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https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/1590/

Unforgettable words of my mother (Japanese)

(Japanese) I still remember what my mother told me at the time, “I was so worried about you that I went to have your fortune told. Then I was told that you would become a yakuza, and that’s the last thing I want you to be. Please don’t go into that direction.” She was really serious about that. Then I went to Tokyo and started working at a sushi restaurant – a kind of place that could turn me into one. Since I did something like that, my mother got even more worried. And when I realized that I like gambling, I stopped myself from going any further, remembering what my mother told me. Whenever I went in the wrong direction, I remembered my mother’s words and led myself to avoid any trouble.


mothers

Date: April 16, 2016

Location: California, US

Interviewer: Mistue Watanabe

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

Interviewee Bio

Toshiaki Toyoshima was born on August 21, 1949 in Aomori Prefecture. In 1962, he moved to Tokyo at the age of 16 and received his training to become a chef as a live-in trainee at a sushi restaurant, while taking evening classes at the same time. Later he joined Sanchoukai, a chefs’ association, and worked at a number of sushi restaurants. In 1973, he signed a contract to work at a restaurant, Tokyo Kaikan, in Los Angeles for three years, and moved to America. After finishing the contract, he went back to Japan once but was asked by Tokyo Kaikan to work for them again, which led him to sign another contract of three years and return to Los Angeles. Upon completing his second contract, he decided to stay in America, and in 1980, he opened “Sushi Gen” in Little Tokyo in Los Angeles. He worked for the foundation of Aomori Kenjinkai (prefectural association) of Southern California and contributed to the development of nikkei communities in Los Angeles. In addition, he became the first chairperson of the Nebuta Performance Preservation Committee in 2007, and has committed to the inheritance of Japanese culture. In 2015, he received an award by the Consulate-General of Japan in Los Angeles. (May 2018)

Jimmy Ko Fukuhara
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Jimmy Ko Fukuhara

Meeting his wife, Eileen

(b. 1921) Nisei veteran who served in the occupation of Japan

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Willie Ito
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Willie Ito

Mother in Camp

(b. 1934) Award-winning Disney animation artist who was incarcerated at Topaz during WWII

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Robert T. Fujioka
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Robert T. Fujioka

Finding his mother's high school valedictorian speech

(b. 1952) Former banking executive, born in Hawaii

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