Building 640 at the Presidio in San Francisco

Building 640 at the Presidio in San Francisco
Information Source for the Military Intelligence Service Historic Learning Center

Friday, July 29, 2011

Finishing Our Duties as Ninterns

So today, the day is slow on the last day of the week. We just finished our video project and turned it into a dvd for other to see, all thanks to Lina Hoshino for this opportunity. Then there is John Henry who sponsors us NJAHS for events and thanks to him , we wouldn't have experience any of this. So NJAHS show our thanks and appreciation to all those who supported and worked with NJAHS. We finished our tours with the college interns that was with Ken and Allison, which made it easy for a first tour, then there would be our 2nd one with the Aim High kids where Alvin is also from. We even finished our youtube video of the event/concert we did with the 300 kids about Japanese culture. That was fun. After all our efforts at NJAHS, there was a pizza party for us. How lovely. So now we're trying to make posters and fliers to advertise for the next tour. Following up there is going to be an event on Aug. 14 at New People known as the J-Pop center. As our day ends, our time at NJAHS is slowly ending. All the fun and experience here, hope to finish our duties as NJAHS's ninterns.

- Eric

The Time We Combine Our Work Force

Written at 7/27/2011 6:35PM

Today we got a lot done. We finally finish the video of us preforming to Mo Magic, made awesome fliers to attract tourists, and receive a pizza party. Remember the times when we ninterns had given this tour to Aim High.Well, Rachael gave us a pizza party today for that. While we were eating, Max grandfather came in, his name was Ken Nihei. So we also invited him to join us. Ken suddenly pop out a question asking does he have any stories during his time at war. We all got surprised when Ken Nihei told us what happen during his fight in European land digging foxholes. Mr. Nihei also mention how he used to collect pistols back then and he had like 10, but he can only keep one when the war was over. So he gave the rest to other veterans. Mr. Nihei talked about how he like to hunt ducks during his life in Wyoming. I like hearing these stories and I also like to collect pistols of my own.

- Luis Diego Lin-Xiao (NJAHS Nintern)

The Time We Present Our Tour to Aim High

Written at 7/22/2011 5:48PM

Today was the time when our group's finally ready to present our Japanese Cultural Heritage Walking Tour. Too bad Alvin wasn't here today due to his Aim High program. The tour went smoothly but our plan to line people up were a mess. Now we learn to make people line up or stay away from doors and other passengers way. Also the leader of Aim High got everyone some Manju and Rosalyn's daughter was passing out fortune cookies to the group.Here are some pictures of everyone getting lectured from the tour. You can look at them above since I took these photos. I learned how to be more clam and relief during our tour.

- Luis Diego Lin-Xiao (NJAHS Nintern)

San Jose Community

Yesterday, me and the Nikkei Community interns went down to San Jose Japantown to meet with the community. We first went to NBC 11 to talk to Mike Inouye. He was the weather man. He was nice and gave us tips like jump on opportunities and it helps to know people when you go out into the work force. After meeting with Mike, we went to the San Jose Japantown community center. There we ate sandwiches with some of the interns and staff. After lunch we went to get shaved ice and talked with Tamiko Rast at Roys Station. Roy's Station is a cafe that was started recently. It was originally a two pump gas station but during redevelopment, it was a necessity to upgrade to having more gas pumps. The day was pretty busy, and we were moving a lot but in the end, I felt like I learned a lot.

Ken Matsueda (Intern)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

World Perspectives.

Today was a normal day. We worked on a video to put on Youtube, made some fliers, and wrote thank yous to our sponsers. Last Friday, July 22nd we gave a tour for some middle school students. Because it went so well, we were given a pizza party. We thought the pizza party was going to be the only surprise of the day but then somebody special marched in.

