I've always been interested in the past.
Growing up Japanese-American, I didn't know a lot about my family's immigrant history. I was exposed to bits and pieces; I'd hear stories.
Stories about my father's estranged uncle who served in the 442nd or my maternal grandmother who came over as a "picture bride", but I never paid it much thought. After all, my family came to America to begin a new chapter, and I was already an active part in that story.
Over the years, I'd hear stories about my folks that had me questioning just how much of my own parent's life did I know?
Having left home at 17, I'd lived longer away from my folks than with them. Everything changed one NYC night. With my father's permission, I reached out to everyone in Wisconsin in search of finding my father's long lost uncle. I sat with my laptop open - thinking there would be an immediate response on the other end.
It was over a year before I'd hear back.
Someone eventually responded and confirmed my father's story and acknowledged that we were, in fact, related. In addition, my father and grandmother reconnected with a part of their family.
In the process, we tried countless services in an attempt to record our own family's stories.
What you're looking at is a result of that journey.
We hope it's as useful to you as it was to us.