The JAHMP website highlights a small set out of fifteen interviewed Issei-Nisei families. We trace their pre- and post-arrival on American soil to Palos Verdes-San Pedro-White Point ranches ending with the diaspora of World War II years. These family experiences represent:
If you visit Palos Verdes Peninsula today with its multi-million dollar estates, you could not imagine that the coastline was once covered with 2000 acres of vegetables fields. Cultivated by 50-60 Japanese American families, they leased the land from the early 1900's. They gravitated to the coastline which reminded them of the Japanese seaside prefectures they had left behind or to form communities of relatives and friends.
There is relevance today. Executive Order 9066 which removed more than 110,000 Japanese from the West Coast had a sweeping force as powerful as the 2006 Katrina hurricane. Families were displaced, dislocated and disillusioned. All lost the substance of their lives. Their communities vanished after Pearl Harbor. Reading through their stories draw rich comparisons on a human level as well as wartime internment/detention parallels.
Most of all, the narratives and photos reveal the lifelong resiliency and generational family bonds to survive harvest to harvest whatever the turn of events.
* Click here to read about the history behind the Ishibashi plaque above.