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Arch named in honor of Princeton’s sole Japanese pupil throughout WWII


The archway main by way of Lockhart Hall, situated beside the University Store, was renamed to memorialize Kentaro Ikeda ’44, who was the one Japanese pupil at Princeton throughout World War II. 

Ikeda lived in Lockhart Hall as a pupil, and the naming is meant to “recognize his inspiring persistence during extremely challenging circumstances,” in line with a University press launch. 

The change went into impact on Oct. 4, following approval by the University’s Board of Trustees of a advice from the Council of the Princeton University Community (CPUC).

Ikeda was born in Kanazawa, Japan, and moved to New Jersey in 1938, attending the Lawrenceville School earlier than starting at Princeton. 

Japan’s assault on Pearl Harbor in 1941 modified Ikeda’s expertise as a pupil on the University drastically. According to the Mudd Manuscript Library Blog, the Department of State despatched Ikeda a deportation discover throughout his sophomore yr, after President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which ordered the internment of Japanese Americans. 

Ikeda reached out to University administration for assist, working with Assistant Dean Burnham Dell, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the U.S. Department of Justice to discover a solution to keep away from deportation. The authorities agreed to let Ikeda keep within the United States as an “alien enemy parolee,” and the University was required to intently monitor him. 

To this finish, Ikeda met weekly with Dell, who would then write stories detailing Ikeda’s actions to the Immigration and Naturalization Service. 

Ikeda was barred from leaving the University campus with out gaining permission from the U.S. District Attorney, in line with the Mudd Manuscript Library Blog. His checking account was additionally frozen, and he couldn’t talk with anybody in Japan, together with his household. 

Moreover, after the United States entered the battle, the FBI searched Ikeda’s dorm room on campus, in line with an account his widow Young Yang Chung gave to the Princeton Alumni Weekly (PAW). 

“He was very unhappy and scared. People were coming in almost everywhere, searching through every drawer, every book, even looking in between the pages,” she mentioned within the interview. 

However, Chung mentioned that Ikeda discovered pals who would assist consolation him and University directors who would invite him to dinners through the holidays. 

“Until he died, he was so grateful to Princeton University because he was protected by the University, so he avoided going to the camps,” Chung informed the PAW.  

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Indeed, Ikeda’s neighbor in his Lockhart Hall dormitory was Richard Eu ’44, and the 2 rapidly grew to become pals and remained shut for the remainder of their lives. Eu’s son ultimately married Ikeda’s daughter. 

Following news of the renaming, Chung informed the University that she was grateful to the establishment for “protecting his life during the war.” 

Ikeda concentrated in economics and his senior thesis, entitled “Economic Life in Japan” targeted on his house nation. In it, he remarked on the significance of studying about different nations in stopping battle. 

“A man does not hate others, if he actually understands them,” he wrote. “Friendly relations among nations can only be obtained through understanding, and the complete understanding among nations can only be attained by knowing each other.”

After graduating, Ikeda went to Yale to show Japanese, staying on the college’s school for seven years. He then moved to New York to begin a tea importing enterprise. Ikeda died in 2011, on the age of 92. 

Sandeep Mangat is an Associate News Editor who has reported on labor shortages on and off campus, University pointers concerning the COVID-19 pandemic, worldwide pupil life, and analysis led by Princeton school. Please ship correction requests to [email protected]