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https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/1424/

Attending Kindergarten in Panama (Japanese)

(Japanese) After entering elementary school, I only attended for two or three months. Then, in the summer of that year, I went to Panama. I went when I was seven. As soon as I got there, my father took me to where the smallest children, kindergarteners, got together. It was a kindergarten where all the white children went.

When I came back to Japan, it was when I was in the third grade. So, in actuality, I was only in first grade for two or three months and I didn’t even go to second grade. I came back toward the end of third grade, so, for the most part, I don’t have a first or second grade education. So, if I’m ever asked my educational record, I have to take out those two years. It’s kind of a funny situation. And it’s because when I was seven, I was going to kindergarten with all the three and four year olds.


Panama

Date: January 26, 2012

Location: California, US

Interviewer: John Esaki, Yoko Nishimura

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

Interviewee Bio

Jean Hamako Schneider (former name: Amano) was born in 1925 in Yokohama.  In 1933, she went with her father, who was to run a business in Latin America, to Panama where she stayed for two years.  Her father remained in Panama after her, but came back to Japan in 1942 on a prisoner of war exchange ship.  While working at a radio station after the war, Hamako met Harry Schneider, who was stationed in Japan with the U.S. Military Intelligence Service (MIS).  In 1948, the two married in Japan, and, in 1950, Hamako left for America as a war bride.  After that, she gave birth to a daughter and quickly acquired American citizenship.  Currently, she lives in Encinitas, California.  (September 2014)

Hiroshi Sakane
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Hiroshi Sakane

How Yoshitaro Amano got to South America (Japanese)

(b. 1948) Executive Director of Amano Museum

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Hiroshi Sakane
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Hiroshi Sakane

Returning to Japan on a prisoner-of-war exchange boat (Japanese)

(b. 1948) Executive Director of Amano Museum

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Toshiko Elena Onchi
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Toshiko Elena Onchi

The challenge for Peruvian children of going to school in Japan (Spanish)

Japanese Peruvian in Japan

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Edward Toru Horikiri
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Edward Toru Horikiri

(Japanese) My children’s education

(b. 1929) Kibei Nisei

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Yoshiko Yamaguchi
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Yoshiko Yamaguchi

How I started learning social work (Japanese)

(b. 1931) Shin-Issei Social Worker 

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