Rio Imamura

Rio Imamura, a U.S. citizen for close to 30 years living in New York City and Southern California, returned to Japan upon retirement in 1994. His Japanese translation of Dear Miss Breed written by Joanne Oppenheim was published by Kashiwa Shobo, Tokyo in 2007.

Updated February 2012

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Notable Japanese Americans

The 46th elementary school opening early next year in Chula Vista with a 47.5 million dollar budget will bear Saburo Muraoka’s name. I thought the case might be the first public school built in honor of a Japanese American immigrant, unprecedented for Japanese Americans.

I looked up the late Hawaiian war hero, 442nd combat vet, U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye (1924–2012), the first Japanese American Congressman. Yes, DKI Institute was built in 2013, inside the University of Hawaii, Manoa Campus to honor his legacy. The Institute will support middle and high school STEM (science, technology, engineering, and ...

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Nikkei Chronicles #5: Nikkei-go: The Language of Family, Community, and Culture

Minato Gakuen Now

The Class of 2016 graduating from Minato Gakuen was congratulated once in San Diego in mid-March and again in Kyoto in early April. Here’s chapter and verse of the life spanning story and the fruits of the concerted service and dedication of all those parties involved.

Minato Gakuen was established in 1978 as a Nihongo Hoshuko (Saturday Japanese Supplementary Language School) in San Diego primarily for the Japanese expatriate children. Most expatriate’s term of assignment range from 3–4 years and during that time, the parent’s biggest headache was that their children could face hardship upon their ...

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Infamy

My son, who lives in New York, took the trouble to airfreight me Richard Reeves’ Infamy, a 340 page book newly published by Henry Holt & Co. The subtitle reads “The Shocking Story of the Japanese American Internment in World War II.” This is the first book Joanne Oppenheim’s Dear Miss Breed is quoted extensively. I was happy to find Clara Breed’s photo in the book. She was the children’s librarian at the San Diego Public Library, who met hundreds of young Japanese Americans and during the internment years, she sent them letters, books, and gifts. I saw ...

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"Painted My Way"—Henry Fukuhara, A True Artist

          Shadow of the distant pass;
          Their memories still last
          Manzanar: Monument of Tears.
          Ignorance and pseudo-fears;
          A wrong that can’t be made right;
          A blindness for lack of sight;
          A day now engulfed by night;
          A hope shaded, once so bright.
          The memories still last,
          …they still last

—“Manzanar” by William Smith                       

The best souvenir of my recent Californian trip was an art book titled Painted My Way, designed and printed in 2011 by the APC Fine Arts & Graphic Gallery, Torrance, California. Phyllis Doyon, who has her studio and gallery in Camarillo, gave it to me when my daughter ...

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Voluntary Evacuation

“Attempted but failed” was my understanding of the voluntary evacuation efforts by the Japanese Americans when Japan declared war against the Allied Forces in attacking Pearl Harbor.

Ryo Takasugi’s book on Fred (Isamu) Wada took me by surprise. The book, written a decade ago, was recently republished as The Man who ushered in the Tokyo Olympics (1964) from Kobunsha. What caught me was its subtitle “The Story of an Nisei Japanese who Refused to go to the Concentration Camp.”

The scene began at the affluent Chapultepec residence of Mexican General Jose de J. Clark Flores, then the Vice President ...

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