Author: Phyllis Genther Yoshida
My husband and I visited Kumamoto Prefecture in Kyushu in October to explore and learn more about the hometowns of my husband’s grandparents. Like many third-generation Japanese Americans, Chuck knew little other than the prefectures from which his grandparents had emmigrated. Even his parents knew little, as their parents rarely talked about Japan. Luckily, we did have a copy of a koseki, or family registry, for his paternal grandfather. Exploring ship, immigration, marriage, and other records gave us hints of the hometowns and the names of his grandparents’ parents.
Volunteer efforts are mounting in Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan, after twin earthquakes on April 14 and 16 razed buildings, triggered landslides, and crippled infrastructure. The magnitude-6.5 and 7.3 quakes killed more than 50 people, injured thousands, and displaced many tens of thousands from their homes as aftershocks in the region continue.
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