Chiko ODATE Slide Show
Reiko Matsumoto, daughter of Chiko Odate, was interviewed on Sunday, February 17, 2002 at her sister's home in Anaheim, California and Wednesday, December 3, 2003, at her mother's home in Berkeley, California.
Reiko Matsumoto, Tape 1 Part 1 - Audio
Reiko Matsumoto's father, Chiko Odate was the minister at the Higashi Hongwanji at Waimea, Kauai. On the day Pearl Harbor was bombed, the local sheriff arrested him and took him to Wailua Prison on the other side of the island. Matsumoto hitched a ride with the local grocer and visited him there. After almost a year, the issei prisoners were transported to New Mexico internment camps. Odate wrote and edited poetry and carved boxes and a small butsudan.
Matsumoto's family chose to join her father in the Jerome, Arkansas camp. After the war her family returned to the temple in Waimea. Odate was then transfered to the Higashi Hongwanji in Berkeley, California.
The first night in Jerome, Arkansas was very cold. They had no warm clothes. Matsumoto remembers her camp experience as somewhat enjoyable. She made new friends and lived in a new and different environment.
The family was sent to Tule Lake after responding no-no to the loyalty questionnaire. At Tule Lake, Matsumoto was an editor on the yearbook staff.
Reiko Matsumoto, Tape 1 Part 2 - Audio
Odate compiled a book of poetry and artwork and published it while in Santa Fe. After the war, his wife selected her favorite poems and published a book in Japan.
Odate also produced notebooks that chronicle his journeys through the prisons. However, Matsumoto feels these are too personal for public dissemination. Odate composed poetry while driving on family outings. His wife jotted down notes and he worked on the verse when he returned home.
At Santa Fe, Odate practiced wood carving. He produced a knitting needle box for his wife and a personal butsudan, Buddhist shrine.
Reiko Matsumoto, Tape 2 - Audio
At Santa Fe Odate took classes from a master carpenter and constructed a personal butsudan.
In 1952, Odate traveled to Brazil to help found Higashi Hongwanji temples in the Sao Paulo area. He traveled by horseback to outlying villages. In Brazil, he developed a taste for strong coffee.
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