Tuesday, June 19, 2018

"The Ishomotos [sic] staying at Gusky Orphnanage Are Very Nice People."



This photograph from the August 20, 1945 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette shows members of two Japanese-American families gathered inside a temporary internment facility on the Northside. The Gusky Orphanage---razed in 1950---was used to house Japanese-Americans as they transitioned between detention centers. The two families here, the Fujiharas and the Ishimotos, were the subject of a couple profiles in their day.

The Fujihara family just spent one night in the orphanage and were out the next day to work on a farm in Titusville. The Pittsburgh Press profiled them on their first day on the job.
The twelve Fujiharas, who left their rich California acres when the war began, were tilling the soil again today.

This time it was Western Pennsylvania earth, and it didn't belong to them, but they were back at the work they loved after three years in a concentration center for Japanese aliens and Japanese-Americans.

The Fujiharas moved into the Gusky Orphanage on the North Side yesterday and left this morning for their new home on a farm ten miles north of Titusville. Expert truck farmers, they had their choice of at least 20 good farm jobs, said Dr. Howard E. Mather of the War Relocation Authority.
An August 20 article that accompanies the above photograph reports on families' arrivals to Pittsburgh.
[T]he Ishimoto family moved into the orphnage Friday. The Fujihara family moved in yesterday. Both had spent almost three years in a concentration center at Tule Lake, Cal.
. . .
Many of the Ishimoto and Fujihara children attended Sunday School and services at Reverend Wynne's church yesterday morning, Mr. Watford said.

There are six Ishimotos, ranging from 13 months to 16 years, and 11 Fujiharas, from seven months to 21 years. The children have also been invited to several picnics. Neighborhood children play with them.
"They're Unfortunate, but The Ishomotos [sic] staying at Gusky Orphnanage Are Very Nice People," ran an August 25, 1945 Pittsburgh Courier headline.
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Ishomoto and their six children, native Americans who happen to be of Japanese origin, are now staying quite comfortably at the Gusky Orphanage in Perrysville, despite the efforts of a group of other Americans, the Citizens Committee of the Twenty-sixth Ward, who have pledge themselves to leave no stones unturned to deprive the Ishomoto family of a place to live until officials of the War Relocation Authority find a suitable place for them to establish a home.