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

Bob Kaneko - Part 1

Sadly, Mr. Kaneko passed away on September 18, 2016. I regret that he wasn’t able to read his interview and hope that this can honor his memory and pay great respect to his accomplished life. 

 

You had your sensei at the front of the room and he had different kinds of batons, if you will. You hear about Catholic nuns whacking kids? Well, these guys did the same thing.

-- Bob Kaneko

When I visited his Berkeley home last November, I discovered that Mr. Kaneko’s younger self had recently received some major press. Earlier in the year, a planned ...

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Tessaku

Sandy Kaya - Part 2

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So you spent two and a half years in Hawaii, then moved back to Berkeley. Why Berkeley? 

In 1948 we moved to Berkeley because my sister Toshie, the oldest sister, her father-in-law passed away and she was all by herself with her two boys. So my mother decided she didn’t want to stay in Hawaii, let’s go back. So my father did come to Hawaii while we were there and he stayed for two weeks. He kind of grew up with them, grew up with my mother’s parents, because my mother’s parents brought ...

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Tessaku

Sandy Kaya - Part 1

“When we got to camp it was really nice because there were all these kids, same age. From what I can remember, it was fun. It was fun.”

-- Sandy Kaya

Sandy Kaya is one of my father’s oldest friends from elementary school. Soft-spoken, generous, and committed to keeping his Berkeley community of Japanese American friends and classmates in touch, Sandy is the anchor that sustains the relationships of the past. Each year he coordinates a reunion, maintains the master email list and is the group’s news anchor, telling others about the well-being of everyone else.

My father, an ...

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Tessaku

Madeleine Sugimoto - Part 2

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He produced an incredible amount of work in the camps. There were two different paintings that I wanted to ask you about. The first is called Final Decision. It looks like a Japanese American soldier looking at a picture of his parents with an American flag on the wall. Can you describe what that’s about?

Well the fact is that during, being in camp, many of the young fellows wanted to join the army which is ironic when you think they’re in the camp. And so I think in that, my father tried to capture ...

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Tessaku

Madeleine Sugimoto - Part 1

“I think that as a child, I feel that I was protected because my parents and their friends and my grandparents never really spoke about anything in regard to what was happening. So later on as I grew older, and I talked with them, then I found out how fearful they were.”

-- Madeleine Sugimoto

As the only daughter of renowned artist and painter Henry Sugimoto, Madeleine Sugimoto has the immense responsibility of caring for the legacy of hundreds of pieces he created. “Whatever work my father had here in the city [New York], I donated all of the artwork to ...

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