Asian Heritage Month: Ron Inatomi Tells Us About the Significant Contributions Japanese Americans Made To American Agriculture

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May is Asian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month. This week we have a very special guest on the show that will tell us about the substantial contribution that Japanese Americans made to American agriculture, especially on the West Coast, from California through Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. Ron Inatomi is a third-generation (Sansei) Japanese American who has been working in the produce industry for over 40 years. In our discussion with him, we will learn how industrious the first- and second-generation Japanese Americans were and how they rose to be some of the largest growers of fruits and vegetables in the U.S. That was before the war. But after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, all of them were incarcerated and their lands were taken from them. After the war, many of them returned and started over from scratch and once again rose to prominence. It’s a sad but inspiring story.

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