Emiko Tsuchida

Emiko Tsuchida is freelance writer and digital marketer living in San Francisco. She has written on the representations of mixed race Asian American women and conducted interviews with some of the top Asian American women chefs. Her work has appeared in the Village Voice, the Center for Asian American Media, and the forthcoming Beiging of America series. She is the creator of Tessaku, a project that collects stories from Japanese Americans who experienced the concentration camps.

Updated December 2016

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Tessaku

Teresa Maebori - Part 1

“I think that generation isn’t like our generation that grew up with the thought that we’re all equal. I think they understood it but they also knew that their parents were immigrants, and so they weren’t quite ‘up to par.’ Then of course what happened with Pearl Harbor just destroyed their lives. And they would forever be associated with the enemy.”

— Teresa Maebori

Educator, author, and Philadelphia JACL board member, Teresa Maebori, started to retrace her family’s WWII experience when she asked her 98-year-old mother to join her on a pilgrimage back to a town near ...

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Tessaku

Paul and Alice Takemoto - Part 2

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Do you speak Japanese?

Alice Takemoto (AT): Just like a second grader. So when I went there, we were there for three months and we went to about seven different universities and since Ken couldn’t speak Japanese, so I spoke in my kitchen Japanese. You know, the immigration stopped at a certain point so the people didn’t come from Japan, so my mother and father’s speech is what they called the Meiji Era. So I learned the Japanese they spoke way back then and I’m using this language with the professors and they ...

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Tessaku

Paul and Alice Takemoto - Part 1

“I grew up thinking women were stronger than men in terms of the absence of anger and self-pity. Absence of bitterness.”

– Paul Takemoto

If you ever have the pleasure of meeting Alice and Paul Takemoto, you will be in the presence of an endearing mother and son relationship. Sitting with them felt like a reunion with old friends, full of unexplainable but palpable comfort. Alice has a voice so sweet, she could deliver bad news and you’d receive it warmly. And when Paul cracks a joke (which is frequently), Alice’s laugh is infectious.

As star subjects in the ...

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Tessaku

James Tanaka - Part 2

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Did you get the sense that for whatever reason, Minidoka’s security felt more relaxed than the other camps?

In my diggings I found the April 7th meeting of DeWitt, Eisenhower, and the ten Western governors in Salt Lake City. And on page four it says ‘distinction between internment and evacuation.’ It spelled out clearly the difference between the two. And then, poor Mr. Eisenhower had a problem with sleeping because knowing American citizens were locked up behind barbed wire and armed guards, he couldn’t sleep at night. So in June, he turned the duties over ...

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Tessaku

James Tanaka - Part 1

"The guard tower had a heavy duty machine gun. Of course no one was standing directly behind it but it looked in. Later as an adult I learned another reason they locked us up was for our protection. If somebody's going to hurt us, shouldn't it be pointing out?"

- James Tanaka

As a longtime docent at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, James Tanaka is a wealth of knowledge. He knows government documents, dates and WWII particulars by heart, and he carries a binder full of sheet protectors filled with his family’s documents and obscure ...

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