Japanese American National Museum Magazine

These articles were originally published in the print member's magazine of the Japanese American National Museum.

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He Kept the Boat Alive – Profile by Harold Ikemura

Harold Ikemura loves to tell stories about his years in the fishing fleet. At 83, he recalls with astonishing detail the particulars of his long life and of his years at sea. “I love fishing,” he says with delight.

As a teenager, Ikemura went trout fishing along the San Gabriel River with the sons of a prominent Pasadena Japanese American family. Dr. Takejiro Itow, one of the founders of the Japanese hospital in Los Angeles, also had a daughter, Sumi, she eventually became Ikemura’s wife.

Ikemura, who was born in Riverside and grew up in Hollywood, California, didn’t ...

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The Best Fertilizer is Your Shadow: The Chino Family Farm

“Chino Ranch Chopped Salad” is featured on the menu at Spago, Wolfgang Puck’s Hollywood restaurant. “Chino Ranch Salad” also appears on the menus of a number of lesser known restaurants, many of which don’t buy their vegetables at the Chino family’s modest stand just inland from Del Mar, California, but don’t mind capitalizing on its renown.

This Japanese American family has been the subject of a lengthy New Yorker magazine profile, newspaper articles, and a recent NBC news segment with Tom Brokaw. The unique quality and variety of the Chino farm produce, the fact that four ...

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A Different Kind of Approach – A Profile of Yoshiko Uragami

Yoshiko Uragami is a remarkable woman—though she will deny that there’s anything very special about her, her Nisei modesty can’t hide a powerful spirit and irresistible sense of humor, and her scrap books and photo albums reveal a rich history.

Born in a midwife’s house on Crocker Street in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo in 1918, “when the dinosaurs were still walking around,” Uragami grew up in Southern California. It’s hard for her visitors to believe she’s nearing her 80th birthday, and she is finding it a little hard to believe herself. “You don’t ...

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From a Life History Interview with SAKAE TAKAHASHI

The 100th was Formally Organized

When the war started, the Niseis who were drafted were already in two Hawaiian National Guard Regiments, the 299th Infantry and the 298th Infantry… The day the war started, they were already deployed because most army and federalized National Guard Units were already on alert… When the war started, they stayed with their respective National Guard Units. And as I understand it, during the battle of Midway, there was some concern about the Niseis who were with these federalized National Guard troops out in the field might cause some problems. So…they gathered all of ...

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More Than A Game – Sport in the Japanese American Community, 1885 to Present - Part 2

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“BASEBALL SAVED US”

The coming of World War II brought upheaval to the Japanese American community. On the mainland, all West Coast Japanese Americans were forcibly removed from their homes and placed in American concentration camps. Though mostly spared such treatment in Hawai‘i, Japanese Americans there faced additional restrictions under martial law.

In America’s concentration camps, sport served as a much needed outlet for young and old, male and female, Issei and Nisei. In some cases, teams from before the war reformed in camp to take on all comers. In other cases, new alliances and ...

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