シカゴの声

このシリーズに掲載されているストーリーは、もともとシカゴ日系人歴史協会のオンラインジャーナル、「シカゴの声」に掲載されたものです。シカゴ日系人歴史協会は、2004年12月からディスカバー・ニッケイに参加しています。

シカゴの声は、シカゴに住む日系人の体験を綴った私語りのコレクションです。シカゴの日系コミュニティは、第3波までの移民およびその子孫で構成されています。最初の波は、1899年のシカゴ万国博覧会の頃に到着した約300人でした。第2波のグループは最多の3万人から成り、第二次大戦後、強制収容所から直接シカゴに移住して来ました。彼らは「最定住者」と呼ばれ、社会奉仕団体や仏教またはキリスト教会、中小企業周辺でコミュニティを形成していきました。第3波はさらに近年となり、1980年代前半に到着した日本人のグループです。彼らは芸術家や学生で、その後、シカゴに留まりました。4番目のグループは移民ではありませんが、企業幹部の日本人とその家族で、シカゴに長期滞在し、場合により永住しています。

シカゴは、いつの時代も人々が安らぎを得られる場所であり、民族的に多様な人々が共に住み、働く町でした。「シカゴの声」は、先述の4グループそれぞれのメンバーのストーリーと、彼らがどのようにこのモザイク(寄せ集め)都市に適応していったかを伝えています。

シカゴ日系人歴史協会のウェブサイトはこちら>>

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Manzanar: A Son's Journey - Part 2

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Fast forward. April 28, 6 a.m. In the darkness of the L.A. morning I walk to the bus staging area at St. Francis Xavier Church. Body tired from the flight and time change, I chastise my pitiful self and think of the L.A. Times photo from 1942, which depicts the very same parking lot jam-packed with families and luggage. Bewildered, they have no idea what is in store for them or their children as armed soldiers look on. Although I feel solemn, I am greeted by a cheerful mix of former internees, descendants and ...

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Manzanar: A Son's Journey - Part 1

Please understand…I didn’t want to go to see Manzanar. I NEEDED to go there.

Over the years, whenever I had vacation days available, I would always think of visiting Manzanar, one of the ten concentration camps in the U.S. where nearly 120,000 people, mostly Americans of Japanese descent were racially profiled and imprisoned in 1942, but somehow, it just didn’t seem like a nice getaway from the stresses of everyday Chicago living. I’m pretty certain most descendants of ex-internees feel the same way. Understandable. On a personal level, Manzanar is where my mother Ruth ...

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Welcome to the Writers Workshop

The Undeniables writers workshop was formed in 1999, inspired by a chapter from the novel VALLEY (Bend Press, 1998), by Mike Daily. Edren Sumagaysay and I had met the previous year in a touring theatre troupe based in Los Angeles, and got to talking about a mutual passion for writing while holed up between shows in a Maryland motel. We had both recently read Mike Daily’s then newly released novel, and wanted to host a writers workshop of our own. The first workshop was held in my apartment on 163rd Street in Gardena, CA, a two-day affair attended by ...

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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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