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Interview with Patricia Kirita Nomura

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Title: Interview with Patricia Kirita Nomura
Interviewer: Nishimoto, Warren
Kodama-Nishimoto, Michi
Interviewee: Nomura, Patricia Kirita
LC Subject Headings: Oral history
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Center for Oral History, Social Science Research Institute, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Series/Report no.: Unspoken Memories: Oral Histories of Hawaii Internees at Jerome, Arkansas
Description: Patricia Kirita Nomura, fifth of seven children, was born in Hala‘ula, Kohala, Hawai‘i in 1933. Her parents, Kamekichi and Toka Kirita, were immigrants from Kumamoto-ken, Japan. Her father was a storeowner and acupuncturist. He was an advocate for Japanese-language schools and a Japanese consular agent, appointed in 1938. On December 7, 1941, Kamekichi Kirita was detained by federal authorities, first at a jail in Kapa‘au, later at Kīlauea Military Camp, both located on the Big Island of Hawai‘i. Family members were allowed to visit him at Kīlauea Military Camp, prior to his being moved to Sand Island Detention Center on O‘ahu. In December 1942, the family was again allowed to see him at the Immigration Station in Honolulu, prior to their being incarcerated in various parts of the U.S. Mainland. Toka Kirita and children were sent to Jerome War Relocation Center in Arkansas; Kamekichi Kirita was sent to various other detention facilities, including ones in New Mexico and Louisiana. After 1-1/2 years of separation, the Kiritas were reunited in Jerome. With Jerome War Relocation Center closing in 1944, the family spent the remainder of the war at Gila River War Relocation Center in Arizona. Returning to Hawai‘i in 1945, the Kiritas were without their prewar livelihood and home in Kohala. The family moved to O‘ahu where Kamekichi Kirita found employment as a janitor at Dole Pineapple Cannery and Toka Kirita operated a saimin stand. Patricia, a fourth-grader in 1942, continued her elementary school studies in Jerome and Gila River. A seventh-grader when she returned to the islands, she resumed her studies in Kohala and Honolulu, where she received her high school diploma. A graduate of Hardin-Simmons University, she is now a retired educator, residing on O‘ahu.
Pages/Duration: 44 pages
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
Appears in Collections:Unspoken Memories: Oral Histories of Hawaii Internees at Jerome, Arkansas

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