Max Nihei's grandfather Ken Nihei came in to visit Max. He sat down and drank tea while we sat around him. I bluntly asked him "Hey Mr. Nihei, do you have any war stories that you may want to share with us?" I expected some heroic story about how he fought a long battle against the Nazis. What he said was a little different. He told us a story about how he was in a forest in Europe and he had to dig a trench. There was a bunch of new guys who were added to the unit. They were told to dig a trench. When the Nazi soldiers began shelling, one of the new guys got hit. The guy was screaming and he tried to tie up his leg but the bandages kept falling off. In the morning, the guy was dead. Hearing the story made me very sad. Mr. Nihei said that they did not even know his name. It was sad but Mr. Nihei talked about going hunting when he was living in Wyoming and teaching Max how to shoot. In the end it was a good talking to a man from an intense time in history.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Video Making

Making a personal video in 3 days only was very stressful. It was so rushed because we only got one chance to record voices and take pictures. The most difficult thing was thinking of the script and then editing it. It took more than 7 hours a day and we were all focused on the computers. It got tiring and boring just sitting down on my seat and eyes on the computer. When I was finished, it felt great because it was finally over and I just made my first ever own video! After completing the video, we all shared our videos with each other. Everybody did a great job on their video, but we aren't finished just yet because now, we have to put them together.


Monday, July 25, 2011

The Time We Have Three Days To Create a Flim

Written at 7/20/2011 8:25PM

The day was bright and shine, it was 3 days of handwork that us ninterns have to go through to bring out ourselves to our video. I truly wanted to express myself in a digital story telling and Lina manage to help us do so. She guided us step by step on the process of creating a perfect documentary of ourselves. On the first day we saw examples of Lina Hoshino's work and the people she taught. Then we got some time to create our scripts and voice over for day two.Day three went really quick with editing work and finally we proudly got to show our videos to our co workers and supervisors. The day went great even thought we took longer than we thought.I learned about myself and try to uncover what I done with my friends in Japantown during the past. I cant wait to show my video at Aug. 14 at the theater of New People.

- Luis Diego Lin-Xiao (NJAHS Nintern)

An artistic vision

Making a movie was a great experience. We gathered pictures, we made voice over, and we used transitions. It was difficult because it took so much time to edit the films but in the end it was worth the time. We learned how to persevere. Creating a film was a great experience because it allowed me to create a story about my life. It allowed me to express myself.

Ken Matsueda (NJAHS Intern)

Making Our Movie

This week was an important week.  Had to wake up earlier and get to work earlier.  We were doing a project with a woman name Lina Hoshino.  She is a professional Japanese American that specializes in documentary movie.  She was teaching us how to make our own digital story movie.  Its short but takes a lot of work.  Voice recording, pictures, organizing, syncronizing, and producing was all part of it.  With this me and my co-workers were learning a new skill.  It felt like school all over again, because doing a rough draft, like an essay, then having Lina check it over, like what a teacher does at school.  In the end, we had fun, learned new skills, and produced a movie in about 5 days.  Hopefully something like this shows up again.


Friday, July 15, 2011

The importance of our tours

We did our first official tour of Japan Town yesterday. I thought it went really well. In attendance we had the NCI Nor Cal group, Rachel's father, and Barbara (a high school teacher from Florida). It went really well, it was interactive, educational, and everyone made a great point about how redevelopment and social injustices still need justice. Redevelopment caused the Japan Town community to change drastically. Social injustices such as the Korematsu case, internment, and even the Peruvian Japanese's loss of homeland, life, and family need to come to justice. Our tour is to show that we need to learn from the past in order to make a better today. We need to fix our mistakes AND prevent injustices from happening again. This tour is important, people coming to Japan Town or anyone for that matter need to know this. So it is important that we show everyone so they will know that it isn't just about my rights or your rights, it involves everyone to work together because we need to live together or die alone.

Japantown tour

Japantown, home of the Spam Musubi, fortune cookie, and ramen restaurants. Recently, me and the interns at the National Japanese American Historical Society gave a tour to some of the Nikkei Community Internship interns. It started out shaky because there were a lot of cars so it was hard to hear what people said. It turned out o.k though because we said what was important and engaged the audience. Some of the people went into Benkyodo and bought some Manju. I was able to convey the message of knowing the law so that you can prevent injustices from happening. So in the end, the tour was a success.

