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Family interrelations between mother and father

And as a matter of fact, there had been interrelationship, in-law relationship, between my mother’s family and my father’s family prior to my father and mother getting married. Because my mother’s uncle, the mayor, married my father’s older sister. So that when the families decided that it was time for my father to get married, he was already in Seattle. And, well, I guess he had lived in Seattle for about seven years. And then the family decided it’s time for him to get married. They looked into my mother’s family for an available mate and picked my mother. So my mother came over as a picture bride. But, as I say, the families were already interrelated. And there’s a tendency in Japan to do that because in-law relationships entail a lot of duties and obligations, so that if you create too many of them, it becomes a burden. So there’s a tendency to reinforce ties that are already there.


arranged marriages brides marriages migration picture brides wives

Date: January 7, 2004

Location: California, US

Interviewer: Art Hansen

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

Interviewee Bio

James Hirabayashi, son of hardworking immigrant farmers in the Pacific Northwest, was a high school senior in 1942 when he was detained in the Pinedale Assembly Center before being transferred to the Tule Lake Concentration Camp in Northern California.

After World War II, he earned his Bachelor of Arts and Masters in Anthropology from the University of Washington, and eventually his Ph.D. from Harvard University. Dr. Hirabayashi is Professor Emeritus at San Francisco State University where he was Dean of the nation’s first school of ethnic studies. He also held research and teaching positions at the University of Tokyo, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and Ahmadu Bellow Univerity, Zaria, Nigeria.

He passed away in May 2012 at age 85. (June 2014)

Kazuo Funai
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Kazuo Funai

First work in America (Japanese)

(1900-2005) Issei businessman

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Kazuo Funai
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Kazuo Funai

Company in Tokyo burned down (Japanese)

(1900-2005) Issei businessman

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Kazuo Funai
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Kazuo Funai

Match-making (Japanese)

(1900-2005) Issei businessman

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Steve Kaji
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Steve Kaji

FOB's

Hawaii born Nikkei living in Japan. English Teacher at YMCA.

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Barbara Kawakami
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Barbara Kawakami

Going back to Hawaii

An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.

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Barbara Kawakami
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Barbara Kawakami

Picture brides and karifufu

An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.

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Robert (Bob) Kiyoshi Okasaki
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Robert (Bob) Kiyoshi Okasaki

Grandmother's influence on decision to go to Japan

(b.1942) Japanese American ceramist, who has lived in Japan for over 30 years.

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Yukio Takeshita
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Yukio Takeshita

Impression of Japan upon arrival

(b.1935) American born Japanese. Retired businessman.

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Roy H. Matsumoto
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Roy H. Matsumoto

Kibei schoolchildren in Hiroshima, Japan

(b.1913) Kibei from California who served in the MIS with Merrill’s Marauders during WWII.

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Etsuo Hongo
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Etsuo Hongo

The reason he came to the United States (Japanese)

(1949 - 2019) Taiko player. Founded five taiko groups in Southern California

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Roger Shimomura
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Roger Shimomura

Grandfather's arrival in the U.S., experiencing discrimination

(b. 1939) Japanese American painter, printmaker & professor

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Marion Tsutakawa Kanemoto
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Marion Tsutakawa Kanemoto

Mother's immigration to U.S. as a treaty merchant

(b. 1927) Japanese American Nisei. Family voluntarily returned to Japan during WWII.

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Rose Kutsukake
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Rose Kutsukake

Why her parents came to Canada

(1918-2004) Interned in Slocan during World War II. Active member of the Japanese Canadian community.

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Fred Sasaki
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Fred Sasaki

Family background of Fredrick Yoshihide Sasaki

(b. 1918) Issei businessman in Canada

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Kimi Wakabayashi
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Kimi Wakabayashi

Arranged marriage

(b.1912) Japanese Canadian Issei. Immigrated with husband to Canada in 1931

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