Sachi Kaneshiro

Sachi Kaneshiro was born Sachi Tamaki in Covina, a city in Los Angeles County in California. She attended UCLA where she received a B.A. in International Relations. She was incarcerated in the Poston Relocation Center between May 1942 and January 1943, and in Heart Mountain Relocation Center from January through May 1943. She worked for 28 years as a Social Worker for Los Angeles County and the State of Hawaii before retiring in 1984. She took a creative writing class where she wrote this essay to meet an assignment on reaction to a news item.

Updated September 2007

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Nikkei Chronicles #3 — Nikkei Names: Taro, John, Juan, João?

What's in a Name?

On my early morning walk the other day, I heard behind me, faintly, in the distance, “Sochi, Sochi…” I wondered, is someone trying to channel the Olympics but didn’t look back, just kept on going. Then the sound caught up with me. It was Flossie from the same senior citizens’ building where I live.

“I’ve been watching the Winter Olympics on TV and I finally got your name straight…Sochi.” Close enough, I thought, she had already gone from “Soxy” to “Sascha” to “Saki.”

Mine is such a simple name to pronounce even for non-Japanese. What if I ...

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Heart-less Mountain

They heard the muffled anger, the stifled sob, the hollow laughter...all the human sounds...echoing through the empty barracks. But no one was there.

Heart Mountain Internment Camp, a jerrybuilt town of 11,000, that pulsated with life for three years, had vanished. The desert had reclaimed the land that yielded grain and vegetables for the internees.

Into this wasteland, moved Chester and Mary Blackburn. Two years after the last internee left, the Blackburns decided to farm here. Their story was one of several featured in a Newsweek Magazine article in July, 1987, “America’s Heroes.”

Chester and Mary ...

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