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Nikkei contributions to Paraguayan agriculture (Spanish)

(Spanish) The immigration treaty was for agricultural workers. For people to become farmers. So then a handful of Japanese settlements formed outside of the capital, far from the capital, and they developed a mechanized method of agriculture. A model form of farming, especially in the cultivation of bean, of soy beans, and then that’s something the Japanese began growing and exporting to Japan. So, other Paraguayans saw how valuable it was to grow beans, and they began learning from the Japanese how it’s grown, how to harvest it and export it, and then the multinationals starting moving in beans with the Paraguayans. There are huge tracts of beans everywhere and now Paraguay is considered the 5th largest exporter of beans in the world. And in a way, the Japanese and Nikkei have made their biggest contribution to Paraguay through other agricultural achievements as well. They brought new products, new farming techniques, new kinds of fertilizer, new industrial processes. And so they harvested really high quality produce.


agriculture farming immigration migration

Date: October 7, 2005

Location: California, US

Interviewer: Ann Kaneko

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

Interviewee Bio

Emilia Yumi Kasamatsu (also known as “Emi”) was born and raised in La Colmena, Paraguay. La Colmena was the first Japanese colony in Paraguay. Her father was a prominent figure in the colony as an organizer and administrator. Emi has fond memories of a strict education that was a mix of Japanese and Paraguayan ideals. Her education provided an understanding of future aspirations and projections of her adult life in the capital of Paraguay. Kasamatsu graduated from the Facultad de Filosofía y Letras with a Bachelor in Literature, and received her postgraduate degree in Gender and Development at the Universidad Nacional de Asunción (UNA). She has published a variety of books on the topic of Japanese immigration into Paraguay and the Americas, which are written in the Spanish language and translated into Japanese and English: La presencia japonesa en el Paraguay (1987), La historia de la Asociación Panamericana Nikkei presencia e inmigración japonesas en las Americas (2005) (bilingual editions: Spanish and English); Edited by Akemi Kikumura: New World, New Lives (2002) and Encyclopedia of Japanese Descendants in the Americas (2002) in English and Japanese. Emi Kasamatsu is President of the Centro Social de Beneficencia Japonesa in Paraguay (2006-2008) and the first Vice President of the Asociación Paraguayo Japonesa (2005-2008). She was President of Centro Nikkei Paraguayo (an association of the Nisei in Paraguay) and the 6th Convención Panamericana Nikkei. Kasamatsu was delegate of Paraguay between 1987-2007. She is Vice Director of the Paraguayan Japanese Center for the Development of Human Resources, and is involved with the Academic and Cultural Coordination. (May 23, 2007)

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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Haruo Kasahara
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Haruo Kasahara

Sings traditional plantation labor song (ho-le ho-le bushi) in Japanese and Hawaiian

(b.1900) Issei plantation worker in Hawai'i.

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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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Wally Kaname Yonamine
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Wally Kaname Yonamine

Training for football by carrying 100-lb bags of grass over mountains

(b.1925) Nisei of Okinawan descent. Had a 38-year career in Japan as a baseball player, coach, scout, and manager.

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Wally Kaname Yonamine
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Wally Kaname Yonamine

Working in cane fields as teenager to supplement family income

(b.1925) Nisei of Okinawan descent. Had a 38-year career in Japan as a baseball player, coach, scout, and manager.

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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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