Seen recently out at Poston......

Our board member, Daryl Brown

Poston Memorial Monument and kiosk


Recent artifact donations

2 duffle bags
~~ All items listed on this page were purchased at auction
 by a special friend of Poston and donated to the Poston Community Alliance, Inc. ~~

[Note:  Above duffle bag labeled with "F.T. Kuwahara" originally belonged to
 an issei evacuated from Santa Rosa, California--
Mr.  Frank Tatsuo Kuwahara at Poston 327-14-H]

Directory of Kumamoto Kenjin

Sample pages of the directory

Can you read this?

We need help with translating the pages

If you can help us with translation, please contact us!

email: diannerd79 (at) yahoo (dot) com

 Domo arigato goizamasu


Veterans visiting Reno still caution on lessons from internment camps

Written by Zachary F. Volkert
May 20, 2013 
     It didn’t matter that they were Americans. Or that many of them had never even been to Japan.
     In 1942, Japanese-Americans were rounded up into internment camps. By the end of the war, more than 110,000 had been relocated. But although they were given back their freedom, the shame and loss of time could not be recouped.
     “We were classified as aliens,” said Jim Suzuki, commander of the Monterey Nisei Memorial Post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Sunday in Reno at the 63rd annual reunion of Nisei (second-generation Japanese-American) veterans. “They classified us as aliens when we were still American citizens.”
     Suzuki considers himself lucky.
     He grew up in Hawaii, where Japanese-Americans were spared many of the policies that led to internment camps.
     But even though he was spared the humiliation and turmoil of being rounded up like an enemy, he still fought in the Korean and Vietnam wars several years later. That, he said, is partially because there was still a great pressure on Japanese-Americans to prove their patriotism, although it became much easier as the years went on.
     “Segregation was very heavy even after the war ended in 1945,” Suzuki said. “But we that followed, in Korea and Vietnam, we didn’t have to work quite as hard to prove ourselves.”
     But discrimination still weighed heavily in everyday life. The Japanese American National Museum estimates that the Evacuations Claim Act of 1948 returned less than 10 cents for every dollar lost by Japanese-Americans from the evacuations.
     Executive Order No. 9066, which began the camps, was not rescinded until 1976 under President Gerald Ford.
     Ford said in a proclamation: “I call upon the American people to affirm with me this American Promise — that we have learned from the tragedy of that long-ago experience forever to treasure liberty and justice for each individual American, and resolve that this kind of action shall never again be repeated.”
     Reparations came slowly, and some of those affected did not receive checks until the late 1990s.
      Initially, Suzuki said, the Nisei were forced to start their own VFW chapters rather than join existing ones.
     But within 35 years of World War II’s end, Nisei-VFW member Hisao Masuyama became the commander-in-chief of the California VFW, which began a chain reaction of Nisei taking leadership posts in the organization.
     “It was proud moment for us,” Suzuki said, “when one of us finally took over as the head.”
But even with reparations made, the memory of the camps is still important as a cautionary tale.
Kiyo Sato

     Kiyo Sato (Poston 229-11-A) , who leads the education committee at the Sacramento Nisei post, began sharing her story 27 years ago by placing photos of the internment camps on walls in public schools to spark questions.
     Sato recently published a memoir entitled “Kiyo’s Story: A Japanese-American Family’s Quest for the American Dream”, which is about being forced at age 19 into an internment camp called Poston in the Arizona desert about 140 miles northwest of Phoenix.
Along with her came seven of her brothers and sisters and her parents — one brother was exempted for serving in the Army.
     “We had a 20-acre farm that my father had grown and tended since the (Great) Depression,” Sato said. “We lost everything on it. Everything was burglarized. We had no place to come back to.”
     Although Sato was released from the camp after six months when she finally was accepted into Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland after being rejected from Harvard, Yale, and Johns Hopkins.
     But even in those six months, Sato felt the sting of not being trusted by her own country — sometimes in ways that she would not know about for years to come.
     “I didn’t realize until two years ago when I was speaking at the Smithsonian that they still had my letters,” Sato said. “I had written to Mrs. Coy, who was my elementary school teacher, and the military intelligence officer confiscated them. He confiscated 60 of my letters.”
Sato still admires the cunning of her father in helping them to survive the conditions.
     She said he smuggled in forbidden objects — saws, buckets, a tarp that he hung from their tar-walled barracks and poured water over to cool them from the 127-degree heat — and planted seeds for food.
     “Based on the experiences of these 110,000 Japanese-Americans,” said Loren Ishii, Post Commander of the Sacramento Nisei VFW post, “We work along with the Japanese-American Citizens League to ensure that no ethnic group is ever unjustly treated (in the United States) again.”
     Despite still citing some shortfalls, members said that treatment has improved significantly for American citizens originating from countries at war with the United States — a trend that they say must be preserved through continued education.
     But the group has not seen growth for several years now. Fifty-seven members passed away this year, and now only two of the team of speakers who educate students about the camps in schools remain.
     Members said that keeping the story alive for younger generations is pivotal to ensuring that lessons are learned from it.
     “We still have to prove to them that we are a part of American history,” Suzuki said.

