Placer County Nikkei gather for fourth reunion

Event hosts 148 Nikkei at Thunder Valley Casino
By: Staff Report
-A +A
Placer County Nikkei, now living throughout California, reunited to discuss old times, get reacquainted with old friends and hopefully pass on the reunion torch to the younger generation. Nikkei is a Japanese word that means immigrants from Japan and their descendants. According to Homer Yoshizuka, a member of the reunion organizing committee, 148 Nikkei attended the fourth reunion held on Oct. 24 and 25, at Thunder Valley Casino, in Lincoln. Previous reunions were held in 1988, 1992 and in 2003. Yoshizuka now lives in San Jose, but originally lived in Lincoln, Penryn and Newcastle. He said he and a dozen organizers decorated the reunion room with floral centerpieces and handmade origami favor box, all made by Grace Yoshikawa, of Loomis. A slideshow projected on a large screen with photographs of previous reunions was set up by reunion photographer, Frank Hirota, of Sacramento. Additional items available to guests were historical booklets of the Placer Nikkei community, authored by Takasumi Kojima, of Berkley, and James Yokota, of Torrance, plus maps of the various relocation center where Japanese were sent during World War II. Yoshizuka said much of the reunion time was spent meeting with old friends, former classmates and neighbors. Several Placer High School Hall of Famers were present including Asa Hanamoto, of Mill Valley, Ray Yamasaki, of Auburn, and Robert Nakamoto. Hanamoto and Marvin Uratsu, of Sacramento, were recognized as being awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor last week. Tomio Masaki, assisted by Grace Miyamoto, both of Sacramento, gave a brief history of the reunions. Yoshikawa said it will be up to the younger generations of Nikkei to plan future reunions. ~ Staff report