Jenny Nakao Hones

Jenny Nakao Hones is a sansei Japanese American, born in Honolulu and raised in Tokyo, Japan.  Three Frogs Design is her interior design and feng shui consultation business serving the Greater Seattle area. Jenny shares her passion for Asian culture on her blog

Updated September 2012

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Mr. Hori and the Panama Hotel, a Nisei Story - Part 8

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From Mr. Hori’s stories, I tried to imagine camp life in the middle of the Idaho desert. Especially, this being the age of information, I wondered if being interned was like living in total isolation with no news from the outside world. But, my assumptions were very wrong.

Mr. Hori informed me that with a population of close to 10,000 residents, the camp published their own paper called The Minidoka Irrigator. It was published for the community and by the community. In addition to this, they also had access to three other Japanese newspapers …

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Mr. Hori and the Panama Hotel, a Nisei Story - Part 7

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In the fall of 1943, the Japanese internees at Puyallup, Washington were bused to the train tracks in Puyallup, and travelled by train to their permanent internment camp called Minidoka Relocation Camp in Hunt, Idaho. On the train ride, Mr. Hori recalls that they had to keep the shades down and were not allowed to look out the windows. I wonder if this was to keep the operation under secrecy.

His first impression of Minidoka, was that it was just desert, nothing particularly notable there. But, the place was ready for their arrival, as he …

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Mr. Hori and the Panama Hotel, a Nisei Story - Part 6

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The government began sending a notice to each family informing them to report with their belongings on a designated day at a specific location. Mr. Hori recalls waiting in line on 8th Avenue and Lane St. and boarded the bus with his family to Puyallup.


Puyallup is a city, south of Seattle, about five miles east of Tacoma. The Puyallup fairground is the site for the Puyallup Fair that began in the 1900’s that included special attractions, rides, and festivities. Even today, the Puyallup Fair is a popular family attraction for two weeks in …

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Mr. Hori and the Panama Hotel, a Nisei Story - Part 5

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In early 1942, the US government plastered the telephone poles with posters stating that all Japanese living within a certain boundary were to report to the government office by certain date in March and the Japanese were to be evacuated from the city. The Japanese newspapers also cooperated with the government because many of the Issei, Japanese immigrants, couldn’t read English.


No one knew what was going on and because of this sudden announcement, there was obviously much confusion. The government had an office downtown where people could come and ask questions. All …

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Mr. Hori and the Panama Hotel, a Nisei Story - Part 4

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Sunday, December 7, 1941 the Japanese invaded Pearl Harbor and the following day, President Roosevelt gave his famous Infamy Speech, declaring war against Japan.


Although Seattle is a good distance away from Hawaii, life in Japantown started to change. Announcements to the citizens were distributed through newspaper extras and short wave radio. The first notice was the limited usage of light. In the evening, everything had to be pitch black; they were all told to pull down their shades, making sure there was no light shining from the windows because of the air …

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