Source: http://www.rgj.com/article/20130520/NEWS/305200014/Veterans-visiting-Reno-still-caution-lessons-from-internment-camps


WWII Veteran honored with his own ‘Memorial Day’

Published: Tuesday, May 21, 2013

By Bette Alburger, DCNN Correspondent

Richard Horikawa
     Richard Horikawa, of the Glen Mills section of Concord, got the surprise of his life last year. Seventy years after serving in the U.S. military as one of thousands of Japanese Americans, he received the Nisei Soldiers of World War II Bronze Medal, a duplicate of the Congressional Gold Medal.
      Recognizing the exemplary service of Nisei (U.S. born Japanese) veterans in 2010, President Obama signed legislation to grant the Gold Medal collectively to those who were in the 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the U.S. Army Military Intelligence Service (MIS). Horikawa served in the MIS as a Japanese translator during the war. How he earned the nation’s highest civilian honor is as noteworthy as how he received it seven decades later.
      Horikawa and his younger brother, Herbert Horikawa, were born in San Francisco. Their parents had emigrated there from Japan, where they’d met. His father, Shojiro Horikawa,  was a printer and his mother, Kinuye Horikawa,  was a ‘schoolgirl,’ a term for a young woman living in a home where she worked for room and board. It was the home of a Japanese American newspaper owner, for whom Horikawa’s father worked as a printer.
      All was well for the family until Dec. 7, 1941, when Japanese forces bombed Pearl Harbor. Because of covert actions preceding the attack and the attack itself, within 24 hours almost 3,000 Japanese Americans were considered ‘dangerous enemy aliens’ and a threat to U.S. security. Ten weeks after Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, requiring everyone believed by the government to be suspicious to be evacuated from military areas. By late March 1942, evacuation was mandatory for all Japanese Americans on the west coast.
      The plan was to find new jobs for the evacuees and relocate them. But would-be employers refused, afraid their own businesses would be sabotaged. So American concentration camps were set up in remote areas. Horikawa’s family -- like other Japanese Americans representing less than 1% of the U.S. population -- had one week to vacate their home, taking only what they could carry. Horikawa’s father stored his printing press, wondering if he’d ever see it again.
      The family was sent to the Salinas rodeo grounds (Salinas Assembly Center) in California and then to Poston, Arizona, on a Native American reservation in the Arizona desert. It was one of 10 American concentration camps in the region that held a combined 120,000 evacuees in austere living conditions. Among them were 75,000 U.S. citizens. Half the camp population was under age 17. Horikawa was 15 and his brother was 8. Like others in the camp, they made the best of it.
      Meanwhile, the widow of the Japanese printer from San Francisco, for whom Horikawa’s father had worked, was able to move out before the restrictions were imposed. She and Horikawa’s father kept in touch, and through her, it was possible for Horikawa to come to Philadelphia and attend The Westtown School in Chester County.
      Horikawa smiled when recalling that he then became a ‘schoolboy,’ since he lived at the headmaster’s home and worked there for his room and board. He noted that U.S. born Japanese males originally were exempt from the draft, but later Congress changed their status from ‘enemy alien’ to ‘citizen.’ In 1945, after finishing accelerated courses at Westtown and receiving his diploma, he was drafted. He was one of some 6,000 Japanese Americans serving their country while their families were in American concentration camps. (By 1950, the camps were all closed.)
      Horikawa said he expected to be sent to Italy. However, because he had learned his parents’ native language, he was assigned to the U.S. Military Intelligence Service and was sent to Tokyo as a translator for the British Intelligence Service. While in Japan for a year, he was able to connect with family members.
      “My father wrote a long letter to relatives in Japan, explaining why his son was there in a G.I. uniform,” Horikawa said with a smile.
      Honorably discharged after two-and-a-half years of service, Horikawa went to San Francisco first to find his father’s printing press and ship it to Philadelphia. Thus his father could re-start his business.
      Horikawa then went to Penn State. He joined Sigma Phi Alpha, a Quaker fraternity, and graduated in 1952 with a degree in chemistry. Noting The Westtown School’s Quaker heritage, he said his employment included two companies with Quaker ties.
      He and his wife, Emi -- who had lived inland and escaped incarceration -- have two daughters and five grandchildren. They met through a Japanese youth group and are longtime members of Swarthmore Presbyterian Church. He noted that his mother, who was raised Buddhist, became a Presbyterian. He also was a longtime member of Swarthmore Lions Club, serving as treasurer and president and receiving state and international awards.
      The Horikawas lived in Swarthmore from 1957- 2007, when they moved to Maris Grove, where he belongs to the retirement community’s Penn State Club and Veterans Club. It was through the clandestine planning and hard work of Veterans Club President Larry Lembo -- with help from Emi -- that Horikawa was totally surprised to discover he was guest of honor at a club meeting last year.
       It all came about because in November 2011, Japanese American veterans of World War II were recognized and honored at a ceremony in our nation’s capital. Horikawa had been unable to attend. So the ceremony, in effect, came to him. PA State Rep. Patrick Meehan came to the club meeting to present the Congressional Gold Medal to him in an appropriate solemn ceremony. As an added surprise, Lembo gave him an Army camp shirt and cap to go with the formal document and prestigious medal.
Congressional Gold Medal
      Horikawa noted that until passage of the Freedom of Information Act of 1974, MIS soldiers were forbidden to discuss the nature of their work, which is still vivid in his memory. So is the American concentration camp experience. But in spite of the trauma of his early years, he said he never felt discriminated against.
      And now many years later, Horikawa’s dedicated service in defense of his country has been properly acknowledged in a most significant and memorable way. It could be said that the surprise presentation of the prestigious medal made the moment his own special Memorial Day.


