Discover Nikkei

https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/1382/

Reception of Hamako by family

War brides, they were called and she was one of the very first—if not the first. But later on she met...well, we met wonderful Japanese family in...they lived in Luecadia, California, that's just north of Encinatas, where our home was. The Ito family, the mother and father had 3 kids or more...wonderful family and they took us in...

Our daughter was born in La Jolla in 1952, I believe. She'll probably be mad, cause she doesn't look that age. But anyway, she - Hamako never had contact with babies, she didn't know what to do and Mrs. Ito taught her how to bathe the child and how to put diapers on and we became very close with them and to this day, one of the Ito family girls is still a good friend of my wife's.

So we stayed kind of half-way Japanese, and my family...I had aunts and uncles all gathered when Hamako and I first came to Solano Beach and they welcomed her with open arms. Just a few months ago, they were...Hamako was an enemy alien but there was nothing...she never heard the word "Jap," she never experienced any racial hatred and the family just loved her and my father liked her better than me, I know that.


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)

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