エミコ・ツチダ

(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

Maru Hiratzka - Part 2

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How did they (Hiratzka family) come back to California? 

Well, I was in Texas and Jordan went to Ogden. I went to Crystal City and joined my family. We were separated for two and a half years and in the meantime Jordan was in Japan with the MIS. Went to the Philippines and they closed up those bars. They stayed there very shortly in Manila then they were sent to Japan. The war ended when he was on the ship going to the Philippines in 1945.

That’s when my dad got orders saying that people in ...

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Tessaku

Maru Hiratzka - Part 1

I know even in camp when it was declared Japan lost the war, some of these men were very adamant about Japan, they just couldn’t believe it. They went back to Japan thinking that they did not lose the war. But the Japanese, they’re just so strong.

— Maru Hiratzka

The story of Maru Hiratzka’s life during the war is really a love story. After family decisions took her and her high school sweetheart, Jordan Hiratzka, in opposite directions (she to Texas and Jordan to Utah), they never stopped writing to each other. And when Maru nearly left ...

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Tessaku

Kay Ikuma

One of the hardest things was getting immersed back into society, like taking the bus to school some place where there was a mixture of people. We had to put up with a lot of taunting, a lot of ridicule. That was hard, I remember that, being teased a lot.

—Kay Ikuma

In May of 1942, photographer Dorothea Lange shot the below picture of the Mochida family, prepared with their family’s identification tags and marked bags waiting to board a bus that would take them to the Tanforan assembly center.

Though this photo was part of the censored collection ...

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Tessaku

Tadashi Tsufura - Part 2

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Why do you think the parents and most Niseis never spoke about camp?

When the war was going on we were the enemy. After the war, we were still the enemy, so dead silence continued until 1976 when Michi Weglyn published her book “Years of Infamy.” Until then, no one wanted to bring the camp subject up. Also, when we left camp for Seabrook Farms in September of 1944, the war was still going on and we went to a town 5 miles away to shop for clothes and other necessities. There were signs in some store ...

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Tessaku

Tadashi Tsufura - Part 1

In the morning you take off, and you don’t come back or see your parents until you go to bed. You went whenever you wanted to. And you don’t tell anybody what you’re doing during the day. What a painful thing it was, and must have been, for the Issei group.

— Tadashi Tsufura

Growing up in a little farming town in California, Tadashi Tsufura likely never envisioned the influential life he would lead. After they left the internment, his family moved to the other side of the country in Seabrook, New Jersey. He went on to serve ...

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