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Interview with Richard Tomiyasu

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Title: Interview with Richard Tomiyasu
Interviewer: Nishimoto, Warren
Kodama-Nishimoto, Michi
Interviewee: Tomiyasu, Richard
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: Richard Tomiyasu, the youngest of three sons, was born to Katsutaro and Kikuyo Tomiyasu in Honolulu, O‘ahu, Hawai‘i in 1932. His father was an immigrant from Hiroshima-ken, Japan; his mother was a nisei, born on the island of Maui. Katsutaro Tomiyasu was a trunk salesman, skilled in woodwork and carpentry. Days or possibly weeks following the outbreak of war, Kikuyo Tomiyasu was questioned by FBI agents and removed from her home for possession of a shortwave radio. Held at Fort Armstrong near the U.S. Immigration Station for about a year, she occasionally spoke with her husband who was allowed to visit. In the early months of 1943, Katsutaro Tomiyasu informed his family to prepare for a move to the U.S. Mainland. Their home was sold and belongings packed. The Tomiyasus, including Kikuyo, her husband, her three sons, and her granddaughter (by a previous marriage), were transported first to the West Coast, then to Jerome War Relocation Center in Arkansas. They were held there for one and a half years. Later, the family was moved to Gila River War Relocation Center in Arizona where they remained for another year and a half. Returned to the islands in December 1945, the Tomiyasus found themselves homeless. They were sheltered at the Fort Street Young Buddhists Association building for a few months. Employed as a maintenance man, Katsutaro Tomiyasu supported his family. They lived in a home not too far from their prewar residence. Richard Tomiyasu, a 1950 graduate of McKinley High School, is a retired State of Hawai‘i Department of Education employee. He has two daughters and three grandchildren.
Pages/Duration: 30 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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