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.