Your Comments

Because we don't have enough traffic to go through all the machinations of setting up a chatroom, we can do the next best thing. If you have a comment that you would like other family members to read, email Stirling Morita


It will be posted here. Let's try to stay away from political statements and attacking or questioning message senders' motives.

From Claude Morita, Jan. 13, 2001:

Returned last night from four days in Beppu City, Oita City and Yufuin Town on a very eventful work-pleasure trip. I got approval for Dina to accompany me this time (our own expense for personal things). Paul, you are so on-the-money about Beppu. It is a wonderful tourist destination, especially during these slow Japanese economic times. Tourists from Taiwan and South Korea are very numerous. Tourists from anywhere are impressed with some Japanese courtesies, like free hot tea in Shizuoka's rest areas, and ample supplies of sugar and cream for coffee at any business hotel or buffet type restaurants. But classless tourists fill up their big bottles with tea, draining the dispensers, and wrap up sugar tubes and containers of cream in napkins and take them home.

The onsen are endless and the one we used exclusively does wonders for skin tone and general well-being, including recuperating from a small glass of hire-sake (fins of poisonous blow fish toasted and steeped in sake). Sushi is just out of this world in Kyushu and Owada Sushi Shop hidden in the old-time Japanese town's alleys has the best in Japan. Even Dina, a fussy sushi eater paying many dues in Tokyo, was so enraptured, we went three nights running. The best were anago (conger eel), chu toro, and baby abalone.

Driving there and especially in the mountains overlooking Yufuin, one of the most famous hot springs resorts in Japan (congestion in a small town, commercialized and over-rated), reminded us a little of bad conditions along the coast of Oregon. The fog moves in quickly from the Sea of Japan and forms thick. At higher elevations of mountains that are similar to eastern Oregon, it's cold, sleety and snowy. Adventuresome, but not too challenging for Oregonians or tested Chicago types. Makes those onsen baths so welcome. Total mileage from Sasebo to Beppu-Oita and return, via tollways, 380 miles.

During the days, Dina took tours by herself, chartering a taxi (at my insistence since her arthritis returns with too much walking) for about $80.00 to get a personalized, time-saving tour. (Secret: She is also an excellent pachinko player. But she does not think much of slot machines.) She is quick to find bargains anywhere, but since we spent so much time throwing things out at Hayama, she has begun restraining herself. I often think about sending Diana, Flora or Betty "extra stuff" from our closets and "priceless stuff" in our garage so they could have really colorful garage sales in Tahoe, Las Vegas and San Jose. Serious thinking ends when I consider shipment costs.

Before she returns to Hayama I hope to get her to Kagoshima and Moji-Shimonoseki.

From Betty Shibayama, Dec. 11, 2000

I just remember the ones in Chicago. Alot of times, the couple knew each other and just to make it "proper" they were introduced, with Grandpa assisting.

There was a guy, can't remember his last name, Imamura or something like that. He was rather good looking and stocky. Dad may have known him from work. The woman was from Japan, they may both have been Kibei. She was a very happy, nice person. I think they had a happy marriage.

Chieko Noritake, too. Don't know the person she married. I'm not sure about Kikuno san. Remember she and Chieko were good friends living in La Salle Mansions and they were good friends of Grandpa's?

From Betty Shibayama, Dec. 10, 2000

Diana would remember that Grandpa would be "bai sha ku niin" for young couples. More or less "introducing" them or being the responsible person for introducing couples.

The reason I say this, is because Grandpa was going to "introduce" a couple in our living room. Diana must have been about 3 years old and used to repeat all the swear words that Grandpa used to use and most anything else that she heard that was different. We had told her not to repeat the work bai sha ku niin in front of this couple. Well, you know if you tell a child NOT to repeat words that is a sure way to get them to repeat it.

Well, sure enough, while the couple was sitting in the living room, Diana was standing off to the side saying "Bai sha ku niin, bai sha ku niin."

Not sure who the couple was, if it was Chieko Noritake or another couple.

From Claude Morita, Dec. 9, 2000

Diana and the younger relatives would probably find it interesting that Grandpa, I think, was the go-between for Mr. and Mrs. Nii. Go-betweens have a sort of long-time commitment (in old Japan) to see that the marriage stays on an even keel. Now, that is a commitment in any generation that is a no-win situation. That's why Mrs. Nii would even complain to me about Mr. Nii's shortcomings (when I was a teen-ager and when I didn't know much about anything relating to men-women interactions).

I sort of think that in Mrs. Nii's mind, we (all the Moritas) had to listen to all the picayune stuff between husband and wife because we were responsible for that marriage.

I am saying right now for all single relatives who I might "fix up." I am a pragmatic introducer to eligible partners. I will see to it that your partner is sensible, intelligent and has basic courtesies and pays attention to everything talked about in Conversations with God. I will not see you through your courtship, marriage and ups and downs. I'm surviving reasonably well now and I can't assume responsibilities way, way beyond my capabilities.

Does anyone know any real expert on this type of "counseling"? I was a sort of marriage counselor when my old job required me to send marriage applications through the bureaucracy so that sailors and foreign nationals could get married. But that is an entirely different, long, humorous and, at
times, frustrating tale.