-Ken Matsueda (Intern at NJAHS)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Time We Discover The Hidden Meanings of Chinatown's Alleyways and The Rise of I-Hotel

Written at 7/12/2011 10:25PM

Woo, today I'm extremely activated, due to the tour I will get at Chinatown. So I got up and stuff, ran out from my apt. door all the way to the Intersection of Market and Sutter St. (and yes, I actually ran 45 mins. and didn't ride the bus to save fares). Ken sat at some fancy cafe chairs waiting for Rachael and I didn't notice the whole time. Since I was searching for Rachael's car driving to pick us up any moment. Ken saw my orange backpack and wondered "Hey, isn't that Luis?" and came to greet me. We both met up and eventually met Rachael that came from a muni/bart stop, then I was like "ehhhh" since I thought she was picking us up with her car. So we went to get Cha Siu Bao (Cantonese barbecue pork buns, but I didn't get any), Ken and Rachael liked it. We arrived at the meeting spot of the tour too early, so Rachael got a coffee from a built-in coffee chain from a hotel. When that was finished, we met up with the rest of the group include the tour guide of Chinatown Alleyways, Wendy Chen. She had us introduced ourselves and started the tour from the center of Chinatown's Portsmouth Square to the alleyways and ended at the Cameron House.Wendy knew her tour facts
really well so we had a great experience learning about the alleyways. I learned so much interesting facts like how Chinese people got creative with numbers like 4+4=8, the number 4 meant to die but if you add then together it turns to 8,which means luck and prosperity. The fortune cookie I tired was so good that I hope I can find this alley way again. We ended the tour with lunch at San Sun Restaurant and a visit to the International Hotel. The building was surprising remodeled to suit low-incoming housing needs and an exhibit was provided for us to see the artworks of a Filipino American artist. We got a mini tour from the nice guy at the front desk and eventually went back to NJAHS headquarters. The good food we had made Eric and Ken sleepy but I truly enjoyed this tour and I planned to use some of Wendy's skills as a tour guide on Thursday. Well, good night.

- Luis Diego Lin-Xiao (NJAHS Nintern)

The Time We Experiences Pete's Past During The Fall of I-Hotel

Written at 7/11/2011 9:25PM

Today was Monday and we were supposed to be prepared for tomorrow's tour of Chinatown Alleyways. My fellow ninterns and I watched KRON 4 News point of view of Japantown. The lady news reporter went to interview places like Soko Hardware, Benkyodo, JCCCNC, and so on. I gained some knowledge of those locations and I really want to try Benkyodo's manju and mochi. Well, since we will visit the I-Hotel (International Hotel) tomorrow, our group decided to watch The Fall of I-Hotel. The International Hotel was built around 1907 right after the earthquake in 1906, around the existing Manilatown back then. The documentary's way of depicting the story had made me cried a little, linking my emotions to the Filipino and Chinese senior citizens that actually lived at the I-Hotel back then. I understood the way the tenants were trapped to live there due to low cost of rent around $50 per month. But then I can't believe how The Four Season Corporation made no acknowledgement toward the seniors that lived there, instead they used all sorts of ways to evict them. The brutal police that used violence to drag off the senior tenants and their use of baton had scared many protesters that defended against this unjust treatment. Eventually the hotel got demolished and it became a empty lot for many years. Well the good part was that Chinatown Community Development Center brought the air rights to the land and decided to construct a low-cost residential place that contained 105 apartments and 8000 application submissions to apply for made me realize how important low-cost housing for the seniors were. Later our team interview Pete about his times during his stay at the I-Hotel. Pete told his story and eventually he cried a little too, I tried to hold my tears as well, knowing that this horrible event wounded the seniors that lived there and the protesters that struggled for the seniors. Pete mentioned his best friends that taught him where to get the best groceries and life supplies, which made this a unforgettable moment for him. We should learn how to treasure the times we have now and fight for any inhumane activities around our lifetimes. I will personally like to thank Pete for his time sharing his memories with us and your continues support for us. Thank you.

- Luis Diego Lin-Xiao (NJAHS Nintern)

On July 12th, we had a tour in Chinatown. Our tour guide was also an intern like us. Her name was Wendy Chen and I recognize her before from my Chinese school. Knowing her made it more fun and easy to talk. She toured us through alleyways and the heart of Chinatown, Portsmouth. I learned the histories of buildings, chinese traditions, inventions, and the community of Chinatown. I learned a lot and the tour guide was really smooth and clear. It was good touring experience from going to the tour, and I will use what I learned on my tour tomorrow!



Yesterday July 12, we took a trip to Chinatown San Francisco. It was really interesting. We took walked down the alleyways, in the alleyway you could hear the sounds of Mah Jong being played and I got to taste a fresh fortune cookie being made. What I did not know was that the fortune cookie was originally created by a Japanese American in San Francisco. It was interesting to know that Portsmouth park was like the living room for the Chinese men to hangout. I asked our tour guide why Chinese are coming into the US. She said that it was because of the economic situation in China. All in all it was a very good experience.

Ken Matsueda (intern at National Japanese American Historical Society)

The Chinatown Tour : The Alleys

Waking up at like 10 in the morning, I rushed up and got ready because today is the day for my first Chinatown tour. Even though I lived in Chinatown my whole life, I really never learned the history of my hometown. Early morning, I first meet up with the crew, Ken, Luis, Alvin, Allison, and Rachel. Of course the tour guide was there too. We met up at a place called Portsmouth Park, which was the center and heart of Chinatown. Chinatown is an amazing place to tour and to experience new knowledge. Starting our tour, while Wendy, our tour guide, was crushing knowledge into our minds, I was looking around and realized I only knew so little. Every alley had their part in history, and every place we stopped at is a new experience. Hear a lot of mahjong playing, everybody eating dim sum, and yum cha-ing. Many changes have happened all around Chinatown, but there are still things like the old days, like when all the old people everyday gather together at the heart of Chinatown and play cards. Well anyone should give it a try and look around Chinatown for themselves and experience the joy of the Chinese ways.

- Eric

China Town Tour

Yesterday we went on a tour of China Town. It was really interesting because I did not know there was an official tour. So I got to learn about China Town's famous alleyways and its history. It was interesting to learn about Asian's fight for equal school systems. The history books discuss African Americans' fight and struggles, but I never learned about Asian history in my elementary and middle schools. In high school, I learned a little about World War II and the Japanese, but not as much as Civil War and Civil Rights.

Another interesting fact, which by the way is mentioned in the Japan Town tour is that the fortune cookie is actually a Japanese American invention. The inventor was Makoto Hagiwara, proprietor of the San Francisco Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park. So the theory is that when the Japanese were in internment camps, the Chinese adopted the fortune cookie and gave them out as dessert, so they were able to popularize it.

Monday, July 11, 2011

First Tour Much?

Today was supposed to be my first tour.  Felt a little nervous because I wasn't fully prepared, well and I dropped my script too... When the kids arrived, I was like ok "lets just do this" it was already lights camera action!  The first thing we did was introduce ourselves to the kids, teachers, and parents.  We were supposed to be ready to answer questions and be the one to ask questions, and while the whole experience, I figured and hope that I'll be able to do a tour next time with no hesistation.  The whole time while seeing Rachel and Ras doing the talking, I was noticing different things like how the questions were asked and how thoroughly they spoke about the history of Japan Town.  Everything went great, the kids had a great time, I had a great time, learned new things, and hopefully the kids left this field trip with some new knowledge.  

- Eric

The Time We Experiences Irene Hoshizaki's Memories and Sushi Making

Written at 7/7/2011 10:25PM

I want to share our day at NJAHS since I can't sleep right now. Too excited to think about what's going to happen tomorrow. Well, let me explain what happen so you get an idea of what I'm talking about. Today everything went smoothly as I can recall. When I went in to work, I was unexpected of my fellow ninterns setting up recording equipment. Now that I can recall that we're suppose to interview Irene Hoshizaki, Alison
Sunohara's grandmother, Ken and I learned how to set up and function the video recorder and the stand up lights from Max. The interview started right at 11:30AM.So I experience how Ms.Hoshizaki past were like as a Japanese American and how she became who she was today.I found her life very interesting and it gain me experience to prepare for my future. When the interview was over at 12:30PM, we thanked Ms.Hoshizaki for coming over today. As soon as that was over, it's time to put away the equipment and clean up the table so we can learn how to make sushi from Rosalyn. First,Rosalyn taught us how to make nigiri sushi and she also taught us how sushi were an important food from Japan. The three characteristic of Japanese cuisine were taste, presentation and color. After that we made futomaki, rolled up sushi. My roll looked very unpleasant but Rosalyn taught me to slice my roll with perfection. When we as ninterns were done making sushi, we finally get to savor the flavor while Rosalyn was making onigiri, handmade rice ball. Oishii!!! When we're done eating, we were preparing for tomorrow's walking tour since about 20 people from the East Bay about Japantown and the hardship of Japanese American history. The good thing was that Rosalyn got our backs and had us all planned out. Now I felt confident to take on this challenge. Well I hope the day comes by faster. Good night. Oyasumi.

- Luis Diego Lin-Xiao (NJAHS Nintern)

JACL National Conference

This past weekend, the NCI Interns went to LA to see Little Tokyo and attend the JACL conference. It was very interesting to see the community in LA. Seeing the thriving community of Japanese Americans made me feel like I had a place where I belonged. 

In Little Tokyo it seemed like there was a lot going on. In the area in front of the JACCC, there was a lot of boxes so it seemed like there was some kind of evacuation going on. In the area around, there were restaurants and cafes. When I was looking at colleges, I had been looking into music conservatories. I had thought about applying to the Colbourn School of Music so I was surprised to see the Colbourn Dance Institute located in the same building as the JACCC.

On Thursday, July 7th, we interviewed Irene Hoshizaki, a Japanese American and Alison's grandma. We interviewed her because she experienced the internment camp during World War II. Irene told us her life experience like her challenges and obstacles she faced. The interview was interesting, but it took about a hour.

After the interview, we learned how to make sushi. Ros taught us how to make sushi if you are hungry and just have scrap. First, we get leftover rice and soften them with vinegar. We mush up the rice into a rectangular shape. Then, we put scrap, like fish or vegetables, on top of the rice and wrap it up with seaweed. The sushi was really good, but I didn't eat the wasabi or vegetable because it was too spicy.


Interview with my grandmother

On Thursday we interviewed my grandmother. She was born in San Francisco on Geary Street in Japan Town and was sent to Heart Mountain internment camp during the war. I felt that she was a good person to interview because after the war, she moved to Chicago and finally settled in Los Angeles. So she has a good understanding of the Japanese American communities. One of the interesting points about my grandmother that I learned was that she went to an elementary school that didn't have many Japanese Americans. So when the attack on Pearl Harbor happened, her family pulled her out so she wouldn't face any discrimination. But it was unfortunate that she didn't get a full education. In the camps she got a watered down education and graduated; it makes me feel so fortunate to have gotten a full education growing up. I got to take music classes, economics, and anatomy and physiology. While in college, I have compared myself to others and I felt like I didn't get a very good education. I didn't have a robotics club or a biotechnology club, but in perspective I feel like I've gotten an education that makes my grandmother proud of me. 


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Time We Present NJAHS To Mo Magic And The Crowd

Written at 7/6/2011 1:46 PM

Yesterday was by far the best time I had of my life! I can't believe we essentially presented ourselves to the crowd as National Japanese American Historical Society ninterns(our way of calling our selves interns). I can even recall how our group of interns worked so hard to develop a presentation outline in only two days!We may have forgotten to include some important details or share more of our work experiences working in NJAHS, but we still managed to conquer our fears and overcome our stage jitters quickly and smoothly.