Source: http://www.delconewsnetwork.com/articles/2013/05/21/garnet_valley_press/news/doc519b93330ede9737625295.txt?viewmode=fullstory

Shojiro Horikawa, 1945

Article on his father, Shojiro Horikawa is at:



Yes, it is FINALLY done!!  
Thank you everyone for your patience. 

Orders already placed will be mailed shortly.  
As an added bonus, included with every order will be a CD of the scanned
50th Poston Reunion Memory Book, courtesy of Jim Yamashita.

Anyone still wanting to place an order ($20 each) should call:
Susan Komatsuka-Rodriguez (714) 412-6897 by May 31, 2013.

Tak Kohatsu
Poston Reunion 2011


Recent acquired artifacts...more!

Poston Camp 1 location of barracks

Poston camp 2 location of barracks

Poston camp 3 location of barracks
            Recently acquired artifact donations from Mrs. Mine (Matsumoto) Ikeda 221-5-D



51st Anniversary Reunion

Poston Block 221
51st Anniversary 
September 4, 1993
Fresno, California

Photos 30 years after camp

Poston camp 3 Reunion
30 year reunion (1975)

Camp 3 Reunion Committee (San Jose area) 
Front (L-R): Betty (Nishiyama) Hagiya, Sadako (Kai) Ikeda, Tooru Hirose, and Shinobu (Kodama) Maruyama. Standing (L-R): Shoichi Araki, Yasue (Sato) Otani, Betty (Kurotsuchi) Inouye, Betty (Tanaka) Uchida, Hiro Sera, Mary (Nakagawa) Izu, Tokio Onishi, Hamako (Hatakeda) Nakagawa, Mas Konatsu, and Mas Tanaka.
Front row (L-R): James Urata, Frank Saita, Sumi (Himaka) Shimada, Alice (Morioka) Suyeda, Frances (Cushman) Pierce (principal) , Barbara (Washler) Curry, Ayako (Doman) Mayeda, Aiko Owashi, and Tom Doi.  Back row (L-R): Harry Morofuji, Steve Nakashima, James Okada, Leo Owashi, Junichi Hatakeda, Masumi Nakamichi, George Takaoka, Ruth (Nishi) Yoshida, and Sachi (Yamane) Matsui.

