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    "url_title": "Mary Tsukamoto",
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    "modified": "2023-12-21T02:30:25",
    "title": "Mary Tsukamoto",
    "body": "<div class=\"mw-parser-output\">\n <div id=\"databox-PeopleDisplay\">\n  <table class=\"infobox\" width=\"200px;\">\n   <tbody>\n    <tr>\n     <th scope=\"row\" style=\"text-align:left;\">\n      Name\n     </th>\n     <td style=\"text-align:left;\">\n      Mary Tsukamoto\n     </td>\n    </tr>\n    <tr>\n     <th scope=\"row\" style=\"text-align:left;\">\n      Born\n     </th>\n     <td style=\"text-align:left;\">\n      July 17 1915\n     </td>\n    </tr>\n    <tr>\n     <th scope=\"row\" style=\"text-align:left;\">\n      Died\n     </th>\n     <td style=\"text-align:left;\">\n      January 6 1998\n     </td>\n    </tr>\n    <tr>\n     <th scope=\"row\" style=\"text-align:left;\">\n      Birth Location\n     </th>\n     <td style=\"text-align:left;\">\n      San Francisco, CA\n     </td>\n    </tr>\n    <tr>\n     <th scope=\"row\" style=\"text-align:left;\">\n      Generational Identifier\n     </th>\n     <td style=\"text-align:left;\">\n      <p>\n       <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Nisei/\" title=\"Nisei\">\n        Nisei\n       </a>\n      </p>\n     </td>\n    </tr>\n   </tbody>\n  </table>\n </div>\n <div id=\"databox-People\" style=\"display:none;\">\n  <p>\n   FirstName:Mary;\nLastName:Tsukamoto;\nDisplayName:Mary Tsukamoto;\nBirthDate:1915-07-17;\nDeathDate:1998-01-06;\nBirthLocation:San Francisco, CA;\nGender:Female;\nEthnicity:JA;\nGenerationIdentifier:Nisei;\nNationality:US;\nExternalResourceLink:;\nPrimaryGeography:;\nReligion:;\n  </p>\n </div>\n <p>\n  Mary Tsukamoto (1915–98), a longtime educator and cultural historian, became an author and leading advocate of redress for Japanese Americans removed during World War II.\n </p>\n <p>\n  Mary Tsuruko Dakuzaku was born in San Francisco on January 17, 1915, the second of six children of Chosei Taro and Kame Dakuzaku. Her father had come to the United States from Okinawa at age 17 and had opened a laundry on Geary Street. Because his English was poor, Mary later related, he was often cheated in business. In 1925, he moved to Florin, California, with the family and established himself as a strawberry farmer, using his children as laborers. The young Mary attended the segregated \"Japanese\" Florin Grammar School, and then Elk Grove Union High School. With encouragement from Mabel Barron, a white teacher, she decided to become a school teacher. Barron secured for her a scholarship to attend the College of the Pacific in Stockton, and she enrolled there in 1933. However, due to poor health and insufficient money, she left before graduating and married Al Tsukamoto in 1936. The Tsukamotos settled in Elk Grove, where Mary's daughter Marielle was born. Mary Tsukamoto taught Sunday school in the local Methodist church and joined the Florin chapter of the\n  <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Japanese_American_Citizens_League/\" title=\"Japanese American Citizens League\">\n   Japanese American Citizens League\n  </a>\n  , becoming its executive secretary. In 1940, the Tsukamotos succeeded in persuading the Florin school board to do away with segregated schools.\n </p>\n <p>\n  The Tsukamotos were caught in the removal of West Coast Japanese Americans under\n  <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Executive_Order_9066/\" title=\"Executive Order 9066\">\n   Executive Order 9066\n  </a>\n  . In Spring 1942, as a JACL officer, she and her husband worked with the army's\n  <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Wartime_Civil_Control_Administration/\" title=\"Wartime Civil Control Administration\">\n   Wartime Civil Control Administration\n  </a>\n  and the Federal Reserve Bank and Farm Security Administration to help\n  <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Issei/\" title=\"Issei\">\n   Issei\n  </a>\n  and\n  <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Nisei/\" title=\"Nisei\">\n   Nisei\n  </a>\n  in the Sacramento area register for removal and dispose of their belongings. The Tsukamoto family were themselves confined at the\n  <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Fresno_(detention_facility)/\" title=\"Fresno (detention facility)\">\n   Fresno\n  </a>\n  Assembly Center. While at Fresno, Tsukamoto worked teaching a summer course as a speech teacher and also taught an English class for Issei. In October 1942, the Tsukamotos were sent on to the\n  <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Jerome/\" title=\"Jerome\">\n   Jerome\n  </a>\n  camp in Arkansas. \"It was a time of humiliation and despair,\" she later recalled.\n  <sup class=\"reference\" id=\"cite_ref-ftnt_ref1_1-0\">\n   <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_note-ftnt_ref1-1\">\n    [1]\n   </a>\n  </sup>\n  However, she soon found sources of hope and inspiration. She was cheered when at Christmas 1942 the inmates were able to enjoy chicken dinners, and the children received presents donated by outside religious groups. She was further touched when in response to a letter of holiday greetings she sent to the White House, she received a personalized response from\n  <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Eleanor_Roosevelt/\" title=\"Eleanor Roosevelt\">\n   Eleanor Roosevelt\n  </a>\n  asking about her plans for the future. She resolved to work to make the best of things. In collaboration with Mary Nakahara (later the celebrated radical activist\n  <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Yuri_Kochiyama/\" title=\"Yuri Kochiyama\">\n   Yuri Kochiyama\n  </a>\n  ), Tsukamoto became active in building YWCA and USO chapters in camp and organizing Nisei women to serve as hostesses for the visiting Nisei soldiers of the\n  <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/442nd_Regimental_Combat_Team/\" title=\"442nd Regimental Combat Team\">\n   442nd Regimental Combat Team\n  </a>\n  training across the Mississippi border at Camp Shelby.\n </p>\n <p>\n  In November 1943, Tsukamoto and her daughter left camp to join her husband in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where he had\n  <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Resettlement/\" title=\"Resettlement\">\n   resettled\n  </a>\n  and was working in a bakery. There they were reunited with much of his family. Although Mary Tsukamoto was grateful to be released from camp, she suffered painful arthritis and medical conditions that had been aggravated under camp conditions. In July 1945, Al and Mary Tsukamoto returned to Florin, much of which had been destroyed in a fire. In 1946 Tsukamoto enrolled at Sacramento State College (today's California State University, Sacramento) and began employment as a substitute teacher. Three years later she was hired as a permanent teacher, and she taught for a total of 26 years in the Florin schools. She remained active with the local JACL branch.\n </p>\n <p>\n  Although she had long refused to speak of her wartime experience, in the late 1970s Tsukamoto was inspired to join the\n  <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Redress_movement/\" title=\"Redress movement\">\n   Japanese American Redress Movement\n  </a>\n  . When the U.S.\n  <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Commission_on_Wartime_Relocation_and_Internment_of_Civilians/\" title=\"Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians\">\n   Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians\n  </a>\n  held hearings in San Francisco, Tsukamoto presented testimony. The following year, she gave an oral history that was included as part of John Tateishi's anthology\n  <i>\n   And Justice For All\n  </i>\n  . She thereafter decided to produce her own book of memoirs, which was published in 1987 as\n  <i>\n   We the People : A Story of Internment in America\n  </i>\n  (1987). In 1986 Tsukamoto was awarded the Nisei of the Biennium award by the JACL, and was invited to testify on behalf of redress before a House