Fran Ito

Fran Ito is a third generation Chinese American from the Island of Oahu. Graduated from McKinley High School. She majored in Business and studied Art in college. She currently makes her home in Los Angeles. She was employed with the Los Angeles County for almost 30 years. After retiring from the County she went to work for a prominent non-profit charitable organization for 23 years as their Office Manager. To make a difference she has volunteered at the Japanese American National Museum, East West Players, Audubon Center at Debs Park, Los Angeles Conservancy, etc.

Fran enjoys edible gardening, hiking, camping, snow skiing, and attending concerts. She loves to travel and has visited many countries. She is now involved in creating short films.

Updated July 2018

community en

Nikkei Chronicles #7—Nikkei Roots: Digging into Our Cultural Heritage

From Lung to Ito

I am a third generation Chinese American, born on the island of Oahu during the great depression. My grandparents came from Canton, China and, at that time, the Hawaiian Islands were governed by the Royal Hawaiian Kingdom, King Kamehameha’s descendants. When I was born, Hawaii was still a territory of the United States Citizens in Hawaii had no voting rights until the Hawaiian Islands became a State on August 21, l959. By that time, I was twenty-seven years old.

Growing up in the Islands was very carefree for me. Kids mostly did not wear shoes, walked to school unescorted, and …

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culture en ja

Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

Short Form - Haiku and Senryu

This month I thought we’d have a little fun with short form and featuring two creative community members who are dear to the Japanese American and Little Tokyo communities. Sunny Seki (a.k.a. Sankyaku Seki) has taught senryu (a short form similar to haiku but with a focus on the human condition over a focus on seasons and nature) and curated and edited a wonderful collection of 100 years of Japanese American gardeners’ stories through senryu. Fran Ito, who shares a handful of haiku here, is an avid senior filmmaker with the Digital Histories program through Visual Communications. Enjoy!

—traci kato-kiriyama

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