Edna Horiuchi

Edna Horiuchi is a retired third grade teacher. She enjoys traveling and is trying to learn Japanese. Her son, Kenzo, is now working as a structural engineer in San Francisco.

Updated November 2021

community en

Coronado Japanese community, a Tea Garden, and a Movie Star

Before World War II, there were sixteen Japanese families (including children, about 100 individuals) living in the resort town of Coronado on a peninsula in San Diego Bay, California. These were Issei who were mostly from Kagoshima, Japan and their Nisei children. Many of the Issei worked at the luxurious Hotel Del Coronado as gardeners, maids, or cooks, or at the nearby North Island naval base as cleaners or doing laundry. Shizue Koba was the only Coronado Issei woman who knew how to drive and was able to pick up and deliver laundry. Najiro Nakamura worked as a chef for the “sugar ki…

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Nobuko Miyamoto: Giving Voice to Asian American Stories - Part 2

Read Part 1 >> On the influence of Reverend Mas Kodani of Senshin Buddhist Temple (in Los Angeles, CA): I believe one of the most influential people in my art making, actually. But when I came back here to be able to be at Senshin, Rev. Mas just openly gave me the key to the social hall without really knowing me that well. And trusted me. He said, "You could teach dance, you know. You could rehearse here." And that openness and the trust that he had was really shocking. That’s having a lot of faith in a person and we really moved in there! (laughs) And then I had Kamau. Kamau …

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Nobuko Miyamoto: Giving Voice to Asian American Stories - Part 1

Despite the pandemic, 2021 was a landmark year for Great Leap Artistic Director and activist, Nobuko Miyamoto. Her autobiography, Not Yo’ Butterfly, My Long Song of Relocation, Race,Love, and Revolution was published in June by the University of California Press. Her double CD set, 120,000 Songs, was released in February by Smithsonian Folkways and included new songs as well as re-recorded oldies. A Nobuko Miyamoto Christmas Ornament was featured in the Japanese American National Museum’s (JANM) holiday catalog (the previous year's catalog featured an ornament honoring Yuri Koch…

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The Highflying Artistry of Miné Okubo

A whimsical drawing by Miné Okubo portrays a family and dog adrift in a hot air balloon over downtown Los Angeles, the distinctive city hall building in the foreground. The subject matter is very different from the camp drawings of Citizen 13660. Okubo produced this sketch for the holiday edition of the Japanese American newspaper Kashu Mainichi sometime between 1965 and 1975. The drawing was part of a larger collection donated to the Japanese American National Museum in 1998 by Hiro Hishiki, Kashu Mainichi editor and publisher. The Los Angeles newspaper had a long prewar histo…

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Nikkei Chronicles #8—Nikkei Heroes: Trailblazers, Role Models, and Inspirations

Mine Okubo

The artist Mine Okubo is most famous for her book, Citizen 13660, a graphic memoir of the Japanese American concentration camps. She became my hero while I was a student at University of California (UC), Riverside in 1979. As a young woman in my twenties, I felt inspired by Mine’s accomplishments as part of the “greatest generation” that survived World War II. She did it on her own terms and without apology. She persevered as a female artist and in life itself. The difficulties she experienced made her stronger. She retained her Nikkei identity and never forgot the Japanese …

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