Discover Nikkei

Marriage and Returning to US

In 1948, we were married in a little Methodist Church on the Ginza—just her father, Shizuko Naito, and I guess her father's friends or...there were only a small group of us at the wedding. 

And nineteen...we lived in Fujisawa, I worked at NYK building in Tokyo and took the train everyday—commuted—from Fujisawa because her father gave us a room for ourself, which extended to the Japanese garden, it was a beautiful place and had a big pool with Japanese carp and beautiful goldfish and in 1950 I finally got permission to take my wife back to the U.S.

At that time, there were no Orientals allowed, in 1950, in America. So my father went to an alderman, greased his palm—for his connections in Washington—and there they passed a bill, I forget the name of it—the number, 7276 or something like that, that allowed her to come into the United States. And so in 1950, November, we left on the General Mann, it was a transport ship—army transport—and there was a storm just outside of Yokohama—again—in the winter, of course, and it followed us all the way to San Francisco, where we docked. And then we got on a train, and Hamako was very sea-sick and miserable, and we went to Solano Beach, where my aunt had my father buy a small place, so we would have a place to live.

armed forces brides military retired military personnel United States Army veterans war brides wives 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)


Prom during the war

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


Laid off for being Canadian

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

Ariyoshi,Jean Hayashi

Day Pearl Harbor was bombed

Former First Lady of Hawai'i


Japan vs. the United States (Japanese)

(1900-2005) Issei businessman


Life in camp as teenager

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


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.


Bombing of Pearl Harbor

An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.


Helping soldiers

An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.


Fun at concentration camp

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


Father as prisoner of war in hospital

(1922–2014) Political and civil rights activist.


Patriotism versus loyalty

(1922–2014) Political and civil rights activist.


Postcards to Nisei soldiers

(1922–2014) Political and civil rights activist.


Hiding what happened in camp

(1922–2014) Political and civil rights activist.


Camp as a positive thing

(1922–2014) Political and civil rights activist.


Rounding up Issei and Nikkei

(1922–2014) Political and civil rights activist.