Visiting Hiroshima

Transcripts available in the following languages:

I went to Hiroshima and I told my folks that I was going to go there before I came home. And so they sent me the address of my mother and father’s relatives. And I got to Hiroshima and before you come into Hiroshima, it’s just flat. I went there and I got off the train. And it was, there was no station. Nothing there. Just a place to stop. That was it. This was the Hiroshima station.

And when I was there, the Australian, the Australian forces had jurisdiction over Hiroshima. And he says, “Yes you can get out, walk around if you like.” He says, “We’re not going to come after you if it’s dark, so you’re out there alone.” So as soon as I get off, there was freshly built store out of wood, freshly built out of timber. Who would you think, I went over there to talk. Said, “Hello.” And the girl answered me in perfect English. She said, “Yes, I was in Tule Lake. I came back in Japan.” She said, “What is it you wanted to do?” I said, “I want to find my folks’ relatives.” She says, “The best thing you can do is, go around this here structure over here and there’s a police officer there.” So in a little - like a telephone - booth was a police officer. As soon as I showed him the address, he said, “There’s no such place out here any more.” And that was it, so I left.

Here’s the real start about the story is. Oh, it was within a month. The reception at our office building says, “Jimmy, there’s someone here looking for you.” “Alright. Bring them in the office.” Here comes this gentleman walking in. In everyday clothes. And he says, “I’m Tokutaro Fukuhara.” Oh my gosh. This is the man I was looking for! In Hiroshima. 

Date: February 6, 2015
Location: California, US
Interviewer: John Esaki
Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum

hiroshima relatives

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