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The only Japanese family in Ocean Park

My father was always a loner. He never lived within, like, the Japanese community. We were the only Japanese family at Ocean Park. So he was a loner in that respect so I don’t know if he experienced racism, although I’m sure he did because you know how terrible the laws were. But somehow, it didn’t…it wasn’t an issue until after he came back from Bismarck and after Manzanar and you know, he began drinking and, oh, it was like total change. And he never spoke to a Caucasian after that. He was quite bitter. Quite bitter.


discrimination interpersonal relations racism World War II

Date: December 27, 2005

Location: California, US

Interviewer: John Esaki

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

Interviewee Bio

Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, co-author of the acclaimed Farewell to Manzanar, was born in 1934 in Inglewood, California. The youngest of ten children, she spent her early childhood in Southern California until 1942 when she and her family were incarcerated at the World War II concentration camp at Manzanar, California.

In 1945, the family returned to Southern California where they lived until 1952 when they moved to San Jose, California. Houston was the first in her family to earn a college degree. She met James D. Houston while attending San Jose State University. They married in 1957 and have three children.

In 1971, a nephew who had been born at Manzanar asked Houston to tell him about what the camp had been like because his parents refused to talk about it. She broke down as she began to tell him, so she decided instead to write about the experience for him and their family. Together with her husband, Houston wrote Farewell to Manzanar. Published in 1972, the book is based on what her family went through before, during, and after the war. It has become a part of many school curricula to teach students about the Japanese American experience during WWII. It was made into a made-for-television movie in 1976 that won a Humanitas Prize and was nominated for an Emmy in the category of Outstanding Writing in a Drama.

Since Farewell to Manzanar, Houston has continued to write both with her husband and on her own. In 2003, her first novel, The Legend of Fire Horse Woman was published. She also provides lectures in both university and community settings. In 2006, Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston received the Award of Excellence for her contributions to society from the Japanese American National Museum. (November 25, 2006)

Jimmy Ko Fukuhara
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Jimmy Ko Fukuhara

Sugar beet and potato farming in Idaho

(b. 1921) Nisei veteran who served in the occupation of Japan

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William Marutani
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William Marutani

Recalling Pinedale and Tule Lake concentration camps

Judge, only Japanese American to serve on CWRIC.

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William Marutani
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William Marutani

Impressions of student relocation in South Dakota

Judge, only Japanese American to serve on CWRIC.

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Jimmy Ko Fukuhara
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Jimmy Ko Fukuhara

Being called out of Reserves

(b. 1921) Nisei veteran who served in the occupation of Japan

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Jimmy Ko Fukuhara
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Jimmy Ko Fukuhara

Fort Snelling

(b. 1921) Nisei veteran who served in the occupation of Japan

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Clifford Uyeda
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Clifford Uyeda

Treatment by Chinese students

(1917 - 2004) Political activist

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Clifford Uyeda
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Clifford Uyeda

Attempts to sign up for military service

(1917 - 2004) Political activist

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Kazuomi Takagi
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Kazuomi Takagi

No discrimination in Argentina (Spanish)

(1925-2014) La Plata Hochi, Journalist

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Jimmy Ko Fukuhara
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Jimmy Ko Fukuhara

Traveling from Manila to Tokyo

(b. 1921) Nisei veteran who served in the occupation of Japan

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Holly J. Fujie
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Holly J. Fujie

Camp stories impact on her career

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

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Yumi Matsubara
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Yumi Matsubara

Concentration camp from a Japanese mother’s point of view (Japanese)

Shin-Issei from Gifu. Recently received U.S. citizenship

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Young O. Kim
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Young O. Kim

Fully aware of discrimination in America

(1919 - 2006) World War II and Korean War veteran

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Young O. Kim
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Young O. Kim

They had to succeed

(1919 - 2006) World War II and Korean War veteran

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Masao Kinoshita
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Masao Kinoshita

Makegumi - Movement to regognize the defeat of Japan (Japanese)

A central figure for the “Makegumi” (defeatists)

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Sakaye Shigekawa
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Sakaye Shigekawa

Differences in discrimination

(1913-2013) Doctor specializing in obstetrics in Southern California

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