Well, the day was July 5, right after Independence Day. Before my fellow ninterns Alvin, Eric and I were sweeping the floors of the Peace Plaza and near the stage at the Peace Pagoda, there was a lot of trash and we were in throws of rewriting our script but we managed to clean up the trash while Ken and Alison rephrased the script. By the time we finished sweeping, it was time to set up the sound systems and equipment. We were completely done and well set up. It was time to begin, so we started with Ken and Alison as the main hosts of our presentation. We introduced ourselves and I was surprised how I got to be favored by the crowd of kids with my loud exciting voice. Then Ken started to talk about the history of Japan Town and ask d the kids what the word nihon-machi means. The kids came up with different answers like hello friend, how are you, little friend, etc. and Ken managed to correct them by replying with the answer, which is Japan Town. Alison even taught the crowd what does issei, nisei, and sansei mean and introduced Dr. Wesley Ueunten, the Sanshin player and Francis Wong the Jazz musician. They played around 4 songs and the 4th song, the kids started dancing with us. Finally ,we presented Dr.Iwabuchi who showed us how to perform the fishermen's dance, Yosakoi. The crowd learned amazingly fast and so did our steps ,which made Yosakoi possible. So we ended with happy and joyful kids showing what they learn today. I can't wait for this to happen again! Thank you for everyone who made this event possible.

- Luis Diego Lin-Xiao (NJAHS Nintern)

Mo Magic presentation

Yesterday, July 5th, we had our J Town cultural presentation. There were students from all over San Francisco that came to the event. It was a presentation to teach kids about the injustices and adversity that the Japanese Americans had to face while living in America. 

During the performance we had some trouble. The sound system cut out, the professor who was supposed to teach the dance did not show up, and the students were getting antsy. Our supervisor Roz told Alison that she would have to lead the dance by herself. Luckily, one of the interns found the dance teacher and he was able to teach. 

I had to open the performance. I asked them what J Town meant and they answered "Japantown!". The students were well behaved. I talked a lot about Japanese American history but even with all the information, every time I asked a question, the students would raise their hands and answer. When we had the dance, the young kids and the high school students got up and danced.

It was a great experience. I was very happy that everything worked out. Everyone worked together and we came out with a good presentation. I did not expect to talk so I was surprised when Roz told me I had to open the presentation. Afterwards I was exhasuted but I feel like I gained a whole lot of experience leading a production.

Ken Matsueda
On Tuesday, July 5th, there was the Yosakoi Concert at Peace Plaza. It was my first major event since I started my internship at NJAHS. We had a script planned out and rehearsed before the show. I worked with the interns and special guest Francis Wong, Weslie Ueunten, and Yasushi Iwabuchi. Before setting up, we had to set the stage and clean up. The Peace Plaza was such a mess. Luis, also an intern for NJAHS, cleaned up with me. After we were done, the trash smelled like cigarettes. It was worth cleaning because the plaza looked so nice after. When everything was set up and rehearsal was finish, it was time for the concert. But lunch first!

The audience gathered around the stage and sat patiently for the show to begin. We started off with an introduction of the interns and I. I made my introduction short and quick because I was nervous of public speaking and I never talked in front of an audience before. Then Ken and Alison took the stage. They talked about the history of Japan and also taught the audience some Japanese words. The crowd seemed a little tired, but when the guest performers played their music, everybody started dancing. The audience got up on their feet and danced to the music. They even got up on stage and danced in front of everybody. Everybody was so hyper, so we concluded the concert with a dance. We taught the audience the Yosakoi dance and it ended with fun and excitement. The concert went well overall, but it was tough being on stage and practicing. I learned some history about Japan, and learned some Japanese words too. It was educational and fun!

- Alvin Tan , intern

Mo Magic Event

Yesterday was our concert with Mo Magic. We had Francis Wong and Wesley Ueunten do a jazz performance. Francis played the sax and Wesley did an awesome job singing and playing the sanshin (an Okinawan string instrument instrument). So it was great mixing the two styles, it really gave the idea that we can work well together even if we come from different backgrounds. It was a true intermixing of cultures.

We also had Dr. Yasushi Iwabuchi a researcher at UC Berkley teach everyone yosakoi- yosakoi is a Japanese dance. It was totally awesome and the kids really got into it. It was tons of fun and we video taped it so I'll post a link to YouTube when it gets put up. The interns and I will be editing the footage today and tomorrow, but our goal is to get it up before Friday. So check for updates you guys!