Parent’s Marriage

Backstory of Parents Parent’s Marriage Adoption Story Reiko's Name Moving to Torrance Voluntarily Moving to Salt Lake City, Utah Parents in Utah Topaz Visit as a Child Coming back to Los Angeles after the war Finding out about adoption Kent State Shooting, Ohio

Transcripts available in the following languages:

  • en

When my dad turned 21, I believe, his father said it’s time for you to be married. So he sent a letter back to Japan and said find him a bride. And my mother who was in nursing school got a letter from home saying, come home, you’re going to be married.

So she had to leave her nursing ambitions and come back to Fukui in the village where they where she lived. And she was married to this man that she didn’t know.

And shortly thereafter he brought her to America. A country that, you know, she had to leave behind her family, her country, et cetera, and come to this strange place with a strange man.

And I’m sure it was very difficult for her. She never said. But what she did do, my mom was pretty inventive and resourceful, and she had him get her a dictionary, a Japanese-English dictionary, and when she got mad, made him get it. And then wherever she went, if she wanted to know what something was, she’d say, what is this? How do you say in Japanese, how do you say in English? kind of thing and that’s kind of how she learned English. So she had a pretty decent command of English after a while.

Date: May 13, 2022
Location: California, US
Interviewer: Evan Kodani
Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum

arranged marriages family Fukui Japan parents picture brides

Get updates

Sign up for email updates

Journal feed
Events feed
Comments feed

Support this project

Discover Nikkei

Discover Nikkei is a place to connect with others and share the Nikkei experience. To continue to sustain and grow this project, we need your help!

Ways to help >>

A project of the Japanese American National Museum

Major support by The Nippon Foundation