Discover Nikkei

https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/325/

The privations of living in post-war Japan, 1952

When we first went to Japan, we got married and went to Japan, in two days I had to leave for camp. And from Tokyo, we caught the train [and it] took us 26 hours on the train to a place called Miyasaki, where the Giants train.

And Jane was in Tokyo all by herself. For 40 days, she was in Tokyo by herself. In those days...if today, [it’s] okay because you get the good hotels and all that. When we first went there, we went there in ’52, they didn't have that kind of hotels. They didn’t have that kind of food. A lot of times, even like vegetables—you know, greens, salad—we couldn’t eat those things because all the salad in those days, the greens, they make it out of human(?). So naturally, you don’t want to eat those things. So, you try to do the best you can.

Even the first year, she was pregnant during the summer. We don’t have any heat because we don’t have that kind of money to buy the air conditioner. So, I would go out and buy a big block of ice and get a pan, put it right by the bed, and get this fan hitting the ice so it gets cool in our room. But, in half an hour the thing’s all melt, nothing there, see. So, even during the winter, it’s so cold, and we didn't have any heat.


baseball Japan

Date: December 16, 2003

Location: Hawai'i, US

Interviewer: Art Hansen, John Esaki

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

Interviewee Bio

Wally Kaname Yonamine was born on Maui in Hawaii in 1925. He first gained public acclaim as an athlete in 1944 after moving to Oahu and leading Farrington High School to its first Honolulu city football championship. After World War II, he was signed to a professional football contract as a running back for the San Francisco 49ers, the first player of Asian ancestry to attain this milestone. An injury prompted a switch from football to baseball.

While with the Pacific Coast League’s San Francisco Seals, its manager urged him to consider a professional baseball career in Japan. After joining the Yomiuri Giants in 1951 as the first American to play in postwar Japan, he hit over .300. Considered the greatest leadoff batter in Japanese baseball history, he won three batting championships and, in 1957, was named the Central League’s Most Valuable Player.

Upon retiring as a player, he finished his thirty-eight-year career in Japan as a successful coach, scout, and manager. Credited with introducing to Japanese baseball such American practices as hard sliding, running out bunts and infield grounders, and diving for fly balls, Yonamine was initially the target of fan abuse. He later achieved great popularity, however, and in 1990 was inducted into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame. (December 16, 2003)

Miyoko Amano
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Miyoko Amano

Yoshitaro Amano’s Business in Japan (Japanese)

(b. 1929) President of Amano Museum

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Isao Taoka
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Isao Taoka

Views on Japanese Youth (Japanese)

(b. 1943) Paraguayan Ambassador to Japan

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Margaret Narumi
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Margaret Narumi

Nomo's Risk

Producer at NHK Cosmomedia America, Inc.

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Margaret Narumi
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Margaret Narumi

The Nomo Tornado in 1995 (Japanese)

Producer at NHK Cosmomedia America, Inc.

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Jean Hamako Schneider
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Jean Hamako Schneider

Why I’m glad I immigrated to America (Japanese)

(b. 1925) War bride

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Takeo Uesugi
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Takeo Uesugi

Returning to Japan after studying in New York

(1940-2016) Issei Landscape Architect

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Paulo Issamu Hirano
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Paulo Issamu Hirano

The difference between Nikkei community in Oizumi and Brazil (Japanese)

(b. 1979) Sansei Nikkei Brazilian who lives in Oizumi-machi in Gunma prefecture. He runs his own design studio.

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Antonio Shinkiti Shikota
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Antonio Shinkiti Shikota

Advantages of living in Japan (Portuguese)

(b. 1962) Japanese Brazilian owner of a Brazilian products store in Japan.

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Antonio Shinkiti Shikota
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Antonio Shinkiti Shikota

More government supports in the city of Oizumi for Japanese Brazilians (Portuguese)

(b. 1962) Japanese Brazilian owner of a Brazilian products store in Japan.

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Antonio Shinkiti Shikota
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Antonio Shinkiti Shikota

Future of the Japanese Brazilian community in Japan (Portuguese)

(b. 1962) Japanese Brazilian owner of a Brazilian products store in Japan.

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Sawako Ashizawa Uchimura
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Sawako Ashizawa Uchimura

Unique Identity from Having Multiple Backgrounds

(b. 1938) Philipines-born hikiagesha who later migrated to the United States.

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Reiko T. Sakata
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Reiko T. Sakata

Parent’s Marriage

(b. 1939) a businesswoman whose family volunterily moved to Salt Lake City in Utah during the war.

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