New names of Obie Nisei

From combing through the Alumni Directory up to 1960, I seem to find new names of Oberlin Nisei (grads and non-grads) every time.

Today I stumbled upon:

  • Esther Matsu Kinoshita (Mrs. William Ujifusa), college & con, 1943-4, 1947 Nongrad
  • Lily Yuriko Fukuhara, college & con, 1944-5, 1948 Nongrad (information unknown)
  • Mr. Renso Enkoji, college, 1944-6, 1948 Nongrad (California)
  • Michiko Matsushima (Mrs. Thomas T. Fujimoto), 1944-46, 1948 Nongrad (Cleveland)
  • June Kimura, college, ’44-5, 1948 Nongrad  (
  • Saburo Kawahara, conservatory, ’46-8, 1950 Nongrad, “Gate Mills, O, Chagrin Valley Hunt Club”
  • Teruko Akagi, conservatory, 1945 Graduate, violinist, Chicago area
  • June Kitazawa, (Mrs. C. E. Barr), college,1946
  • May Kitazawa, (Mrs. David E. Arbegast), college, 1945 (I’d originally found her in the ’45 Oberlin Hi-O-Hi yearbook, and while looking her up in the Alphabetical Index of the Alum Registry was surprised to see her listed under a “June” Kitazawa. They are sisters.)
  • Arthur Shuntetsu Kodama, college, 1941-4, 1945 Nongrad. I first saw “Arthur” as the cryptic “A. Kodama” in a group photo in the ’45 yearbook. However, his photo and full name had not been listed within any of the four classes, unless I missed it. After attending for so long I wonder what prevented him from graduating from Oberlin.
  • Ray Masaaki Egashira, college, conservatory, 1945-6, 1949 Nongrad. I had seen a “Ray Egashira”‘s freshman year picture in the 1946 yearbook and was puzzled when I could find no other traces of him in any of the other books.

You’ll notice that most of these people did not graduate from Oberlin. In most of these cases, students were only temporarily studying at Oberlin after being forcibly “evacuated” (for their “own safety”) from their academic institutions on the West Coast. Oberlin President Wilkins corresponded with many West Coast schools and offered to take in the displaced Nisei. While some graduated from Oberlin, others were able to go back and obtain degrees from their former schools.

After two weeks of being overwhelmed by this task, I’m finally beginning to settle into a routine. My nonsensical spreadsheet is also beginning to really fill-in and shape up. By now I have about 32 names.