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.

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The Clear Sounds of Tetsuo Matsuda

The first time I heard of Tetsuo Matsuda was in 1992 in Tokyo. I was a violin student at a music conservatory in Tokyo and had just discovered and become infatuated by the dark rich sound of the viola. This is an often overlooked instrument of the string family. The viola is larger than a violin with a different set of strings but still played on the shoulder.

A Japanese professor from the Julliard Conservatory in New York City was visiting Japan and he had just given me a viola lesson. After the lesson, he recommended that I purchase a ...

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Kibei

Kibei (from the Japanese ki = return, bei = America) refers to an American of Japanese ancestry, who is raised in Japan, but returns to America. She is a perpetual outsider, an American while in Japan, and Japanese when she returns.

My Japanese American story began with my grandmother, who left Japan, one of only two women on a ship bound for America. She landed in Hawaii, where my father, Shinishi Nishimoto, was born, and eventually settled in Fresno, California, where I was born. We were not part of a Japanese American community, which is part of a pattern throughout my life ...

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Growing Up Sansei in Chicago

Normally, I am a fearless writer, but this commission from the Chicago Japanese American Historical Society (CJAHS) has created endless procrastination, writer’s block and even fear for this author. For months, I could not figure out why- but today, it hit me. My generation is hard to define. We’re not supposed to be “too open,” show our emotions or attract attention- all cultural remnants from being racially profiled in America during WWII. We Sansei (Third Generation Japanese American) are furthering the transition that our parents (Nisei) and grandparents (Issei) pioneered, yet we remain largely invisible. Our assimilation is ...

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December 7, 1941

December 7, 1941

Kakaako,
Honolulu, Hawaii.

Sunday

It is very early in the morning. I look out and it is still night. 4 a.m. I usually don’t get up until 6:30 or 7 a.m. I’m still sleepy, but I quickly snap to and brush my teeth. There is always a not unpleasant rush of tightness or adrenaline just under my breastbone when I anticipate doing or going to an event. I have this feeling of excitement this morning as I get dressed and get my bicycle out.

My brother, sister and mother are still asleep ...

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Japanese American Redress: A View from the Midwest

Introduction

I joined the staff of the JACL as its Midwest Director in October 1978 and I knew immediately that I wanted to be part of the effort to seek a remedy for the injustice of the Japanese American internment. The JACL had just passed a resolution at its national convention in Salt Lake City declaring that the organization would undertake a campaign to seek redress for those who suffered injustices by action of the government during World War II.

Shortly after I started working for the JACL, I attended a staff meeting in San Francisco where I met John ...

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