Fujii, Sono and Midori (6/9/2021)




Fujii, Sono and Midori (6/9/2021)


Sisters Sono and Midori "Dori" Fujii were born and raised in Chicago in the 1950s and 60s. Their father was born in Gifu, Japan and their mother, a nisei, was born in San Jose, California. In this interview, they discuss their mother's experiences growing up in the Japanese American community in San Jose, their father's early life in Japan, and their family members' experiences of incarceration and resettlement in Chicago. Their mother was in college at San Jose State University prior to her incarceration at Santa Anita and then Heart Mountain, where she met Sono and Midori’s father, Ryoichi Fujii. The youngest of five children in a family that suffered financially after the death of his father, Ryoichi Fujii had a difficult childhood, taught himself English while apprenticing in a textile business, was accepted to Doshisha University, and eventually moved to the United States to study theology at Oberlin College. At Heart Mountain, he taught American history and government classes to other incarcerees. Following the war, he founded the Chicago Shimpo newspaper while Sono and Dori's mother worked in a number of roles, including as a social worker and a therapist. In sharing the experiences of their family, Sono and Midori want to ensure that younger generations understand the importance of this history and not let it be forgotten. They express that understanding this history is crucial as context for present-day social and political issues.






Lincoln, Emma Saito


Fujii, Sono
Fujii, Midori

Alternate Form of Name

Fujii, Dori

Interview Keyword

Chicago Shimpo
Santa Anita
Heart Mountain
Doshisha University
San Jose, CA
Fujii, Ryoichi
Hyde Park
Postwar housing

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“Fujii, Sono and Midori (6/9/2021),” JASC Legacy Center Digital Collections, accessed October 4, 2023, https://digitalcollections.jasc-chicago.org/omeka/items/show/458.