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

Jiro Oyama - Part 4

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If we were going to go back to fill in some of the gaps, after the loyalty questionnaire, were you drafted or did you volunteer?

I was drafted. After I got out of high school and camp, I went out to the University of Cincinnati. The American Friends Service Committee provided a scholarship I think it was about $200 dollars. I live with my elder sister, who was single in Cincinnati working as a housemaid. My sister left and I took over the apartment [and] my brother, who was single at that time, came after Jerome was ...

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Tessaku

Jiro Oyama - Part 3

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How long were you in Santa Anita?

I guess it was about eight months. And the thing is that to bring some solace to the crowd of people, they had a group of Hawaiian singers and dancers, and there would be a stage where they would have some sort of intimate entertainment. They tried to start some classes to try to maintain the education. But I don’t think that was successful at all. And then Santa Anita, they did have a program underway, they started to produce camouflage netting. So they had on the stands, people ...

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Tessaku

Jiro Oyama - Part 2

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This is actually good because it brings us to Pearl Harbor. So your father’s gone and it sounds like your sister's becoming the head of the household. So what do you remember about the day Pearl Harbor happened?

It happened two years after my older sister got married. So we had my younger sister, my brother, and me. My second sister, Minnie, was managing the grocery store. And my brother is starting to go at that time to UCLA. And I was about 16 years old.

So on Pearl Harbor, we used to close the ...

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Tessaku

Jiro Oyama - Part 1

“And as I was standing there, I was looking around to see, realizing that everyone was concerned about the attack and that they would be looking at me. I didn’t consider other Japanese, too. It was me that was to blame.”

— Jiro Oyama

Jiro Oyama’s long, fruitful life represents the essence of the achievement of the American dream. As the youngest son born to a hardworking family in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles, his early years were punctuated by tragic and difficult life events. When he was nine, his father died from a prolonged illness after ...

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Tessaku

Richard Yamashiro - Part 4

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How did you meet your wife?

Well, I was in the army, so I went to a USO dance. That’s where I met her.

So she’s Japanese American?

Yeah. And that’s another story. I wanted to get married, but I was only 20 years old. And so I asked my parents if they would give me permission to get married. She said, no, I was too young. And so, me and my girlfriend hop on a plane, went to Reno and got married in Reno. And I came back and then my mother-in-law says ...

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