Front row (L-R): Bill Nakagawa, Hiro Sera, Sakiko (Okamoto) Kada, Haru (Kawamoto) Urata, Kiku (Kawamoto) Koga, Miyeko (Tanaka) Takaoka, Fusaye (Domon) Yamashita, and Takemi (Oda) Shimizu. Middle row (L-R): Kei Nakamura, George Kimura, George Yamada, Noboru Nakamura, Tots Ishida, Emi (Himaka) Shimizu, Michi (Ishimoto) Nishimura, Isao (Chingus) Nakagawa, Lloyd Kurihara, and Gene Shimaji. Back row (L-R): George Hasabe, Jiro Murai, Gordy Miyamoto, Tok Morikawa, Chiyo (Kusumoto) Nakagawa, Honey (Watari) Renge, Ben Nobuhiro, Ben Honda, Chet Kaneyuki, Shinobu (Kodama) Maruyama, Mo Noguchi, Johnny Nishida, and Mike Furusho.  

Kneeling (L-R): Yukio Kawamoto, Taro Ohashi, James Tajiri, Hiro Kajiya, and Ken Matsumoto. Seated (L-R): Terry (Miyata) Yamaguchi, Toyo (Hattori) Hirai, Sadako (Kai) Ikeda, Yasu (Tashiro) Ieno, Dorothy (Takahashi) Treakle, Akira Takeshita, Tooru Hirose, Shigeko (Ogata) Oye, Terry (Hamaguchi) Mizufuku, Miyako (Sasaki) Yamaguchi, Ruth (Furusho) Noonan, and Sam Katano. Middle row (L-R): Roy Tsutsumi, Miyoko (Mikasa) Nakamaru, Pat (Goto) Takeshita, Yasue (Sato) Otani, Ruby Sakamoto, Eleanor (Nakashima) Toi, Walter Fujimoto, Misao (Nakamura) Tomita, Teruko (Shimizu) Shibata, Johnny Hayakawa, Min Koide, Ben Hayakawa, Nob Takasaki, Sho Miyamoto and Masato Asakawa. Top row (L-R): Mitzi (Tsuji) Osumi, Mary (Kajioka) Nakashima, Edythe (Hirase) Harada, Sachi (Urata) Nishida, Kazuko (Nakamichi) Ozaki,  Minoru Maruyama, Hitoshi Shinoda, Charles Taguchi, Betty (Tanaka) Uchida, Emily (Kuwada) Ibarashi, Yo Takehara, Choke (Karasawa) Umekubo, Thomas Tajiri, Betty (Kurotsuchi) Inouye, Saburo Uyeji, Sumiko (Iwamura) Ishida, Mas Konatsu, Yas Hashimoto, John Tanaka, and James Morioka.  Camera shy: Art Kubo and Stella (Kitahara) Tsutsumi.

Front row (L-R): Sati (Ohashi) Yoshida, Molly (Ohashi) Yamamoto, Mary (Arata) Smith, Mary (Nakagawa) Izu, Fumiko (Fujimoto) Tajii, Chizuko (Takeda) Kubo, Kiyoko (Kunishige) Kakuuchi, Dukie (Shirokawa) Kawahata, and Eva (Kai) Iwanaga.  Middle row (L-R): Seichi Shinoda, Jim Shinohara, Jane (Yamaguchi) Takeshita, Josie (Hirai) Nishida, Alyce Honda, Hamako (Hatakeda) Nakagawa, Michiko (Nakahara) Matsuda, Elaine (Morikawa) Okimoto, Masako (Nakahara) Kawata, Masako (Uota) Kobayashi, Mariye (Okino) Kataoka, Lilyan (Nagata) Kiyomoto, Tomoko (Uzuhashi) MIzukami, Tomiko (Yokota) Abe, and Mas Tanaka. Back row (L-R): Ben Kitahata, Babe Karasawa, Kenji Sekishiro, Kenji Iguchi, Shig Kitauchi, Frank Horibe, Mickey Shinoda, Howard Kuyama, Michiyuki Nakamura, Akira Tajiri, Bill Yamada, Walter Kurihara, George Masumoto, Harvey Sadahiro, Kiyoshi Aoki, and Terry Nishida.

Front row (L-R): Marian (Kikuchi) Oyama, Helen (Ozaki) Takeshita, Mae (Takayama) Shishido, Dorothy (Yamamoto) Mizono, Betty (Nishiyama) Hagiya, Doris (Kuwada) Kunimura, and Ayako (Ashida) Kodama.  Middle row (L-R):  Sadako (Noguchi) Marshall, Chiyoko (Mukai) Hosaka, Mary (Morioka) Ishida, Sumiko (Nakagawa) Ichiuiji, Bob Yamauchi, Kenji Osaki, Willie Fujino and Shoichi Araki. Back row (L-R): Tokio Onishi, Hank Yamada, Ken Miura, Hajime Yoshii, Bob Masukawa, and Franklin Abe.