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Going to Japanese school

To our parents we spoke Japanese. Because all of us in elementary school for the first 8 years we had to go to the English school from about eight to two o’clock I believe, or two thirty. And then nearby there was a Japanese school where we had to attend for an hour and learn Japanese. So more or less all of us spoke some Japanese and we were able to communicate with our parents. When they wanted to give us advice or sermonize, we understood what they were saying.


Japanese language schools languages language schools

Date: May 29, 2006

Location: Hawai`i, US

Interviewer: Akemi Kikumura Yano

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

Interviewee Bio

Francis "FranK" Y. Sogi was born in Lanihau, Kona, on the Big Island of Hawai‘i in 1923, the youngest of five children born to Issei parents who farmed vegetables, bananas and coffee.

Francis began studies at the University of Hawai‘i (UH) in 1941 at 18 years old, and—as required--served in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (R.O.T.C.) to prepare for military service. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, all R.O.T.C. students were inducted into the Hawai‘i Territorial Guard. However, he was soon discharged as being an “enemy alien,” and he returned to UH to continue his education. Men at UH with knowledge of the Japanese language were being recruited to join the United States Military Intelligence Service, so Francis volunteered and in 1944 was sent to Camp Savage and Fort Snelling, Minnesota, for training.

After serving in Japan, translating documents for the U.S. counterintelligence corps, he once again enrolled at UH in 1947. He completed his studies in 1949 and went on to Fordham Law School in New York City while his wife, Sarah, attended Columbia University. He passed the bar exam in December 1952 and was admitted to the New York state bar. In 1953, Frank was asked to serve at the Tokyo office of the law firm of Hunt, Hill and Betts and represented Fortune 500 companies doing license agreements, joint ventures and investments of all kinds. From 1959 - 1984 he was with Miller Montgomery Spalding & Sogi, and in 1984 he joined Kelley Drye & Warren until his retirement in 1993.

Because of their growing philanthropic interests, Francis and his wife Sarah created the Francis and Sarah Sogi Foundation, a charitable foundation that currently supports the work of several non-profit organizations.

He passed away on November 3, 2011(November 2011)

 

Richard Kosaki
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Richard Kosaki

Teaching at the military language school during World War II

(b. 1924) Political scientist, educator, and administrator from Hawai`i

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Art Shibayama
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Art Shibayama

Learning English upon discovering that family could not return to Peru

(1930-2018) Nisei born in Peru. Taken to the United States during WWII.

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Kimi Wakabayashi
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Kimi Wakabayashi

Her early life in Canada

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

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Mitsuo Ito
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Mitsuo Ito

Japanese school

(b.1924) Japanese Canadian Nisei. Interpreter for British Army in Japan after WWII. Active in Japanese Canadian community

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Venancio Shinki
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Venancio Shinki

Education Japanese style (Spanish)

(b. 1932-2016) Peruvian painter

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Venancio Shinki
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Venancio Shinki

Closing the Japanese school and deportation (Spanish)

(b. 1932-2016) Peruvian painter

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Alfredo Kato
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Alfredo Kato

Post-war experiences in Lima (Spanish)

(b. 1937) Professional journalist

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Roy Hirabayashi
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Roy Hirabayashi

Learning Japanese at school and at home with family

(b.1951) Co-founder and managing director of San Jose Taiko.

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Paula Hoyos Hattori
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Paula Hoyos Hattori

To think in one language and live in another (Spanish)

Sansei Argentinean

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Ryoko Hokama
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Ryoko Hokama

Initial struggles with the language barrier (Japanese)

(b. 1917) Okinawan, Issei Argentinean

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Kazuomi Takagi
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Kazuomi Takagi

Learning Spanish (Spanish)

(1925-2014) La Plata Hochi, Journalist

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Johnnie Morton
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Johnnie Morton

Attending Japanese school

(b.1971) Professional football player.

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Clifford Uyeda
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Clifford Uyeda

Japanese Language School

(1917 - 2004) Political activist

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Henry Suto
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Henry Suto

Working tirelessly after the war (Japanese)

(1928 - 2008) Drafted into both the Japanese Imperial Army and the U.S. Army.

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Miyoko Amano
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Miyoko Amano

A Lifestyle Using Both Japanese and Spanish (Japanese)

(b. 1929) President of Amano Museum

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