byNaomi Hirahara(Goodreads Author), Heather C. Lindquist, Art Hansen(Foreword)
Release date: Apr 03, 2018
From the editor of the award-winning Children of Manzanar, Heather C. Lindquist, and Edgar Award winner Naomi Hirahara comes a nuanced account of theFrom the editor of the award-winning Children of Manzanar, Heather C. Lindquist, and Edgar Award winner Naomi Hirahara comes a nuanced account of the “Resettlement”: the relatively unexamined period when ordinary people of Japanese ancestry, having been unjustly imprisoned during World War II, were finally released from custody. Given twenty-five dollars and a one-way bus ticket to make a new life, some ventured east to Denver and Chicago to start over, while others returned to Southern California only to face discrimination and an alarming scarcity of housing and jobs. Hirahara and Lindquist weave new and archival oral histories into an engaging narrative that illuminates the lives of former internees in the postwar era, both in struggle and unlikely triumph. Readers will appreciate the painstaking efforts that rebuilding required, and will feel inspired by the activism that led to redress and restitution—and that built a community that even now speaks out against other racist agendas....more
Born in the mountainous Niigata region in Japan, Nagumo graduated from Tokyo Koto Shihan Gakko, a highly regarded Japanese teaching college, in 1917. Inspired by democratic ideals, this Christian convert decided to come to the U.S. on a study abroad program while his wife Umeo remained in Tokyo to teach grade school. Arriving in San Francisco in 1918, he worked as a migrant farm worker in various Japanese American communities through California's San Joaquin Valley.
Believing that land ownership was the key to self-sufficiency, Nagumo contemplated moving to Mexico to escape anti-Asian alien land laws in the U.S. Illness caused him to change his plans and after Umeo joined him in Los Angeles, he embarked on a venture to produce Japanese-language teaching materials. Again, unforeseen circumstances forced him to seek other employment to support his growing family. This time, it would be maintenance gardening, a trade embraced by a significant number of Issei men in West Coast cities.
Nagumo moved his family to Hollywood, where he started gardening at five dollars a day. After some time, he found gardening work with a small building developer. In spring of 1933, Nagumo saw the need for regional associations for Issei and Nisei gardeners, who, by his estimate, numbered 7,000 to 8,000 in the Southland. Campaigns to limit Japanese American gardeners had started in wealthy neighborhoods such as Beverly Hills. To combat such restrictions, Nagumo helped establish regional gardening associations, which led to the formation of the League of Southern California Japanese Gardeners Association in 1937.
The League grew to 900 members by 1940. Using his publishing expertise, Nagumo launched the Gadena no Tomo (The Gardener's Monthly), a source of diverse Issei points of view, which sometimes went beyond the gardening trade. The last issue of the prewar magazine was dated December 1941.