Library of Life
Nejiu Yokote Inouye
Born: February 8, 1888 in Kumamoto, Japan
Died: June 3, 1990 in San Jose, CA USA
Nejiu came to the United States by ship. She arrived in Seattle, Washington on December 11, 1909.
She married Rinpei Inouye soon after her arrival in 1909 and together they had four children:
The first child died at the age of three months.
The second child was a boy, Robert (Bob) Hayashi Inouye, born in 1912.
The third was a girl named Dorothy Tsuneko Takakura, born in 1915.
The fourth was a girl named Mitze Mitsuko Mishima, born in 1918.
Rinpei was a contractor for an olive ranch in Palermo, California. Nejiu cooked for the hired crew. This is where Bob and Dorothy were born. Later, Nejiu and her family moved to Woodland, California. Mitze was born here in 1918.
The family made several other moves prior to the 1940's. They lived in Briggs, California, and worked on a prune orchard. They moved from there to Marysville, California, where Neiiu ran a boarding house and Rinpei made bean cakes also known as TOFU. He also made AGE or deep fried Tofu. They sold this business in Marysville and bought a ranch in Yuba City. There, they grew vegetables and strawberries and later planted peach trees.
Then WORLD WAR II came. Their lives would never be the same.
In 1942, the family was forced to evacuate. They went to Merced, California, by train, then continued on to Amache, a war relocation camp in Southern Colorado. An Italian friend said he would take care of the ranch and home, but before Nejiu and Rinpei were able to return there was a fire. Their home was completely destroyed along with most of their possessions and keepsakes. When Bob was able to return to the ranch, he discovered that the people who were supposed to be taking care of their home and ranch had moved to Fresno.
In 1945, Rinpei and Nejiu came back to Yuba City and stayed with Bob, who had build a small house for his family. They remained there till 1948, when they moved to Sacramento and started another boarding house. In 1952, they sold the boarding house and moved to San Jose, California. There, they bought a house and lived with their oldest daughter, Dorothy.
In August of 1966, Rinpei passed away at the age of 88.
In 1988, Nejiu was shown on Good Morning America on her 100th birthday with Willard Scott. She was still a very strong person and liked to walk every day.
On Christmas morning in 1989, Nejiu had a stroke. The stroke was very bad, it left her unable to remember her family or talk. A few months later on February8, 1990, she celebrated her 102nd birthday. Four months later, on June 3,1990, Nejiu passed away.
Nejiu was a very loving person and had many friends, but she outlived them all. She even outlived her son.
In her life, she traveled back to Japan twice, went to British Columbia and traveled to the Grand Canyon in Arizona. She also visited Lake Tahoe and Reno many times so she could play the nickel slot machines for fun.
Her hobbies included:
Caring for the yard - she loved to take care of and grow plants.
Knitting, crocheting and sewing - she made quilts and blankets by hand.
Playing Cards with her friends.
Her descendants include 4 generations, hers being the fifth.
1 Great-great grandchild