Frank Kikuchi

Licensing

Frank Kikuchi was born in Seattle, Washington on October 21, 1924. He had one sister, Yoshiko, and two half siblings, Chiyo and George. Frank's parents were Issei, his mother from Fukuoka and his father from Iwate. During World War II, Frank and his family were incarcerated at the Manzanar concentration camp. Frank lived on Block 20, with notable figures such as the Miyatake family, Sue Kunitomi and his best friend, Hikoji Takeuchi. After the war, Frank relocated to Boyle Heights. He was married to his wife, Tama, for 56 years until she passed away in 2004. The couple had five children together, and Frank eventually started his own market, "F and H Market." Frank is now a docent at the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo. When he is not busy giving tours and educating others about the history of Japanese Americans, Frank loves to spend time with his children and go fishing. ____________________________________________________ This collection tells Frank's story. It is a story that deserves to be told, one of challenges, perseverance, strength and love. To read an article about Frank's story, please see: The Power of a Story: Intern Learns Importance of Personal Histories

Slides in this album 

Frank Kikuchi's Parents

Frank Kikuchi's parents were Issei, his mother from Fukuoka and his father from Iwate. They came to the United States before the 1920's and were married after they arrived. Frank's father worked as a foreman for the Grand Northern Railway, because he could speak and write in English. He then …

Frank Kikuchi's Parents
Contributed by: eishida

Little Frank Kikuchi with Big Sister

Frank had one older sister, Yoshiko. This picture was taken in Seattle, Washington in the 1920's.

Little Frank Kikuchi with Big Sister
Contributed by: eishida

Frank Kikuchi in 1929

This is another picture of Frank and Yoshiko in Seattle. This picture was taken in 1929.

Frank Kikuchi in 1929
Contributed by: eishida

Frank Kikuchi, Sister Yoshiko and Mother

Based on their clothing, this picture was taken the same day as the one in the previous slide. In it are Frank, Yoshiko and Frank's mother.

Frank Kikuchi, Sister Yoshiko and Mother
Contributed by: eishida

Little Frank Kikuchi and Family

Frank also had two half-siblings, one of whom is shown here. They were his father's children. George, Frank's half brother, is at the top left hand side of this family portrait.

Little Frank Kikuchi and Family
Contributed by: eishida

Manzanar ID Card

Frank attended Maryknoll School in Los Angeles, and then he went to Cathedral High School. In high school, Frank was the editor of "Chimes," Cathedral's annual.

Frank had finished all of his senior year finals, and was simply awaiting graduation in May of 1942. Instead of graduation, Frank and his …

Frank Kikuchi Identification
Contributed by: eishida

At Manzanar

Frank lived on Block 20 at the Manzanar concentration camp. The famous photographer, Toyo Miyatake, lived on this block as well, and Frank was good friends with his son, Archie Miyatake. Sue Kunitomi, who established the Pilgrimmage to Manzanar, also lived on Block 20. And, Hikoji Takeuchi, who was shot …

Frank Kikuchi at Manzanar
Contributed by: eishida

At the Beach

After World War II ended, Frank met Tama, his future wife. Here, Frank relaxes at the beach with Tama, on his left, and her twin sister, on his right.

Frank Kikuchi at the Beach
Contributed by: eishida

Ralph Lazo and Tama Kikuchi

Ralph Lazo was an American of Mexican-Irish decent. When he found out that his Japanese American friends were being unjustly forced into concentration camps, he volunteered to go to Manzanar to be with them. He was welcomed into the Manzanar environment without a problem. Ralph was a cheerleader and president …

Ralph Lazo and Tama Kikuchi 2
Contributed by: eishida

Ralph Lazo and Tama Kikuchi 2

Ralph Lazo served in the armed forces after graduating from Manzanar High School. He was a classmate of Tama's, and often would attend Maryknoll's church and dances. This photograph shows Ralph at the beach with Tama after he had returned from his service in the army. Frank took the picture. …

Ralph Lazo and Tama Kikuchi
Contributed by: eishida

Frank's Big Day

Frank and Tama were married on May 16, 1948 at St. Francis Xavier Church in Los Angeles. Frank was 23 years old. Tama was 21. The couple bought a home in Boyle Heights, where they lived their lives together.

Frank Kikuchi's Big Day
Contributed by: eishida

Kikuchi Wedding Photo

This is a picture of the Kikuchi wedding party and guests. Bridesmaids are on the left, groomsmen on the right.

Kikuchi Wedding Photo
Contributed by: eishida

Frank's Honeymoon

Frank's first post-war car was a 1941 Pontiac. Here, he poses in front of it on his honeymoon in 1948.

Frank Kikuchi's Honeymoon
Contributed by: eishida

Labor Day, 1953

Frank loves to fish. Here, Frank stands proud holding two Calico Bass in Santa Barbara on Labor Day of 1953. Calico Bass is Frank's favorite fish.

