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

And so my mother had to come in a different status, which was called the treaty merchants. And from what I understand, to be a treaty merchant that had to mean that you were fairly comfortable. And so, though my father, being a young man, didn't have the funds, they had to pretend that they were wealthy enough and signed up for the first-class and my mother was told that she had to behave very properly, and that's how they came.


immigration migration treaty traders

Date: August 3 & 4, 2003

Location: Washington, US

Interviewer: Alice Ito

Contributed by: Denshō: The Japanese American Legacy Project.

Interviewee Bio

Nisei female. Born December 30, 1927 in Seattle, Washington. Lived in Japan for fifteen months as a child, before returning to Seattle to attend junior high school. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, father was picked up by the FBI and taken to the Department of Justice camp at Missoula, Montana. Removed to the Puyallup Assembly Center, Washington, before being reunited with father at the Minidoka incarceration camp, Idaho. Family volunteered to leave for Japan in 1943 on the U.S. government's exchange ship, the USS Gripsholm. Attended high school in Japan, and participated in military and air raid drills. During the U.S.'s postwar occupation of Japan, attended Doshisha University and worked for a U.S. army station hospital library. Returned to the U.S. and enrolled at St. Mary's teaching hospital in Rochester, Minnesota. Denied redress because of expatriation to Japan, but succeeded in obtaining redress in 1996 after filing a class-action lawsuit.

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

Kazuo Funai
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Kazuo Funai

Coming to America (Japanese)

(1900-2005) Issei businessman

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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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James Hirabayashi
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James Hirabayashi

Family interrelations between mother and father

(1926 - 2012) Scholar and professor of anthropology. Leader in the establishment of ethnic studies as an academic discipline

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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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Wayne Shigeto Yokoyama
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Wayne Shigeto Yokoyama

Working at the magazine

(b.1948) Nikkei from Southern California living in Japan.

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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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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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