned.