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

George Shimizu - Part 2

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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 ...

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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 ...

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Tessaku

Grace Izuhara

“I remember my father saying how angry he was and that he would never again vote. And he never did."

—Grace Izuhara

Grace Izuhara’s family was one of the “lucky” few that escaped imprisonment in the camps during WWII, heading east to Utah to work on sugar beet farms, a vital wartime staple. “Lucky,” because despite their independence, anti-Japanese fervor still ran high in their new town of Clearfield, resulting in a few traumatic events that Grace can still picture. She remembers seeing “Hunting Licenses for Japs” signs hung in store windows. When her brother needed urgent medical attention ...

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Tessaku

Sherman Kishi - Part 2

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After you were in training, you were aware that it was leading up to the occupation of Japan? 

Yes, we expected that all along. The first thing was we got shipped out of San Francisco in July of 1945 and we were sent to the Philippines. They had ATIS–Allied Translation and Interpreter Section–part of the U.S. army and we were stationed close to Manila. We were there about the end of July and of course the atom bomb was dropped in the middle of August. So in September they sent us right into Japan ...

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Tessaku

Sherman Kishi - Part 1

"After they gave us the redress, it just really relieved all of us who had been in the camp. Because camp was sort of a feeling of shame, that you had to be in a place like that. So we didn’t talk about it.”

— Sherman Kishi

Down a tucked away country road in Livingston, California sits a ranch-style house, welcoming guests with a driveway full of poppies. Adjacent to this house lies lush farmland filled with almond trees and fields of sweet potatoes. This land, and its 230 acres, belong to the Kishi family, who have looked over it ...

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