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Meeting Hamako in Japan

And I got on a trolley and went to Kamakura and I saw the area there a little bit, and then when I went to get back on the trolley it didn't come, it didn't come. And there were a crowd of Japanese and a couple of soldiers—American GIs—were in this crowd waiting for the trolley and my wife, Hamako was...she had just come from having her eye operated on, she had some trouble with her eye. And she had a patch on it and she looked kind of weird, but I was eager to use my Japanese language so I spoke up to her anyway and at first she was very, you know, stand-off-ishy because good Japanese girls from nice families—which she was from a very high class family there—but I guess she was interested that I could speak the language.


armed forces military retired military personnel United States Army veterans World War II

Date: January 26, 2012

Location: California, US

Interviewer: John Esaki, Yoko Nishimura

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

Interviewee Bio

Harry Schneider, (b. 1916), was a member of the U.S. Military Intelligence Service stationed in Tokyo. Although Harry was not Japanese, he initially was recruited for the M.I.S. training program in San Francisco because of his administrative skills, but then was motivated to learn the Japanese language with the other Nisei soldiers. He married his wife, Hamako, in 1948 soon after the end of WWII. At the end of the War, special legislation was required for an Asian “war bride” to be admitted to the U.S. In 1950 Harry and Hamako married again at the Japanese Consulate in Tokyo so that they could be one of the first couples allowed to enter. Harry passed away at age 97 in June 2013. (June 2014)

George Ariyoshi
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George Ariyoshi

Prom during the war

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

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Bill Hashizume
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Bill Hashizume

Laid off for being Canadian

(b. 1922) Canadian Nisei who was unable to return to Canada from Japan until 1952

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Jean Hayashi Ariyoshi
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Jean Hayashi Ariyoshi

Day Pearl Harbor was bombed

Former First Lady of Hawai'i

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Kazuo Funai
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Kazuo Funai

Japan vs. the United States (Japanese)

(1900-2005) Issei businessman

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James Hirabayashi
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James Hirabayashi

Life in camp as teenager

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

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Robert Katayama
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Robert Katayama

Being ordered to keep a diary that was later confiscated, ostensibly by the FBI

Hawaiian Nisei who served in World War II with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.

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Barbara Kawakami
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Barbara Kawakami

Bombing of Pearl Harbor

An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.

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Barbara Kawakami
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Barbara Kawakami

Helping soldiers

An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.

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Mas Kodani
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Mas Kodani

Fun at concentration camp

Senshin Buddhist Temple minister and co-founder of Kinnara Taiko.

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Yuri Kochiyama
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Yuri Kochiyama

Father as prisoner of war in hospital

(1922–2014) Political and civil rights activist.

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Yuri Kochiyama
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Yuri Kochiyama

Patriotism versus loyalty

(1922–2014) Political and civil rights activist.

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Yuri Kochiyama
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Yuri Kochiyama

Postcards to Nisei soldiers

(1922–2014) Political and civil rights activist.

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Yuri Kochiyama
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Yuri Kochiyama

Hiding what happened in camp

(1922–2014) Political and civil rights activist.

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Yuri Kochiyama
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Yuri Kochiyama

Camp as a positive thing

(1922–2014) Political and civil rights activist.

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Yuri Kochiyama
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Yuri Kochiyama

Rounding up Issei and Nikkei

(1922–2014) Political and civil rights activist.

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