Voces de Chicago

Los artículos de esta serie fueron publicados inicialmente en Voces de Chicago (Voices of Chicago), el periódico en línea del Chicago Japanese American Historical Society (Sociedad Histórica Japonesa Americana de Chicago), la cual ha sido una Organización Participante de Discover Nikkei desde diciembre de 2004.

Voices of Chicago es una colección de narraciones en primera persona sobre las experiencias de las personas de ascendencia japonesa que viven en Chicago. La comunidad está compuesta por tres oleadas de inmigración, y los descendientes: La primera, alrededor de 300 personas vinieron a Chicago por la época de la Exposición Universal de Chicago en 1899. La segunda, y el más grande grupo, desciende de los 30,000 que vinieron a Chicago directamente de los campos de internamiento después de la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Denominados los “recolonizadores”, ellos crearon una comunidad construida alrededor de las organizaciones de servicio social, iglesias budista y cristiana y pequeños negocios. El tercer, y más reciente grupo, son japoneses que vinieron a Chicago, a partir de los ochenta, como artistas y estudiantes y se instalaron. Un cuarto grupo de no inmigrantes son ejecutivos de negocios japoneses y sus familias, quienes viven en Chicago durante largos periodos, a veces de manera permanente.

Chicago siempre ha sido un lugar en donde la gente puede recrearse a sí misma, y en donde diversas comunidades étnicas viven y trabajan juntas. Voices of Chicago cuenta las historias de los miembros de cada uno de estos cuatro grupos y de cómo encajan en el mosaico de una gran ciudad.

Visite la página web del Chicago Japanese American Historical Society >>

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How Marrow Unites a Community: Chris Ishida’s Search & Discovery

For a majority of my life I have felt a little left out of the Japanese American community. This is despite the fact that my family incorporated both my mother’s American/Italian traditions and my father’s Japanese traditions. My dad was born and raised in Japan and moved to Chicago as a young man in 1971.

As a child, I watched Japanese tapes of An Pan Man, called grapes “budou” and even attended a Japanese Buddhist temple in downtown Chicago. However, growing up in the suburbs, the Japanese American community was sparse. Few related to Japanese culture with ...

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Do You Know Kung Fu? - Part 2

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The summer after 4th grade, 1971, it was somehow decided that my older sister, my younger brother and I would become members of the local YMCA. We all took up swimming and judo. I really wanted to do Karate (in those days I don’t think there was any other martial art besides Judo and Karate) but those classes did not start until 8:00 pm. My grandfather dutifully walked us to and from the “Y”. I was not a bad athlete but not particularly gifted either. Kind of short and stocky, I was pretty shifty and strong ...

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Do You Know Kung Fu? - Part 1

I was born August 19th, 1961 at the University of Chicago Lying-in Hospital, on the south side of Chicago. My father, Joseph Earl Wiley, hails from a prominent family in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. His father, Joseph Elias, graduated from Tuskegee Institute, class of 1914, and served with distinction as an officer in the 92nd Infantry in WW I.

My mother, Frances Sumiko Yoshida was interned with her family in Poston, AZ in WWII. She grew up in Lindsey California the sixth of nine children of an Issei farming family. Her eldest brother and sister married the eldest sister and brother ...

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My Life Between Two Cultures - Part 2

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4. The Inoue Family Meets Their American Relatives

In 1942, my relatives, like all the West Coast Japanese and Japanese Americans, were shipped to a concentration camp. They were initially sent to Tanforan Race Track in California, and then, I believe, to Tule Lake. I know nothing about their lives in the camp because I do not recall my mother ever speaking about them.

In 1946, my younger uncle was drafted into the United States Army and was sent to Kobe, Japan for a two year stint. In the spring of 1947, he came to visit us in ...

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My Life Between Two Cultures - Part 1

I have lived in the United States since 1968. While I have adjusted well to life in America, I have also tried to maintain my Japanese identity. My upbringing and experience have led me to live a life between two cultures.

1. The Beginning: My Maternal Family in America

My life between two cultures began when my maternal grandfather, born in 1867 in Kyushu, decided that he wanted to emigrate to the United States. In 1887 he arrived in San Francisco, and two of his brothers followed him. Eventually he moved to Alameda and opened a nursery. During his life ...

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