Roy Y. Sakamoto

Roy Y. Sakamoto is a Nisei who was born after World War II, growing up on a strawberry farm in San Jose, CA, and later helping his father with his gardening route. A retired division financial manager with the U.S. Air Force, Roy is a tour docent volunteer with the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles's Little Tokyo. He is also president of the Japanese American Historical Society of Southern California. The Tule Lake pilgrimage was very meaningful to him because Roy's whole family spent almost four years incarcerated at the Gila River and Tule Lake concentration camps during the war.

Updated August 2012

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Nanka Nikkei Voices

My Name is “BAKA”: Issei Discipline & Expectations in a Dr. Spock World

As a “baby boomer” raised by Issei parents on a farm in San Jose, CA after the war, I’ve often thought about how different it might have been if I had been raised as part of the “Dr. Spock1 generation” of my suburban hakujin (Caucasian) classmates. I often heard my hakujin friends have discussions with their parents about, (1) why they weren’t allowed to do something; (2) making excuses for not getting something done; or (3) denying blame when they were being chastised for something they did. Such discussions never took place in my house.

In many ...

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2012 TULE LAKE PILGRIMAGE - Understanding “No-No” and Renunciation - June 30 – July 3, 2012

My whole family was imprisoned for almost four years in America’s concentration camps by the federal government during and after World War II. Over two years of their incarceration was spent at the worst of the War Relocation Authority (WRA) prisons, the Tule Lake Segregation Center in northern California.

In 1943, the WRA decided to set up one of the ten prisons as a “segregation center” because all of the prison camps had a vocal minority who continually protested their incarceration and the wretched conditions in the prisons. In order to separate the protestors from the general prison population ...

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