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

Richard Yamashiro - Part 3

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So actually, just to backtrack a little bit. When you actually left Manzanar to Tule Lake, how did you get there? Did they put you on a train?

Yeah we got on a train. I guess a lot of people were happy, I wasn’t too happy. Tule Lake is horrible. You ever see Tule Lake? Compared to Manzanar? It was horrible because Tule Lake was a dried out lake bed. No soil in there at all it’s like little gravels. Where on the other hand, Manzanar was in the desert but it was in a ...

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Tessaku

Richard Yamashiro - Part 2

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Can we get your parents names and then your sister’s name?

My mother’s name was Tomiko. And my father’s name was Eiro. My sister’s name was Lillian, Yoshiko. It’s another thing. My mom when she registered me for school it was my Japanese name. My English name wasn’t even included. Yeah so all through my childhood, I was Eiichi Yamashiro. And try to go to school and have the teacher call the roll.

MS (Michael Sera): So when did you pick up Richard?

After camp. Yeah I go, this is too ...

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Tessaku

Richard Yamashiro - Part 1

“My dad had to get rid of his business. I think that was really hard for him ‘cause he worked so hard. I didn’t realize this until I was much older but that was the hardest thing for him. And that made him kind of bitter, too.”

— Richard Yamashiro

Getting to speak with Richard Yamashiro is a remarkable experience. At 91 years young, Richard still works a job and has the energy and spunk of someone twenty years his junior. On the other side of his current work badge, he has inserted a small photo of himself from Tule ...

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Tessaku

Shizuko Yamauchi - Part 2

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Can you talk about meeting your husband? Did you meet him in Cleveland?

Shizuko Yamauchi (SY): No. He was in the service.

Nancy Dodd (ND): He was in the 442.

SY: Well we had a boarding house, so if they had any leave they would come and stay overnight and go back to the—wherever. So that’s how he came to—

So you knew him from San Luis Obispo. Were you corresponding all throughout the war?

SY: Yes, but he was Kibei. So I always guessed that he had somebody write for him but I never ...

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Tessaku

Shizuko Yamauchi - Part 1

“All I saw was cots and there were bales of hay or something, straw, that we were supposed to fill the mattress like, for our mattress. That I remember. We just took it, couldn’t be helped, you know. No point in complaining. ”

— Shizuko Yamauchi

In the spring of 2019, I was asked to conduct an oral history interview by the daughter of someone who had been in camp at Poston. It was a normal enough request, with one extraordinary fact: The woman I was to interview was 101 years old. At the time of Pearl Harbor Shizuko Yamauchi, then ...

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