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

war en

Tessaku

Mitsuki Mikki Tsuchida - Part 1

“Army trucks would pull up and someone would shout down, ‘How many in your family?’ And they would just throw the toilet paper and you had to go pick it up. And that lack of human dignity, it just went on and on.”

— Mitsuki Mikki Tsuchida

When I first started asking my dad about vivid camp memories, my dad would tell me how the alkaline sandstorms used to force the kids to run and hide, or that the piercing stench of the Santa Anita horse stables has never left him. He used to talk about taking a shower under the ...

Read more

war en

Tessaku

The Oka Family - Part 2

Read Part 1

Diana Tsuchida (DT): Did you ever feel any sense of prejudice before the war?

Eva: Well, we lived on a farm with other Japanese people. We were sharecropping. Our whole school, Orchard School on Gish Road, was three-quarters Japanese.

Casey Coe (CC): What did you grow on the farm? 

George: Raspberries, cucumbers. I had to wake up at 2 o’clock in the morning to help my father irrigate the raspberries. I was just in grade school.

CC: So that’s a very dramatic difference from your life before camp versus in camp.

George: One thing about ...

Read more

war en

Tessaku

The Oka Family - Part 1

“All my normal U.S. citizens rights were taken away from me, just for what? Japan went to war with America? We were Americans. That’s what I really resent.”

— Amos Oka

This Oka family roundtable provided a rare opportunity to hear five siblings in their late 80s and early 90s have a candid conversation about their memories from camp and WWII. While some of what the younger siblings remembered was light-hearted play and the older siblings remembered farming and hardship, all of them remember the residual sadness for what their Issei parents must have gone through, despite never speaking ...

Read more

war en

Tessaku

George Shimizu - Part 2

Read part 1

How did you and your wife meet? 

It’s a long story. Do you want to hear it?

I do, I’m sure it’ll be a good story. 

This is in June of 1941, before Pearl Harbor, I get to Los Angeles and I’m staying with the Fujisaka family. So in those days, there were a lot of Boy’s clubs and Girl’s clubs and George Fujisaka [a friend] was a member of the Shamrocks. And my wife to be Mary, was a member of the girls’ co-eds.

So when I showed up in ...

Read more

war en

Tessaku

George Shimizu - Part 1

“I could hear a sailor behind me saying, ‘White flag, 2 o’clock, four hundred yards.’ Those were magic words, I’ll never forget it.” 

— George Shimizu

MIS veteran George Shimizu has just celebrated his 97th birthday this past June. And in a way that one can only hope to live out their sunset years, his infectious outlook on life and crystal clear memory defies his age. George has lived some extraordinary experiences that cross cultural and national borders: He went to high school in Tokyo, was one of four people of color in his freshmen class at Dartmouth, and ...

Read more

Series this author contributes to