From Paul Morita, Dec. 7, 2000

I think it was after the summer of '41 when the Jios came for a visit. After the war broke out travel was restricted. YOu had to file a report with the gov't whenever you made a trip. When Dot got married we had to travel around Mt. Hood to go to Salem. That way the Japanese aliens( who were considered dangerous) would bypass Bonneville(sp) dam. I remember the Jios had a nice new car, so we rode with them. We took them up near Mt. Hood. Ask Flora if you don't believe me!! Karen was sweet enough to pay attention to a young person of Flora's age. I know mom and dad had pictures of the trip. I worked about two months in Wapato, so it must have been early fall or late summer they visited.

From Ruth Hidaka, Dec. 5, 2000

Grandpa Nii use to tell me that he would buy me hamburgers for my wedding when we were out working inthe orchard picking apples...he could really tell stories too...Ruth

From Claude Morita, Dec. 5, 2000

That was a nice letter, Betty. Sorry that I haven't had time to really sit down and write.

For my Navy work, I went up to the city of Kita Kyushu last week and one of its ports, Moji-ko. Also went across the straits between Kyushu and Honshu (the southern tip of Yamaguchi Prefecture), to Shimonoseki City. That area is so beautiful, historic and unique. An island in the strait (Kanmon Kaikyo) is where Miyamoto Musashi had his duel with Sasaki Kojiro (part fictional, I think). The Treaty of Shimonoseki was signed there, ending the war between Japan and China (1894-1895). It began Japan's imperialistic expansion at China's expense, but also showed Japan that it was far from being the equal of the western powers. At the western end of the strait is where one of our Fujiwara (Genji) antecedents, Yoshitsune, defeated the Heike (Taira) in about 1185 at Dannoura. It was an enthralling experience. There's just no other way to describe it. My genetic make-up seem to recognize everything. As if I had witnessed some of the major events of the past 900 years.

These are the pieces that are going to fit into the book. The new way that Stirling has challenged me to do it.

You've started my bells tinkling again. There was a nice Hattie something or other in Tule. I had forgotten our neighbors there. They are a complete blank. I do remember the Asai's (Gene and Itsu) came down to play basketball a lot. I guess they were in the block. Shiz Horita, Norrie Yamagiwa (the whole family, but I forgot their names, besides Teruko, I think), Tuck Kamine, Willie Sato, and since Stogie looked after us so much, I guess the Toki's lived there too.

That's where I sort of got to know the Yoshii family (from Hood River), especially Rose and June. They were so nice (besides being pretty) and I really wanted to know what I could do for them when I saw them in Okayama. But they were very reluctant to talk to me, as a matter of fact, they sort of avoided me. Paul or somebody told me that they returned to the States somehow, but I think their "repatriation" sort of destroyed their self-confidence and identity. They are, to me, real victims of that sordid "evacuation" episode.

From Donna Tamaki, Nov. 18, 2000:

Hikaru will be playing his first concert with the Civic Orchestra as first chair of the cello section on Sunday, Nov 19 at 8PM (please check the time with Dorothy). I think the concert is free and the program will be a fairly popular one (Scherazade and others). The venue is the Symphony Center, across the street from the Art Institute. If you are able to attend, please let me know how it went!!

Just talked to Hikaru and found out that the seats to the concert at the Symphony Center are all gone. The orchestra is going to play at the Pick-Staiger Hall at Northwestern Univ on Nov 20 (Mon) at 8PM. The tickets are free but you need to reserve a place by calling the Civic Orchestra at 312-294-3420. The program will be about 90 minutes - Scherezade and the Mother Goose Suite by Ravel.

From Claude Morita

Date: Nov. 19, 2000

No, we were just awe-struck. Bob Dethman was our hero to begin with. It was a thrill just to see him and, get lucky, a hear a few words from him. Suddenly, you had at least 20 of them. The Oregon State football team of that year was just something else. Like Paul said, Don Durdan was also a star and we did hear their games from time to time. They were on the radio!!

We were country boys and were in awe of such things as carnivals, the Akagi garage in Portland, and the ships we visited. Boy, were we lucky just to have Bob Dethman as a neighbor! And a whole team! Are you kidding! That was only stuff for really important people!

From Paul Morita

Date: Nov. 18, 2000

The 1942 Rose Bowl was played in Durham North Carolina. The final score was 20 to 16 in favor of the Oregon State Beavers over the Duke Blue Devils.

That was Don Durdan who made the famous one handed catch. Remember Bob was the right handed left halfback and Don Durdan was the left handed right Halfback, and either one could pass that's what made the offense so effective. Warren Simas was the quarterback.

Jack Yoshihara was the offensive end and because he was an alien he couldn't go to the transplanted Rose Bowl. He was at the first reunion. He was a real specimen of manhood at the time of the Rose Bowl , but he was all shriveled up and puny when I saw him at the reunion. He used to take Judo and no one could beat him at the time.

