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We go to America (Spanish)

(Spanish) My name is Venancio Shinki, and my maternal surname is Huamán. I am, therefore, an odd mix of Japanese and authentic Peruvian. My mother is from the mountainside; I don’t know the place where she was born, only that she arrived at…

We lived on the San Nicolás Hacienda. What is this San Nicolás Hacienda? In the ‘little north,’ as they say more or less near the Supe district. Well, it was a place, one of the places of the Japanese settlement in Peru, on the Peruvian coast, and on that site was the place where my father registered as a member of the community. During that time period – I am speaking of 1915 when I wasn’t even born yet – the Japanese came to work. Why? Japan experienced a terrible economic situation at that time; many Japanese left, saying “Let’s go to America,” but they didn’t think whether it was North, Central, or South America. The issue was simply to leave, and leave without any money. Afterwards, they had to pay the company that transported them; they had to take a portion of their salary to pay for the transportation costs.


immigration migration Peru

Date: September 6, 2007

Location: Lima, Peru

Interviewer: Harumi Nako

Contributed by: Asociación Peruano Japonesa (APJ)

Interviewee Bio

Venancio Shinki (born 1932 in Supe, Lima, Peru) is one of the most outstanding Peruvian painters. The son of a Japanese father (Kitsuke Shinki of Hiroshima Ken) and a Peruvian mother (Filomena Huamán), Venancio was raised on the San Nicolás hacienda in Supe, north of Lima, an area with a large concentration of Japanese immigrants in the early years. He studied at the National School of Fine Arts of Peru, and graduated with the best grade in his class in 1962.

His paintings recall Eastern, Western, and Andean traditions, with a distinctive surrealism that shows an unknown and intriguing universe, set off by a purified technique and a renovated figuration, which links Venancio with other great Latin American artists. Venancio has received many accolades and has participated in a variety of individual and group exhibits in Peru, Japan, Italy, United States, Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil, Venezuela, Panama, and Mexico, among others. In 1999, the year of the centenary marking Japanese migration to Peru, Venacio was invited to exhibit his work in the Museum of Man in Nagoya, Japan. His most recent works were displayed in November 2006 during the 34th Annual Japanese Cultural Week in Lima, Peru. He passed away in 2016. (October 2017)

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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Art Shibayama
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Art Shibayama

Activities growing up in Peru

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

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Art Shibayama
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Art Shibayama

Family's deportation from Peru to U.S. after the bombing of Pearl Harbor

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

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Art Shibayama
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Art Shibayama

Denied redress as a Japanese Peruvian

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

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