Discover Nikkei

https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/517/

Impressions from interviews with Issei women (Japanese)

(Japanese) So when they left Japan, for example, some of them were picture brides… like in the early 1900s, right? They’d have been in their 20’s or so. So I would ask questions like, “How much about America did you know at that time?” or, “Weren’t you afraid to come to the States without knowing much about America?” and most of them would answer, “No, not really.” You’d think that they would say that they were afraid, right? However, that wasn’t the case at all. Also, there are those who said, “many of us were disappointed when we came over here [to America], but this was something I chose to do.” They had this attitude of independence. That, I thought, was something very admirable.


brides immigration marriages picture brides wives

Date: October 7, 2005

Location: California, US

Interviewer: Ann Kaneko

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

Interviewee Bio

Masako Iino majored in American Studies at Tsuda College where upon graduating, went abroad to study at Syracuse University as a Fulbright scholar. She furthered her studies there in American history. From the richness of diversity in the American people and culture, Ms. Iino saw that a significant amount of American history was due to immigration from which she furthered her studies. This is where she began to study more extensively immigration from Japan to the United States. At that time when research interests were shifting from political history to social history, Iino’s research was fully supported by her advisor.

When Ms. Iino returned to Japan, she taught American history and immigration courses at her alma mater and continued her research on Japanese Americans. During the 1980s and 1990s, she went back to the United States and interviewed Issei and Nisei in California. Later, she expanded her research arena to Canadian Nikkei and compared the histories and the processes of how society accepted Nikkei in Canada and the United States.

Ms. Iino is currently researching how Nikkei people connect to Japan by examining LARA (Licensed Agency for Relief of Asia). Her major recent publications are “Mou hitotsu no nichibei kankei-shi: Funso to kyocho no naka no Nikkei Amerikajin (History of another Japan – U.S. relations: Japanese American in conflicts and coordination)” (Yuhikaku, 2000), “Hikisakareta chuseishin (Loyalty Torn Apart)” (Minerva Shobo, 1994) (co-editor), and “Nikkei Canadajin no rekishi (History of Japanese Canadians)” (University of Tokyo Press, 1997), which was received the Canadian Prime Minister's Awards for Publishing. Currently she is an active scholar and continues to serve as the President of Tsuda College. (October 6, 2006)

Funai,Kazuo
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Funai,Kazuo

Coming to America (Japanese)

(1900-2005) Issei businessman

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Hirabayashi,James
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Hirabayashi,James

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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Kawakami,Barbara
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Kawakami,Barbara

Going back to Hawaii

An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.

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Kawakami,Barbara
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Kawakami,Barbara

Picture brides and karifufu

An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.

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Yokoyama,Wayne Shigeto
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Yokoyama,Wayne Shigeto

Working at the magazine

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

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Matsumoto,Roy H.
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Matsumoto,Roy H.

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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Hongo,Etsuo
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Hongo,Etsuo

The reason he came to the United States (Japanese)

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

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Shimomura,Roger
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Shimomura,Roger

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

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

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Kanemoto,Marion Tsutakawa
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Kanemoto,Marion Tsutakawa

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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Kutsukake,Rose
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Kutsukake,Rose

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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Sasaki,Fred
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Sasaki,Fred

Family background of Fredrick Yoshihide Sasaki

(b. 1918) Issei businessman in Canada

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Wakabayashi,Kimi
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Wakabayashi,Kimi

Arranged marriage

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

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Wakabayashi,Kimi
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Wakabayashi,Kimi

Her early life in Canada

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

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Kadoguchi,Shizuko
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Kadoguchi,Shizuko

Marrying Bob against family’s wishes

(b.1920) Japanese Canadian Nisei. Established the Ikenobo Ikebana Society of Toronto

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Tanaka,Seiichi
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Tanaka,Seiichi

Coming to America

(b.1943) Shin-issei grand master of taiko; founded San Francisco Taiko Dojo in 1968.

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