From Betty Shibayama

Date: Thursday, Nov. 9, 2000

We just returned from LV and Chicago reunion.  It was great fun!  Really had a great time this reunion.  Had more time to speak with alot of our old high school friends.  Ex-boy friends!!  =) Flora, too!! I'm sure, Jr. too,  I mean, ex girlfriends. Shiba, too!!!

Jr. sang "Some Enchanted Evening" and that was received with wild applause, so he "just happened" to have an encore "What Kind of Fool Am I?"  He did a great job. He said that was his dream to be able to sing in front of his ole friends.  Dr. Jim Matsumoto was the comedian and did a very good job.

We took Terrie K. and Yosh Butsuda with us. No!  I am not trying to fix them up. Just good friends.

During the banquet, I was given the opportunity to speak and ask people to sign letters to their congresspersons to support the Becerra legislation, which will be re-introduced early next year with the new congress.  I was also able to mention about the documentary and that Shiba will be leaving today for Crystal City, New Orleans, Seabrook Farms, NJ and then on to Chicago.

There will be a presentation in Chicago at the JASC on the Tues. before Thanksgiving and Shiba will speak and I invited people from Chicago to attend. We got over 200 signatures and some people took some to their respective hometowns for more signatures.  Now, our work will be cut out for us, since we will have to fill in the congressperson's name, since many have changed since the election.

WHO'S THE PRESIDENT? Our new congressman is Mike Honda, Democrat formerly from Chicago. Clinton handpicked him to run since our former congressman, Tom Campbell, Republican was running against Sen. Feinstein and Clinton wanted this seat to go Democratic. Campbell made an awful mistake running against Feinstein. He should have waited and run against Barbara Boxer. Campbell was very supportive of the JLA's cause. More than Mineta, who gave us the run around. Mike Honda knows Shiba and our cause and had wanted to talk to Shiba but then he got so caught up with this election, never got around to it. Don't worry!! We'll get him!!!! 

He was in the state legislature and he was able to get Public Education funds for grants passed for education on the internment. A million $ for 3 years, I think. The JPOHP received a grant from that fund this year.  Well, got to get ready to go to work. Will reply to any email that I received while I was gone, tonight, since I will be "home alone."  Brian is driving down to LA today, to meet  up with Aaron and Freda, "the celebrities".  Brian will return Sun. and will leave Wed. for the Comdex convention and will stay on through the weekend, since Bekki and some of their friends will be going for the weekend. Bekki returns from Atlanta tomorrow.  I can't keep all of their itineraries straight. "Talk" to you later.

Paul, by the way, there was a young talented singer who played the guitar, too I think his name was Ed (?) Uchima.  He entertained and asked if Jr. was related to Pam Morita because he said that she was talented, too and that he played with her, professionally, that is. It was too bad that I did not get some CDs from you so that I could have offered as door prizes.  Next time!!!  If they have door prizes at the Minidoka reunion, that would be a good idea to offer a couple and that would be a way of publicizing her CD. Have to think of all the angles, Paul.  =) Ruth, we saw Mits, Marietta, Minnie and Frank (May was packing upstairs), when we were in line to eat breakfast on our last day in LV.  Minnie said that she had invited you but that you did not want to go.  

From: Paul Morita

Date: Wednesday, October 18, 2000 1:07 PM

The market is really going to the dogs, but mom's account is up ... thanks to Walgreen!!


From: Claude Morita

Date: Friday, October 06, 2000 11:10 PM

I talk to Chizuko Moriya, our cousin periodically. She's the oldest in the Ihdani family and the older sister of Taeko, the beautiful person my age. Taeko died after being hit by the car. Chizuko's daughter is a live wire and I also talk to her at the same time. Her husband is a computer nut, I hear, so he'll be a point of contact for our Web page.

Yoshio Yamamoto, also a cousin, is retired and living in Tokyo. I also talk to him periodically and will get him involved in researching and in our Web page.

I'll be talking to them more since they are vital links to Pop and Mom and what I say about them in the book.

I'm busy traveling back and forth to Kagoshima City.


Date: Thu Sep 28, 2000 8:04pm
From: Paul Morita, the elder

We had agreat time, took a cruise from Athens, Greece, Santorini and Rhodes. Then to the Ukraine . Visited Odessa and Yalta on the black Sea. Remember where Stalin,Churchill and Roosevelt had the Yalta conference in Feb. of '45?

Then we went to Istanbul, Turkey, where we stayed three days. I was astounded at the exchange rate, one dollar is worth 635,000 Turkish money.

Turkish food is quite good!! We ran into a few beggars. I saw many middle-aged men hauling 29-inch Sony T.V.s on their backs. You know the Turks went to Germany to provide labor for the Germans.

It was a very tiring trip returning from Istanbul via Amsterdam, Minneapolis and finally Phoenix. I discovered something about KLM. On their 737(newer model) they have a large business class and if they don't fill the seats they give it to the early people in tourist. I wasn't able to take advantage!!

We didn't have too much luck at the ship's casino. It's great to get back home, even though it is still over 100 degrees. Remember my e-mail address is

Tributes, communications to and from family members: Junior, Dorothy

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