Frank Kikuchi, Labor Day 1953
Contributed by: eishida

F and H Market

Immediately after leaving Manzanar, Frank began working for the Farmer John Meat Company. He was the head "Smokehouse Man," and he stayed at that job for seven years. After he was married, Frank began his own grocery store, "F and H Market," in Boyle Heights. He later took over his …

Frank Kikuchi at F and H Market
Contributed by: eishida

Kikuchi Family Photo

Frank and Tama had five children, Tom, David, Joyce, Linda and Susan. All of his children attended Maryknoll School and Catholic high schools. Tom then attended UCLA, David attended California State University, Joyce and Linda went to USC and Susan went to a Business School.

Here, the family poses …

Kikuchi Family Photo
Contributed by: eishida

Frank's Marlin

As was stated earlier, Frank loves to fish. Frank caught this huge Marlin off the coast of Kona in Hawaii. It was Frank's first fishing trip after the war. Here, he poses with the captain of the boat.

Frank Kikuchi and the Marlin
Contributed by: eishida

Frank's Albacore

Frank catches all types of fish. So far, we've seen his Calico Bass and his Marlin. He caught this Albacore in Morro Bay on the Seaspray.

Frank Kikuchi's Albacore
Contributed by: eishida

Frank Fancies Fishing

It doesn't matter who Frank goes fishing with. As long as he's fishing, he's happy. This picture proves just that. Frank did not know any of these men, and still doesn't! Yet, he went on a fishing trip with all of them, and even posed for a picture!

Frank Kikuchi Fishing
Contributed by: eishida

Gutting Tuna

Once the fish are caught, Frank cleans them out and cooks them. Here, Frank cleans out tuna that he caught, probably that same day!

Frank Kikuchi's Catch
Contributed by: eishida

Frank's Real Estate License

Along with two of this buddies, Frank took a course and a test to obtain his real estate license. Out of the three of them, Frank was the only one to actually get his license.

Frank Kikuchi's Real Estate License
Contributed by: eishida

In Alaska

What better place to fish than in Alaska? Frank spent two months in Alaska in 1992, traveling around in two motorhomes. Here, he stands before a totem pole with his friend's daughter.

Frank Kikuchi in Alaska
Contributed by: eishida

Sitka, Alaska

Alaska is known for its salmon. What better place to find salmon? Frank went to Alaska and caught this King Salmon there.

Frank Kikuchi in Sitka, Alaska
Contributed by: eishida

Frank's Computer Class

As Frank got older, technology improved. So, in order to stay up to speed with the changing times, Frank enrolled himself in a computer class at the adult school in Boyle Heights. This is a picture of him with his classmates.

Frank Kikuchi's Computer Class
Contributed by: eishida

Frank Visits Manzanar

A while back, Frank's grandson had to write a term-paper about Japanese Americans. So, Frank would bring him to the Japanese American National Museum's Hirasaki National Resource Center. While his grandson studied, Frank would roam the museum's exhibitions and halls. He was eventually approached and asked to become a volunteer …

Frank Visits Manzanar
Contributed by: eishida

At Block 20

It has now been over 60 years since the close of Manzanar concentration camp. A monument has been established, as has a Manzanar Pilgrimmage. Frank decided to go back to visit this barren place with two other docents of the Japanese American National Museum. Here, Frank stands at the sign …

Frank Kikuchi at Block 20
Contributed by: eishida

Manzanar Visit

Even though most of the buildings are gone, Frank still remembers what it felt like and what it meant to be incarcerated at Manzanar. You can still feel the wind, see the barren land, dust and snow capped Sierras.

Frank Kikuchi's Manzanar Visit
Contributed by: eishida

Frank and Tama, 50 Years

In 1998, Frank and Tama celebrated their golden anniversary, 50 years together! Their three daughters, Joyce, Linda and Susan threw them a party in Orange County and invited all of their friends and family.

Frank and Tama Kikuchi, 50 Years
Contributed by: eishida

Kikuchi Family Picture, 1998

As the Kikuchi children graduated from college, they all started working, moved to different places and became their own people. Tom, UCLA graduate, now has a custom model supply store. David has two children. Joyce, USC graduate, is a dental hygenist. She also teaches at USC and PCC. Linda has …

Frank Kikuchi's 50th Wedding Anniversary
Contributed by: eishida

Maryknoll Class Reunion, 2007

Frank is still going strong at the Japanese American National Museum. He gives wonderful tours and presentations on the Japanese American experience. This picture is of Frank's Maryknoll class reunion in 2007, and features some of his classmates that are still in the area. It's been about 65 years since …

Frank Kikuchi's Class Reunion
Contributed by: eishida


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