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Mochitsuki: My Holiday Tradition

Sticky, chewy, delicious!  Mochi is an iconic and beloved food of Japan.  There is a simplicity and beauty in one ingredient creating something so delicious.  This simple food is one… Read More »

The Many Meanings of Mums

The chrysanthemum is a beautiful flower with so much meaning behind it.  ‘Mums’ are often associated with the arrival of fall as they bloom during this season and are very… Read More »

Carnivorous Plants

Carnivorous plants have long fascinated plant enthusiasts, well before Charles Darwin published the first truly popular and widespread book ‘Insectivorous Plants’ discussing the known carnivorous species and their adaptations to… Read More »

Japanese American Farming in California: A Personal History

To mark Asian American and Pacific Islander Month, our Education Coordinator, Kiyoko Nakatsui, shares her family history and their multi-generational association with agriculture.

By the time I was born the farm was just a memory. Like many other Japanese American families mine started their American dream tilling the land. All of my grandparents’ families were farmers at some point. Prior to World War II Japanese Americans farmed up and down the west coast and some eventually returned to the land. On my mom’s side my grandma’s family farmed in Montana and my grandpa’s family in Orange County. On my dad’s side my grandma’s family farmed in Arcadia and my grandpa’s family in Stockton. Since my maternal grandmother’s family didn’t live on the coast they were able to stay on their farm even during the war. However, everyone else was forced to abandon their farms to be placed in internment camps.