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Takayo "Rose" Matsui Ochi was born in East Los Angeles on December 15, 1938. During World War II, Ochi's family was sent to Rohwer. It was in Rohwer that a Caucasian teacher gave her the new name "Rose," which she has used ever since. After the war, Rose lived for a year in Nevada with an uncle while her parents fought deportation for failing to maintain their business visas during their wartime incarceration in Rohwer. They were ultimately successful, and returned to Los Angeles with their children. In Los Angeles, Ochi finished school, earned her B.A. from UCLA and her M.S. from California State University, Los Angeles. After teaching secondary school, she went back to school to earn her J.D. from USC as a Reginald Heber Smith Fellow. While serving as a Reginald Heber Smith Fellow for the Western Center on Law and Poverty she won the landmark educational law reform case, Serrano v. Priest, serving as the co-counsel of record.

Nikkei interests

  • community history
  • family stories
  • festival/matsuri
  • Japanese/Nikkei food
  • Japantowns
  • taiko

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