The History of Japanese Americans in San Diego
A slideshow illustrating the history of Japanese Americans in San Diego
Music Courtesy: Reiko Obata
Motoo Tsuneyoshi – Internment Camp
Motoo recalls the day that his father was picked up by the government and what it was like to prepare to go to the internment camp.
Motoo Tsuneyoshi – Coronado Memories
Motoo tells the stories of growing up in Coronado before being evacuated to Poston Relocation Center in Arizona during WWII.
Allan Koba – Coronado History
Allan describes some Coronado landmarks from his childhood including the horse stables, Tent City and the Japanese Tea Garden.
Allan Koba – Pearl Harbor
Allan remembers the aftermath of Pearl Harbor and how he came to enlist in the military after camp.
Akira Takeshita – Internment Camp
Akira’s father was taken away after Pearl Harbor to a separate detention facility away from his family. Akira recalls the day that his father was taken away by the authorities.
Akira Takeshita – Mr. Klindt
Akira tells how his family’s neighbor Carl Klindt stood up for the family when the war broke out.
Akira Takeshita – In the Military
Akira recalls when a wealthy stranger reached out to two Nisei soldiers during basic training in Texas.
Veteran Stories – Rev. Jim Yanagihara
Reverend Jim Yanagihara recalls his experiences as a soldier in the Korean war.
Veteran Stories – Jim Tajiri
Jim recalls the various assignments in his twenty year military career.
Veteran Stories – Harold Kuhn
Harold’s Navy career spanned three different American wars and led to him meeting his wife in Japan.
Veteran Stories – George Furuya Jr.
George’s father was a member of the highly decorated 442nd Regimental Combat Team.
Veteran Stories – Fred Nakatani
Fred has served in the military for virtually his entire adult life and he reflects on his service and the opportunities it has offered.
Veteran Stories – Frances Tanaka
Dr. Frances Tanaka served as a medical interpreter in Okinawa during WWII.
San Diego Digital Story Station – Ben Segawa
Ben tells the story of Joe Sakato and his achievements in service in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team during WWII.
San Diego Digital Story Station – Jeanne Elyea
Jeanne recalls her experiences as a child of leaving her home in San Diego for an internment camp during WWII.
San Diego Digital Story Station – Thomas Hamada
Thomas recalls his childhood experiences living in an internment camp.
San Diego Digital Story Station – Sunny Nakamura
Sunny recalls life in an internment camp during WWII.
San Diego Digital Story Station – Roy Asaki
Roy Asaki was born and raised in Los Angeles but was going to school in Japan when WWII broke out and could not return until after the war. He recalls this experience and what it was like to return to the U.S. after the war ended.
San Diego Digital Story Station – Ken Oyama
Ken Oyama was only six when his family was forced to relocate to Poston, Arizona and recalls some of the fun activities of the camp.
San Diego Digital Story Station – Susan Hasegawa
Susan Hasegawa retraces her personal experiences following the Japanese American redress movement which culminated in Ronald Reagan’s signing of HR 442 in 1988.
San Diego Digital Story Station – James Urata
James was assigned as a second grade teacher in Poston camp during WWII and recalls the students’ success despite the lack of resources.
San Diego Digital Story Station – Barbara Curry
Barbara Curry was a teacher during WWII in Poston and fondly recalls a past student and their continued friendship.
San Diego Digital Story Station – Babe Karasawa
Babe Karasawa discusses how his life changed forever once his family was ordered into an internment camp during WWII and how it was not until 1981 that he could truly grasp the gravity of the years he spent as a “rejected American.”
San Diego Digital Story Station – Gwen Momita
Gwen tells the story of her parents’ forced relocation to Poston, Arizona during WWII and the kindness of their friend Roy Westmoreland.
San Diego Digital Story Station – Thomas Kurihara
Thomas recalls an early childhood experience while living in an internment camp in Poston, Arizona during WWII.
San Diego Digital Story Station – Mike Inoue
Mike came to the U.S. from Japan as a student and later learned of the treatment of Japanese and Japanese Americans during WWII when he moved to San Diego.
The Cultural Landscape Foundation completed the Joseph Y. Yamada Oral History Project in 2011, producing 25 short video clips spanning his life, design philosophy, and projects spanning his more than 50 year career shaping San Diego’s landscape. You can find links to videos on The Cultural Landscape Foundation’s website here. You can find a transcript of the entire oral history here.