パトリシア・ワキダ

(Patricia Wakida)

Patricia Wakida is the editor of two publications on the Japanese American experience, Only What We Could Carry: The Japanese American Internment Experience, and Unfinished Message: the collected works of Toshio Mori. For the past fifteen years, she has worked as a literary and community historian, including Associate Curator of History at the Japanese American National Museum, Contributing Editor for Discover Nikkei website, and as an Associate Editor of the Densho Encyclopedia project. She serves on various non-profit boards including Poets & Writers California, Kaya Press, and the California Studies Association. Patricia has worked as an apprentice papermaker in Gifu, Japan and as an apprentice letterpress printer and hand bookbinder in California; she maintains her own linoleum block and letterpress business under the Wasabi Press imprint. She is a Yonsei, whose parents were incarcerated as children in the Jerome (Arkansas) and Gila River (Arizona) American concentration camps. She lives in Oakland, California with her husband Sam and Gosei, Hapa (Japanese Mexican) son, Takumi.

Updated August 2017

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And the Soul Shall Dance

About a year ago, my mother called to tell me that my grandmother had stopped eating. It was expected that she would deteriorate rapidly in the coming weeks, maybe days. Come home, she said, it was time to say goodbye.

Within a day, I found Bachan at my aunt’s house in Fresno. As I held her fragile hands between my own, I was especially sensitive to feeling her bones swimming beneath the skin, its surface freckled with age and blue with veins, still delicately vital.

Prominently displayed in her room was the family butsudan, a solemn, lacquered shrine devoted ...

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Akira Horiuchi: A Reluctant Hero's Journey to the Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony - Part 2

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Akira Horiuchi was born and raised in Southern California. In the pre-war years, his father ran a small fruit stand on the Westside of town, and then picked up work as a truck driver hauling vegetables from farmers to the produce market on 9th street.

On December 7, 1941, Horiuchi’s father went to visit friends who lived and worked on Terminal Island, San Pedro. Unfortunately, immediately following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, certain businesses and districts along the West Coast came under high security, including Terminal Island, which was suspect for its fishing industry. Before he ...

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Akira Horiuchi: A Reluctant Hero's Journey to the Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony - Part 1

To be drafted by the Government, to serve your country in time of war under such conditions that existed at that time, incarceration of all persons from the west coast with the wrong color face by abrogating all constitutional rights, racist discrimination wherever you went…left me quite apprehensive about my future.

—Aki Horiuchi, testimony to the 1981 Los Angeles Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians

Of the three hundred and thirty-three Japanese American veterans of World War II that convened in Washington DC last November 2011, Aki Horiuchi felt that he “wasn’t like some of the ...

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Animal Menagerie

Susan S. has an annual tradition that she’s followed for over thirty-six years, animal by animal. Having been lucky enough to have spent the past twenty years as an archivist at a world-class library where she gets to roam its stacks, attics, and moats at will, she is a great lover of ephemera and the collectable memorabilia of our past.

An accomplished author of many beautiful books, Susan also practices an art known to few in this country, a habit she picked up after living in Japan for several decades. Her art is parsed in extremely limited editions and ...

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Fate and the Downtown Fresno Betsuin Temple

When I was nine years old, the Sunday ritual was to drive the five miles or so from our home in Tarpey Village in Clovis until we were out where long dirt driveways led to vineyards and farmer homes, where a single oak tree shaded a tiny, unmarked bungalow. Steel grey folding chairs were brought from the closets and the children were instructed to plunk zabuton on each chilly metal seat, candles and thin green rods of incense were lit, as an overhead heater roared to life. That tiny bungalow was where I attended weekly dharma school and even played ...

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