Junko Yoshida

Born and raised in Tokyo, Junko Yoshida studied law at Hosei University and moved to America. After graduating from California State University, Chico, with a degree from the Department of Communication Arts & Science, she started working at the Rafu Shimpo. As an editor, she has been reporting and writing about culture, art, and entertainment within the Nikkei society in Southern California, Japan-U.S. relations, as well as political news in Los Angeles, California. 

Updated April 2018

community en ja

Wakamatsu Colony - Part 5: The Ending of Sakichi’s Journey

Read Part 4 >> Sakichi Yanagisawa, formerly of the Wakamatsu Colony, returned to Japan in 1902 and started to teach Western cooking at Japan Women’s University. According to the Naruse Memorial Museum at the university, he started working there as a contract teacher in September 1903 and probably retired in 1905. Yone was teaching English at the university at the same time, and the school bulletin confirms the two of them were there. Sakichi also wrote a book titled Nouji ni Kansuru Iken (Opinions on Agricultural Affairs) in 1903. About three years after his return to Japa...

lea más

community en ja

Wakamatsu Colony - Part 4: The Daughter Who Inherited the Pioneer Spirit

Read Part 3 >> “I finally found him!” Kanako Yamaguchi, Sakichi Yanagisawa’s great-great-granddaughter, recalls her shock when she found photos of Sakichi. “I almost had given up hope of finding photos,” she said. In Kanako’s eyes, Sakichi had a gentle demeanor. And she saw for the first time that Sakichi’s daughter, Yone, was beautiful. Yone Yanagisawa was the first Japanese woman to graduate from the University of California (now UC Berkeley). According to her koseki, resume, and other documents discovered this time, Yone wa...

lea más

community en ja

Wakamatsu Colony - Part 3: Japanese Pioneer Woman Nami and the Sad Fate That Awaited Her

Read Part 2 >> In past Japanese American historical documents, Nami is only mentioned as Sakichi Yanagisawa’s wife. But she had her own story, and above all, she was one of the pioneer women of early Japanese immigration in North America. An 1869 document provided by Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs lists a group of travelers who were issued passports and are believed to be the Wakamatsu colonists. Among the group, there is Nami’s name. A Nichibei Shinbun article published June 24, 1934, includes an interview with Nami’s daughter Yone. Yone said that Na...

lea más

community en ja

Wakamatsu Colony - Part 2: Sakichi Yanagisawa’s Dream of California

Read Part 1 >> According to Sakichi Yanagisawa’s family koseki, he was born on July 13, 1848. His domicile was Sakamoto Town, Usui County, Gunma Prefecture. He was probably at Wakamatsu Colony from the age of 20 to 21. In A History of Yokohama City, he is listed as the son of Iseya Cyozo of Minami Shinagawa. A Nichibei Shinbun article, published June 24, 1934, includes an interview with Yone in which she tells how Sakichi joined Schnell’s group and went to California, and had a hard time living in El Dorado County, where Wakamatsu Colony was located. After the collap...

lea más

community en ja

Wakamatsu Colony - Part 1: New Discoveries - Sakichi Yanagisawa, a Wakamatsu Colonist

“Come to think of it, it is quite a magnificent gravestone…” Kanako Yamaguchi, a resident of Tokyo, wondered about the size of her ancestor’s gravestone when she attended her grandmother’s funeral in 2004. She went home and searched the Internet for the name carved on the tombstone, “Sakichi Yanagisawa.” Eventually, details slowly emerged of a family ancestor and a pioneer of early Japanese immigration to the U.S. Sakichi Yanagisawa was one of the settlers at the Wakamatsu Colony, the first Japanese settlement on the American mainland. More tha...

lea más