Japanese American National Museum

Japanese American National Museum, located in Los Angeles, California, is the largest museum in the United States dedicated to sharing the experience of Americans of Japanese ancestry. Discover Nikkei is a project of the National Museum.

Updated May 2007 

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Japanese American National Museum Magazine

The Best Fertilizer is Your Shadow: The Chino Family Farm

“Chino Ranch Chopped Salad” is featured on the menu at Spago, Wolfgang Puck’s Hollywood restaurant. “Chino Ranch Salad” also appears on the menus of a number of lesser known restaurants, many of which don’t buy their vegetables at the Chino family’s modest stand just inland from Del Mar, California, but don’t mind capitalizing on its renown.

This Japanese American family has been the subject of a lengthy New Yorker magazine profile, newspaper articles, and a recent NBC news segment with Tom Brokaw. The unique quality and variety of the Chino farm produce, the fact that four ...

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Japanese American National Museum Magazine

A Different Kind of Approach – A Profile of Yoshiko Uragami

Yoshiko Uragami is a remarkable woman—though she will deny that there’s anything very special about her, her Nisei modesty can’t hide a powerful spirit and irresistible sense of humor, and her scrap books and photo albums reveal a rich history.

Born in a midwife’s house on Crocker Street in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo in 1918, “when the dinosaurs were still walking around,” Uragami grew up in Southern California. It’s hard for her visitors to believe she’s nearing her 80th birthday, and she is finding it a little hard to believe herself. “You don’t ...

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Japanese American National Museum Magazine

From a Life History Interview with SAKAE TAKAHASHI

The 100th was Formally Organized

When the war started, the Niseis who were drafted were already in two Hawaiian National Guard Regiments, the 299th Infantry and the 298th Infantry… The day the war started, they were already deployed because most army and federalized National Guard Units were already on alert… When the war started, they stayed with their respective National Guard Units. And as I understand it, during the battle of Midway, there was some concern about the Niseis who were with these federalized National Guard troops out in the field might cause some problems. So…they gathered all of ...

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Japanese American National Museum Magazine

Every Branch Has a Personality of Its Own – A Profile of Chiye Tomihiro

Chiye Tomihiro is used to being interviewed. She testified before the Commission of Citizens (CWRIC) in 1981, her memories are in several oral history collections, and she has appeared on TV and in magazine stories. Her grace reflects both her experience and her nature. Poised and at ease, she offers cold drinks to visitors in her lakefront Chicago apartment.

She wastes no time. “I was born in Portland, Oregon, in 1924. The first thing that I mention to people from California is that there were only about a hundred families in Oregon. We were really a minority in our schools ...

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Japanese American National Museum Magazine

I DON’T COMPLAIN – A Profile of Art Morimitsu

The story of Chicagoan Art Morimitsu’s life is the story of a community—the story of Japanese American immigrants whose sons and daughters triumphed over hardships and discrimination to make their way as exemplary Americans. At age 86, Morimitsu knew that his life’s story was the stuff of legend. In a June, 1998 interview his mischievous grin and twinkling eyes indicate the pleasure that it gives him to recall the events of his long life of hard work and service.

Morimitsu’s father was a laborer on a sugar plantation in Hawai‘i, his mother was a picture ...

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