Roy Kakuda

Roy Kakuda was born in Orange, CA and at age 2 was sent to the WWII Colorado River Relocation Center in Poston, AZ. Roy went to Hover Elementary School as part of the American Mexican integration program, a precursor to the black integration program. At Garden Grove High School, Roy witnessed the attempted integration of black student into that school. He has a BS in electronics from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

Roy took over his father’s truck farm when his father came down with TB. Part of the farm land was leased from a settler who arrived by wagon train and was a charter member of the John Burch Society.

He is married. He retired from the Jet Propulsion Lab where he worked on the design of missions into space. After retirement Roy was a docent at Japanese American National Museum. He is an avid bicyclist.

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Am I Japanese?

I did not really think about the subject until I was guiding a tour at the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) where I volunteered as a docent for many years, giving well-regarded tours. Unfortunately, in one of my tours, I innocently made a comment to a visitor in regards to “being Japanese” that was misinterpreted. I realize in hindsight that I should have taken the time to explain the background of being Japanese and in retrospect, it has led me to write on the question: Am I Japanese? Whether I am Japanese or not, may be decided by how I view myself and how other people …

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