"Letter to Otokichi Ozaki"

By Kazuki and Kayo Kosaki

(English translation of a letter originally written in Japanese.)

This letter to Otokichi Ozaki was from Otokichi’s older sister Kayo and her husband Kazuki.

Date: February 17 [1943]
From: Kazuki and Kayo Kosaki, Honolulu, Hawai‘i
To: Otokichi Ozaki, Livingston Internment Camp, Louisiana

On February 10, we received your letter of December 30 of last year. We understand you are in good health and accumulating invaluable experiences everyday. I hope you will be patient.

Here, our father and mother are also in good health. Father works at Kobara Restaurant everyday. Mother either works at the vegetable farm or helps out with Kayo’s and others’ laundry. The flower seeds you had sent us sprouted and grew everyday. I think they will bloom within a few days. Mother takes good care of them.

We feel relieved to know that Hideko-san [Otokichi’s wife] and her four children have arrived safely at Jerome Relocation Center, Denson, Arkansas. Kayo carefully made shio konbu with the thought to send it to you, but we gave it to Hideko-san since she was to sail soon. We will make it again and send it to you. These days we cannot find Japanese foods like konbu and narazuke any more, and we are inconvenienced. Getting pickles is also difficult. Even in Honolulu, it is very difficult to get fresh fish and vegetables, so we grow vegetables in our yards.

We cannot get fish at all. The lifestyle has completely changed. Meat is abundant in supply. When ships do not come in, however, we can get nothing. We bought and stocked up on quite a bit of rice and canned foods (American-made). These days butter is getting scarce.

This time we sent to you: temura, hokkigai, narazuke, green tea, tai no shio-ni, kinugai Yamato-ni, one roll of wakame, two bottles of shio konbu, and a bottle of daikonzuke. We also sent you a set of black and white stones for the game of go. Please look forward to their arrival. When you receive them, please let us know. We are keeping our fingers crossed that they reach you soon. We feel sorry that we cannot help you as much as we wish. Please understand our situation.

We work everyday without holidays. Kayo is too busy everyday to take on any more. Nobuko is on Lāna‘i to practice teaching. She will come back in June and go back to the university. She will get a diploma in September and go to other islands to teach. Hiromichi is a freshman at the university. Mineyuki signed up at Volunteer Combat Units. He received an A-1 card. If he passes the physical examination, he will go to the Mainland to begin military life. It seems he will go to Camp Shelby in Mississippi.
Both Mrs. Kawazoe and her baby are quite well. They visit us once in a while. We mailed out the package today. It is insured. It weights about thirteen pounds. We believe that the U.S. government treats you well. Since we are at war, let’s be patient. Take care of yourself.

SourceFamily Torn Apart: The Internment Story of the Otokichi Muin Ozaki Family, ed. Gail Honda.
Publication:  Honolulu: Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i, 2012
Page #:  108
Call No. in JCCH Resource Center:  H 940.5317 FAM

MLA citation:  Kosaki, Kazuki and Kayo. "Letter to Otokichi Ozaki." Family Torn Apart: The Internment Story of the Otokichi Muin Ozaki Family. Ed. Gail Honda. Honolulu: Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i, 2012. The Untold Story: The Internment of Japanese Americans in Hawai‘i. Web. [date of access]