Tuesday, August 23, 2011

'Family Owns Heirlooms of Early-Day Interpreter'

In my previous post I mentioned that in September, 1960 then-Crown Prince Akihito and Princess Michiko came to Hawaii. The occasion was the 100th anniversary of the arrival here of the Japanese Embassy on the USS Powhatan, but also commemorate the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the first large group of immigrants from Japan. They came to work in the sugar plantations.

Below is the text from a story I found in the Thursday, September 22, 1960 edition of Honolulu’s Star Bulletin. A picture that I was not able to reproduce shows “The mother of Mrs. Chiyo Izumi is shown with her grandparents." It turns out that Mrs. Izumi featured here is the granddaughter of Gohachiro Namura, who served as an interpreter with the Japanese ambassadors:

Family Owns Heirlooms of Early-Day Interpreter

Star Bulletin. Honolulu, Thursday, September 22, 1960

Items once owned by Japan’s chief interpreter in the United States-Japanese commercial treaty ratification of 1860 are treasured heirlooms of a Honolulu family.

The interpreter was Gohachiro Namura, who went with the Japanese diplomatic delegation to Washington, D.C., 100 years ago.

The owner of the heirlooms is Namura’s granddaughter Mrs. Chiyo Izumi, 70, who lives at 2719-C Laniloa Road, Pacific Heights.

Namura, originally a Dutch interpreter, learned English from a Scotsman in Nagasaki, Japan.

Among Mrs. Izumi’s possessions are Namura’s wallet, a medicine case about the size of a cigarette lighter, scraps of writings and pictures of Gohachiro Namura and his family.

Mrs. Izumi and her husband, Chomatsu, have lived here since 1947 when they moved from San Francisco.

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