Harry K. Honda

Harry Honda was a native Angeleño, born in 1919, and graduated from Maryknoll School in 1932. Harry's long career in Nikkei journalism began in 1936 with the Rafu Shimpo in Los Angles and a year at Nichibei Shimbun in San Francisco. He served in the Army during World War II all stateside, graduated in political science from Loyola University in 1950, then edited the Pacific Citizen, JACL's weekly publication, for 50 years, retiring in 2002. He passed away in July 2013 at age 93.

Updated July 2013

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Nanka Nikkei Voices

How Did a Japanese-English Dictionary Help Secure Our Family Ties?

The dictionary in question is the New Kenkyusha Japanese-English Dictionary, published in Tokyo in 1931. This was a gift from Masaru Miyauchi, my cousin, in Fukuoka Prefecture on my mother’s side, when I graduated from Maryknoll School as an eighth grader in 1932. The dictionary, its binding scotch-taped around the spine now, remains in good use and standing to this day.

During my high school days, Mom kept encouraging me to write letters to my cousin in Nihongo and Masaru-san responded in English. Our letters were truly simple. We were writing about the weather, our high school, and weekend …

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Buried But Not to be Forgotten – Little Tokyo’s Time Capsule

Almost twenty years ago, on January 15, 1985, a steel container, 4 feet high and 18 inches in diameter, was buried beneath a tree fronting the George and Sakaye Aratani Japan America Theater at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center. The tiny plaque marking the spot where this Little Tokyo Centennial Time Capsule is today is no longer there, having been removed for safekeeping. Some have noticed bronze plates were pulled off the other sites within J-town.

Perhaps, as each decade looms, the Nikkei community should be reminded that there is a time capsule containing a variety of memorabilia …

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Nanka Nikkei Voices

Little Tokyo is Born: Charlie Hama’s Restaurant on East First Street

The first Japanese to arrive in 1869 were two servants, T. Kamo and I. Nosaka, of the Kewen family living in El Molino Viejo, the Old Mill, previously owned by Mission San Gabriel in San Marino today. Their names are recorded in the 1870 Census. The late senior curator William Mason of the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History believed they were members of the ill-fated Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Farm Colony near Sacramento.

By 1884, there were fewer than fifty Japanese in town, one of whom, Hamanosuke Shigeta, opened a restaurant at 340 East First Street, in a …

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A DVD and Two Books about Pearl Harbor

ONE AUGUST MORNING, time allowed for me to view Killer Subs at Pearl Harbor, a DVD about the five Japanese mini-submarines, called “tubes” while being produced at Kure Naval Base in Hiroshima. To remain submerged for a long time, air conditioners were installed for the two-man minisubs. Torpedoes were trimmed to fit. Gyrocompass provided direction while undersea.
By late November, 1941, minisubs were transported by a mother sub for Hawaii. Their mission was not to fire until after the air attack. That their orders were personally handed from the Japanese Sixth Fleet admiral only heighten the glory to …

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COPANI & KNT (2007)

Joint PANA-KNK convention in Brazil Airs Nikkei Identity

SÃO PAULO, Brazil — Overall over 500 participated in the joint convention of the Association of Nikkei and Japanese Abroad (48th annual Kaigai Nikkeijin Taikai-KNT) and Asociación Panamericana Nikkei (14th Convention of Panamerican Nikkei-COPANI) from July 18-21, 2007. There were 245 Brazilians, 156 from the Spanish-speaking countries such as Peru, Paraguay, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, etc., and 66 from English speaking countries, the United States, Canada and Australia.

For the first time, delegates from Indonesia, Venezuela and New Caledonia participated. Uruguay will host COPANI in 2009 with Argentina and Paraguay Nikkei assisting the Japanese colony there comprised of around 100 …

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