The earliest wave of Japanese immigrants, the Issei (first generation), had a strong sense of their ethnic identity and retained the values and traditions of their country of birth. Most came to the United States as sojourners and planned to return to Japan after earning their fortunes. In addition, discriminatory laws forbade them from becoming American citizens and from exercising other basic rights, such as owning or leasing land. Since they were thus prevented from fully taking part in American life, it is not surprising that many still identified strongly with the culture of their homeland.
This interview was conducted by sisters Emiko and Chizuko Omori for their 1999 documentary, Rabbit in the Moon, about the Japanese American resisters of conscience in the World War II incarceration camps. As a result, the interviews in this collection are typically not life histories, instead primarily focusing on issues surrounding the ...
This material is based upon work assisted by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinions, finding, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of the Interior.