Discover Nikkei

https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/1072/

Speaking about his wife

To this date, I still think I did marry the most wonderful individual in my life. You know, all these years…she also lived in Japan for a while so she had a hard time in Japan and hardship and she came back. But when we got married and raised the kids…I’m a little bit on the quiet side and sometimes…a lot of times your wife does all the talking but…she does make sense in a lot of things. But in my family, I pretended to be…”I’m the boss” and then she took the back seat and it was 99 percent of the time whatever she does and she makes the right decision and then all the support that she gives me…we had a really difficult time during business-wise.


families

Date: June 17, 2008

Location: California, US

Interviewer: Janice Tanaka

Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum

Interviewee Bio

Henry Eiichi Suto was born on February 5, 1928 in Minot, North Dakota to Issei parents. After the death of his father and younger sister, his mother returned to Japan with Henry and his brother. Henry was 7 years old and since he knew little Japanese, he worked hard to learn and try to fit in with his classmates. When he was approached by his teacher to sign up for the Japanese Army at the age of 17, he accepted—knowing he wouldn’t be able to afford to go to college. After basic training, he was 1 of 34 selected to train under a special unit, which he later found out was a “suicide” unit to man a one-man torpedo boat. He was in this unit when Hiroshima was bombed and was one of the first soldiers to arrive with aid, thirty-six hours after the bombing.

When the war ended, he returned to the United States and lived with an uncle after his mother passed away. He enrolled in Belmont High School, but 3 months later was drafted into the U.S. Army to fight in the Korean War. He was trained to become an interpreter and was taught the Korean language at Camp Palmer. He was to go to the front lines in Korea to interrogate, but while on their stopover in Japan, he was asked to stay to serve as an interpreter there instead.

He returned to the U.S. after being discharged from the army and went to Los Angeles City College where he majored in foreign trade. He found a job at the Otagiri Company and worked there till his retirement in 1993.

He passed away on October 17, 2008 at the age of 80. (January 30, 2009)

Ariyoshi,George
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Ariyoshi,George

Spending time with children

(b.1926) Democratic politician and three-term Governor of Hawai'i

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Ariyoshi,Jean Hayashi
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Ariyoshi,Jean Hayashi

Getting married

Former First Lady of Hawai'i

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Ariyoshi,Jean Hayashi
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Ariyoshi,Jean Hayashi

Possibility of being adopted by aunt

Former First Lady of Hawai'i

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Funai,Kazuo
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Funai,Kazuo

First work in America (Japanese)

(1900-2005) Issei businessman

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Hirabayashi,James
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Hirabayashi,James

Little interaction with parents

(1926 - 2012) Scholar and professor of anthropology. Leader in the establishment of ethnic studies as an academic discipline

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Hirabayashi,James
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Hirabayashi,James

Gordon's parents' experience in prison

(1926 - 2012) Scholar and professor of anthropology. Leader in the establishment of ethnic studies as an academic discipline

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Kawakami,Barbara
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Kawakami,Barbara

Going back to Hawaii

An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.

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Kawakami,Barbara
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Kawakami,Barbara

Clothes of plantation workers

An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.

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Kawakami,Barbara
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Kawakami,Barbara

Surviving after father's death

An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.

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Kawakami,Barbara
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Kawakami,Barbara

Washing for Filipino bachelors

An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.

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Kawakami,Barbara
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Kawakami,Barbara

Brother leaves for war, survival

An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.

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Kawakami,Barbara
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Kawakami,Barbara

Doing chores

An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.

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Okasaki,Robert (Bob) Kiyoshi
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Okasaki,Robert (Bob) Kiyoshi

Wife's family in Japan

(b.1942) Japanese American ceramist, who has lived in Japan for over 30 years.

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Yamano,Jane Aiko
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Yamano,Jane Aiko

New Year's food

(b.1964) California-born business woman in Japan. A successor of her late grandmother, who started a beauty business in Japan.

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Yokoyama,Wayne Shigeto
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Yokoyama,Wayne Shigeto

Food growing up

(b.1948) Nikkei from Southern California living in Japan.

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