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What's in a Name


Icy Hasama

My full name is Isao Jack Hasama.  My nickname is Icy.  My parents were running a forty unit apartment on Maple Ave and eighth street in downtown LA in the 1930s.  Each apartment had a wooden icebox which held a 20 pound block of ice.  During the hot summertime the ice man would come twice a week and park his truck in front of our apartment.  He had to cut a 100 pound block of ice into five twenty pound blocks in order to fit the wooden iceboxes.  In the process of cutting the ice, there were lots of ice chips falling on the back floor of the truck. 

Therefore, I would call the kids on the block to come get the chips for refreshment.  I was in grammar school at that time and the Japanese kids started to call me the Iceman and then Icy.  After that situation, I always introduced myself as Icy to my Japanese and personal white friends.  I had to use the name Jack when I worked for the Los Angeles County Government. 

Based on this original

Story of a Name: Icy Hasama
uploaded by mkochiyama
Icy Hasama July 2011 Photo courtesy of Japanese American National Museum More »

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