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

identity en

Tessaku

Howard Yamamoto - Part 1

“It was hard, it was hard on the parents. Was it hard on me? I don’t know, I don’t remember that much, the hardship. But the parents, my god. Could I do it? No. I couldn’t do it. I can’t imagine myself doing it.”

—Howard Yamamoto

Out of the 110,000 Japanese Americans who were thrown in the internment camps, 130 escaped the stark reality of mess hall food, barbed wire, and guard towers. Four-year-old Howard Yamamoto was one of them. And though he was lucky to stay out of camp, the experience of fleeing internment ...

continue a ler

identity en

Tessaku

Bob Kaneko - Part 2

Read Part 1 >>

So what happened in the camps? Your family voluntarily went.

Bob Kaneko (BK): Well they voluntarily went to Auburn. And they got rounded up. Actually my mother said that the area they were in called Ophir. In fact my sister’s birth certificate says “rural California.”

Cathy Kaneko (CK): His mom said the doctor didn’t make the birth so their friend’s wife delivered the baby and the doctor got their shortly afterward.


What were your parents doing before, when the war broke out? 

BK: They were working at the North Bay Cleaners on Vine Street ...

continue a ler

identity en

Tessaku

Bob Kaneko - Part 1

Sadly, Mr. Kaneko passed away on September 18, 2016. I regret that he wasn’t able to read his interview and hope that this can honor his memory and pay great respect to his accomplished life. 

 

You had your sensei at the front of the room and he had different kinds of batons, if you will. You hear about Catholic nuns whacking kids? Well, these guys did the same thing.

-- Bob Kaneko

When I visited his Berkeley home last November, I discovered that Mr. Kaneko’s younger self had recently received some major press. Earlier in the year, a planned ...

continue a ler

identity en

Tessaku

Sandy Kaya - Part 2

Read Part 1 >>

So you spent two and a half years in Hawaii, then moved back to Berkeley. Why Berkeley? 

In 1948 we moved to Berkeley because my sister Toshie, the oldest sister, her father-in-law passed away and she was all by herself with her two boys. So my mother decided she didn’t want to stay in Hawaii, let’s go back. So my father did come to Hawaii while we were there and he stayed for two weeks. He kind of grew up with them, grew up with my mother’s parents, because my mother’s parents brought ...

continue a ler

identity en

Tessaku

Sandy Kaya - Part 1

“When we got to camp it was really nice because there were all these kids, same age. From what I can remember, it was fun. It was fun.”

-- Sandy Kaya

Sandy Kaya is one of my father’s oldest friends from elementary school. Soft-spoken, generous, and committed to keeping his Berkeley community of Japanese American friends and classmates in touch, Sandy is the anchor that sustains the relationships of the past. Each year he coordinates a reunion, maintains the master email list and is the group’s news anchor, telling others about the well-being of everyone else.

My father, an ...

continue a ler