Some Family History

Masao and Sumako
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Wayne's paternal grandparents were Masao and Sumako Itano. Masao came to America from Japan in 1906. He married Sumako in 1917. The picture shows them at the time of their wedding.

Tokuzo and Mura
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Wayne's maternal grandparents were Tokuzo (Frank) and Mura (Mary) Sakemi. Tokuzo came to America from Japan in 1903. He married Mura in 1911, when this picture was taken.

Fukutani house
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This picture shows the entrance to the Itano residence in the village of Fukutani, in Okayama-ken. The first Itano to live here was Sakon, who received the property in the late 1500s. According to legend, he had to move away because of a dispute with his tonosama (feudal lord) and settled in a village called Kakinoki. Ukon then took over as head of the Fukutani Itanos.

Memorial to Sakon
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This memorial to Sakon, the founder of the line, is near the Fukutani house, away from the family cemetery shown below.

Itano sign
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This is the train station sign for the town of Itano in Shikoku, where the Itanos may have lived before coming to Fukutani. (Photo courtesy of Masashi Itano.)

Ukon's grave
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Nicole and Michelle are standing in front of the grave marker of Ukon, who succeeded Sakon as head of the family. Ukon died in 1642. Summer 1992.

Masao and Sumako at Jerome
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Masao and Sumako in front of barracks at the War Relocation Center in Jerome, Arkansas. During World War II, they and 110,000 other Japanese Americans were forcibly evacuated from their homes on the West Coast.

Harvey - St. Louis
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Harvey Itano, the oldest son of Masao and Sumako and Wayne's father, was released from camp on the 4th of July, 1942. The dramatic story of his release is given here. He was the first of several thousand nisei (American-born children of Japanese-born parents) to be released to attend colleges or universities away from the West Coast. In the picture, he is standing next to the entrance of the St. Louis University Medical School.

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Soon after Harvey Itano's election to the National Academy of Sciences in 1979, a story appeared in the Sacramento Union (and was reprinted in the Nichi Bei Times) on Masao and Sumako Itano and their children. It is reproduced here.

In 1979, Congressman Matsui of California read into the Congressional Record some remarks relating to Masao and Sumako Itano, which are reproduced here.

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Chris's Yoshinaga grandparents were Henry Kyukichi Yoshinaga and Tsune Motoda, shown here about 1911.

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Last modified: May 26, 2001. Send comments to