|Photo © 2004, Teresa Tamura|
Roy and Nori Oyama in their home, June 2004, Caldwell, Idaho.
The new year began with a loss: Roy Oyama died this morning. An email sent by Robert Hirai let me know. Roy was 91, the same age of his wife, Nori (Hayashida), when she died on March 3, 2014. They had been married for 65 years.
Last month the Idaho Press-Tribune, the daily newspaper in Nampa, Idaho, profiled Roy for a front page story published on Dec. 7. "91-year-old Caldwell resident recalls the time he spent in the Minidoka camp."
I grew up knowing the Oyamas from social gatherings for members of Idaho's Treasure Valley Japanese American Citizens League (JACL). I will remember Roy and Nori with smiles on their faces – even when I bumped into them touring through a barrack from the former Minidoka War Relocation Center during the Minidoka Pilgrimage in 2004. Until then, I had not known they were among those incarcerated there.
This is a solemn reminder the Nisei, second-generation Japanese Americans, are passing on. My condolences to their family and friends.