Gennosuke Matsumoto

Gennosuke Matsumoto was born on August 1, 1889 in Fusa, Chiba Prefecture, now part of the town of Abiko. As a young man, he immigrated to Seattle, Washington to work for an import-export store. Some time later, he began a correspondence with the sister of his friend Taisuke Takahashi, a fellow immigrant from Chiba Prefecture. This led to a trip back to Japan to marry Taisuke’s sister, Tomiko. The couple operated a fruit market in Seattle, and after the Depression, a grocery story in downtown Los Angeles. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, they, their three children and Tomiko’s mother Iku, were forcibly removed to Santa Anita racetrack, then to Heart Mountain, Wyoming. There, Gennosuke began writing poetry under the pen name Ryokuyo Matsumoto. He was a member of the Araragi poetry society. He passed away in 1977.

Updated October 2018

culture en ja

Nikkei al descubierto: una columna de poesía

Longing

This month, we feature poetry in Nihongo (with English translation) from Tomiko Matsumoto and Gennosuke Matsumoto, who were both originally from Chiba and eventually married there, before living in Seattle and later imprisoned in the Heart Mountain, Wyoming concentration camp during World War II. Their poetry here comes through that lens—two short tales of lamentation.

—traci kato-kiriyama

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Tomiko Matsumoto was was born on August 30, 1900 in Nakano (current Kimitsu city), Chiba Prefecture, and immigrated to Seattle in the early 1920s. She and her family were imprisoned at Heart Mountain, Wyoming from 1943 to 1945. There, under the poet ...

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