of Representatives Subcommittee. Because of her activism in obtaining redress, Tsukamoto was honored in 1992 by a National Humanitarian Award. She also assisted the Smithsonian Institution in establishing an exhibition, entitled\n  <i>\n   [\n   <a class=\"external text offsite\" href=\"\" rel=\"nofollow\">\n    More Perfect Union\n   </a>\n   ]\n  </i>\n  , that dealt with Japanese American wartime removal. Tsukamoto was active in consulting on artifacts for that exhibition. Mary Tsukamoto was further honored when the Mary Tsukamoto Elementary School, named in her honor, was inaugurated in Sacramento in 1993. She died on January 6, 1998, just short of her eighty-third birthday.\n </p>\n <div id=\"authorByline\">\n  <b>\n   Authored by\n   <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Greg_Robinson/\" title=\"Greg Robinson\">\n    Greg Robinson\n   </a>\n   , Université du Québec À Montréal\n  </b>\n </div>\n <div id=\"citationAuthor\" style=\"display:none;\">\n  Robinson, Greg\n </div>\n <div class=\"section\" id=\"For_More_Information\">\n  <h2>\n   <span class=\"mw-headline\" id=\"For_More_Information\">\n    For More Information\n   </span>\n  </h2>\n  <div class=\"section_content\">\n   <p>\n    Howard, John.\n    <a class=\"external text offsite\" href=\"\" rel=\"nofollow\">\n     <i>\n      Concentration Camps on the Home Front: Japanese Americans in the House of Jim Crow\n     </i>\n    </a>\n    . Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008.\n   </p>\n   <p>\n    Mary Tsukamoto Elementary School website.\n    <a class=\"external free offsite\" href=\"\" rel=\"nofollow\">\n\n    </a>\n    .\n   </p>\n   <p>\n    Tateishi, John.\n    <a class=\"external text offsite\" href=\"\" rel=\"nofollow\">\n     <i>\n      And Justice for All: An Oral History of the Japanese American Detention Camps\n     </i>\n    </a>\n    . New York: Random House, 1984.\n   </p>\n   <p>\n    Tsukamoto, Mary, and Elizabeth Pinkerton.\n    <a class=\"external text offsite\" href=\"\" rel=\"nofollow\">\n     <i>\n      We the People : A Story of Internment in America\n     </i>\n    </a>\n    . Elk Grove, CA: Laguna, 1987.\n   </p>\n  </div>\n </div>\n <div class=\"section\" id=\"Footnotes\">\n  <h2>\n   <span class=\"mw-headline\" id=\"Footnotes\">\n    Footnotes\n   </span>\n  </h2>\n  <div class=\"section_content\">\n   <div class=\"reflist\" style=\"list-style-type: decimal;\">\n    <div class=\"mw-references-wrap\">\n     <ol class=\"references\">\n      <li id=\"cite_note-ftnt_ref1-1\">\n       <span class=\"mw-cite-backlink\">\n        <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_ref-ftnt_ref1_1-0\">\n         ↑\n        </a>\n       </span>\n       <span class=\"reference-text\">\n        Mary Tsukamoto and Elizabeth Pinkerton,\n        <i>\n         We the People : A Story of Internment in America\n        </i>\n        (Elk Grove, CA: Laguna, 1987), 133.\n       </span>\n      </li>\n     </ol>\n    </div>\n   </div>\n   <!-- \nNewPP limit report\nCached time: 20231221023025\nCache expiry: 86400\nDynamic content: false\nComplications: []\nCPU time usage: 0.012 seconds\nReal time usage: 0.016 seconds\nPreprocessor visited node count: 178/1000000\nPost‐expand include size: 2128/2097152 bytes\nTemplate argument size: 319/2097152 bytes\nHighest expansion depth: 6/40\nExpensive parser function count: 0/100\nUnstrip recursion depth: 0/20\nUnstrip post‐expand size: 457/5000000 bytes\nExtLoops count: 0\n-->\n   <!--\nTransclusion expansion time report (%,ms,calls,template)\n100.00%   10.326      1 -total\n 23.80%    2.457      1 Template:Databox-People\n 21.57%    2.227      1 Template:Reflist\n 13.32%    1.375      1 Template:Published\n 13.13%    1.356      1 Template:AuthorByline\n-->\n   <!-- Saved in parser cache with key encycmw:pcache:idhash:207-0!canonical and timestamp 20231221023025 and revision id 35754\n -->\n  </div>\n </div>\n</div>\n<div class=\"toplink\">\n <a href=\"#top\">\n  <i class=\"icon-chevron-up\">\n  </i>\n  Top\n </a>\n</div>",
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