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From scrubbing pad factory worker to tailor

Ordinary people would go inland because of farming. But we were called to Brazil by Katsumi and Koto Shimuta, so there really was no need to do any farming. We lived in Sao Paulo from the very start.

The couple ran a small brush factory and I think they called us to Brazil to ensure they had manpower. But, however you look at it, well, there was a huge gap in the way of thinking of folks who were there before the war and those of us who came after.

Well, let’s see, how long were we there? Maybe a year and a half or around two years. And then my dad worked as a tailor. That’s what he used to do in Japan ever since he was young. So, because he had that skill, he managed to get by somehow even after leaving that place.


factories generations immigrants immigration Issei Japan migration tailoring

Date: September 19, 2019

Location: California, US

Interviewer: Yoko Nishimura

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

Interviewee Bio

Masato Ninomiya was born in Nagano Prefecture in 1948 and moved to Brazil at the age of 5 with his family. He currently maintains a legal office in São Paulo, and in addition to working as a Law Professor at the University of Sao Paulo, also serves as Special Assistant to the President at Meiji University and as Visiting Professor of Law at Musashino University. Since its founding in 1992, he has served as President of CIATE (Center for Information and Support to Workers Abroad), Advisor to the Japan Society for Promotion of Science (JSPS) for Central and South America, and also a Committee Member of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Additionally, he is considered a Nikkei community leader in Brazil, supporting various activities such as improving the working conditions of Brazilian Dekasegi, and the education of Japanese-Brazilian children. . (May 2021)

Hiroshi Sakane
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Hiroshi Sakane

A strong Japanese identity (Japanese)

(b. 1948) Executive Director of Amano Museum

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William Hohri
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William Hohri

Japanese American, not Japanese

(1927-2010) Political Activist

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Edward Toru Horikiri
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Edward Toru Horikiri

Boarding house life and the Issei (Japanese)

(b. 1929) Kibei Nisei

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Edward Toru Horikiri
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Edward Toru Horikiri

My father’s venture into the hotel business (Japanese)

(b. 1929) Kibei Nisei

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Edward Toru Horikiri
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Edward Toru Horikiri

Luckiest Issei

(b. 1929) Kibei Nisei

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Edward Toru Horikiri
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Edward Toru Horikiri

“Junior Issei” (Japanese)

(b. 1929) Kibei Nisei

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Juan Alberto Matsumoto
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Juan Alberto Matsumoto

Father’s Reason For Moving to Argentina (Japanese)

(b. 1962) Nisei Japanese Argentinian, currently residing in Japan

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Haruo Kasahara
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Haruo Kasahara

Days I spent aching for Japan in tears (Japanese)

(b.1900) Issei plantation worker in Hawai'i.

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Haruo Kasahara
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Haruo Kasahara

Tough work on plantation (Japanese)

(b.1900) Issei plantation worker in Hawai'i.

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Haruo Kasahara
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Haruo Kasahara

Leaving children in daycare all day to work (Japanese)

(b.1900) Issei plantation worker in Hawai'i.

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Haruo Kasahara
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Haruo Kasahara

How we were treated on plantation after the attack on Pearl Harbor (Japanese)

(b.1900) Issei plantation worker in Hawai'i.

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Kazumu Naganuma
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Kazumu Naganuma

Parent's immigration to Peru

(b. 1942) Japanese Peruvian incarcerated in Crystal City

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