May Nakano, Chicago HUD residence manager who was interned in Canada during WWII for being Japanese, dead at 79

May Nakano dressed as Queen Elizabeth for Halloween one year at the Japanese American Service Committee’s adult daycare program.


As a baby, May Nakano lived in a 448-square-foot wooden shack in Canada where ice formed inside during the winter. 

After Japan’s bombing of Pearl Harbor, Canadian authorities, like the U.S. government, forced tens of thousands of people from their homes and into internment camps because they were of Japanese heritage.

Her parents Masao and Hisako Kawamoto had to move from their strawberry farm close to the West Coast to a remote camp near Lillouet, British Columbia, where little May spent her first winter.

Later, at school, her teacher couldn’t pronounce her birth name of Satsuki, so she was called Sally.

But she’d been taught to stand whenever she heard her name, so the little girl jumped up every time she heard Dick-and-Jane reading lessons with lines like: “See Sally play.”

So she was renamed again, this time as May for the month in which she was born.

May Nakano, who was born Satsuki Kawamoto, as a child. Her teacher couldn’t pronounce her name, so she changed it to Sally. Then, she was renamed for the month in which she was born.


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Source:: Chicago Sun Times

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