スーザン・ヤマムラ

(Susan Yamamura)

米国生まれ。大統領令9066により、2歳になる前に家族と共にハーモニー強制収容所(ワシントン州ピュアラップ)とミニドカ強制収容所(アイダホ州ハント)に収容される。強制収容に関する記憶の記述は、こちらから無料でダウンロードが可能(英語):Camp 1942–1945

「大統領令9066の発令にも関わらず、父方の祖父母、両親、夫、私はみな、アメリカンドリームを叶えられました。これは米国ならではのことかもしれません」。

元コンピュータープログラマー、コンピューターシステム・ネットワークアドミニストレータ―、アリゾナ大学教授兼理事だった故ハンク・ヤマムラ氏の妻、息子の母。現在はライター、粘土作家、水彩画家として活躍する。

(2017年3月 更新) 

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Gifts from Jichan and Bachan

Gifts from Japan

Jichan and Bachan brought back many beautiful gifts from their trips to Japan. They ordered lovely, hand-dyed silk kimonos for my mother, my sister Louise, and me, each embellished with the Araki family crest. Beautiful belts (obi) were part of each kimono set. One year, they gave me a gorgeous brocade piece fabric which shimmered with silvery threads.

Growing up with Jichan and Bachan, I learned a complex and loving pattern of customs around gift giving and receiving, an important part of Japanese culture which was retained in America. No one explained it to me. It was simply …

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Mochitsuki

One of my fondest memories is of the annual mochi making party that was held at our house in the week after Christmas and before New Year's Day. My Kurosu second cousins, the grandchildren of Jichan’s elder brother, Shinsaku, would come to our house in South Park to make mochi. The sweet mochi rice would have been pre-washed and steamed over pipes from the steam boiler which heated our greenhouses adjacent to our home.

My Kurosu cousins recently told me that they also made mochi at their house, steaming the rice in their greenhouses and using the same mochi …

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Gifts from Jichan and Bachan

Dolls

The first gift I remember receiving from Jichan and Bachan was a gift of Japanese culture, the celebration of Girls’ Day or Hinamatsuri, a Japanese holiday celebrated every year on March 3rd. I “remember” my first Girls’ Day now because of photographs taken by my uncle, Shosuke Sasaki. Though not a professional, Uncle Shosuke was an expert photographer and he took a picture of me at about nine months of age in front of a Girls’ Day display in March of 1941. Jichan and Bachan were prospering around that time and even took a cruise to Japan. They were able …

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Gifts from Jichan and Bachan

The Home That Jichan and Bachan Built

How Jichan Became an Araki

Although Jichan was born Nisaku Kaneda, the second of four sons in the Kaneda family of Fukui-ken, when he married, he took the family name of his wife, Masa Araki, acting as a yoshi, so that the Araki family name could be continued. Jichan, around twenty-seven years old, and Bachan, about twenty, were married in Tacoma, WA in December of 1913.

Bachan was an only child, and as a female, she could not carry on the Araki name for the Tokyo branch of the Araki family that was established by her father, Kyuzo Araki. …

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Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

Comfort

This month, we feature California-based Yonsei writer, Kendall Tani, and Arizona-based Sansei writer, Susan Yamamura. Susan’s is a lighthearted parody poem that heralds where we look for some solace during a time of major strife, while Kendall’s first piece featured here, soft bodies, speaks to a relationship with oneself through an intimate practice of shaping earth (and future) by hand. Both reminded me of the ideas of comfort and doing something good for ourselves...like poetry, a vessel through which we might practice introspection, our potential, or a bit of peace....enjoy.

—traci kato-kiriyama

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Kendall Tani …

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