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https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/375/

Learning English upon discovering that family could not return to Peru

At that time, Peru wouldn't take us back. They didn't want to take us back so we didn't know whether we're gonna go to Japan or we're gonna probably stay here in the States. Then we better, if we're gonna stay here, we figured we better learn English. So then this one Japanese American, she said she was going to teach us English. So a group of us Peruvians, we got into two different groups, the older, the older ones and the younger ones and then divided into two different groups because there were two, two Japanese Americans were, volunteered to teach us English, speaking it.


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Date: October 26, 2003

Location: Washington, US

Interviewer: Alice Ito

Contributed by: Denshō: The Japanese American Legacy Project.

Interviewee Bio

Nisei male. Born June 6, 1930 in Callao, Peru. Grew up in Peru, raised by both parents and grandparents. During World War II, taken with parents to the United States on a U.S. troop transport ship. Lived in the Crystal City internment camp, Texas, until family moved to work at Seabrook, New Jersey, a produce work company camp. Drafted into the army in the 1950s, even though considered an illegal alien, and served in Germany. Raised a family in Chicago, Illinois, and San Jose, California after military discharge. In recent years, attended several pilgrimages to Tule Lake incarceration camp, California, as well as reunions of Japanese Peruvians. Involved in the Campaign for Justice, an effort to obtain redress for Japanese Latin Americans. He passed away on July 31, 2018 at age 88. (July 2018)

*The full interview is available Denshō: The Japanese American Legacy Project.

Michelle Yamashiro
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Michelle Yamashiro

Working together in Okinawa using three languages

Okinawan American whose parents are from Peru.

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Fumiko Hachiya Wasserman
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Fumiko Hachiya Wasserman

Mother founded Japanese language school in neighbors’ backyard

Sansei judge for the Superior Court of Los Angeles County in California

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Holly J. Fujie
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Holly J. Fujie

Her grandfather was pressured to teach Japanese

Sansei judge on the Superior Court of Los Angeles County in California

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