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In a process called “chumming,” live bait was dumped into the water, luring schools of tuna to the boat.During this eating frenzy, the Japanese fishermen used the barbless hooks on the short bamboo poles to catch the tuna.Boys played baseball, football, and kendo (the martial art of fencing), and the whole community celebrated the New Year and other holidays like Girl’s Day, when the local children wore traditional kimonos and displayed intricately dressed dolls.Though Japanese-Americans faced increasing discrimination in the outside world, the all-white teachers at the public elementary school celebrated both Japanese and American cultures.Women got their hair done at the beauty parlor, children visited the local ice cream parlor, and families dined at Mio’s Café.The large Fisherman’s Hall was the center of many political and social activities, the community often gathered there to watch the latest samurai film from Japan.
They abutted the rectangular harbor, which was soon filled with all types of fishing vessels. Small ships, their decks crowded with gear, rub their sides against larger vessels next to them.” The vessels unloaded their catches of sardines and tuna directly into the canneries’ long chutes, which Against each big chute-something like a grain elevator-leading into the dark and cavernous recesses of the canneries that line the land side of the wharf over here on Terminal Island, the crews are busy ladling out scoopfuls of sardines.One native remembered the Japanese mothers dressing the daughters of the lone Russian family in the community in kimonos for a celebration at the school.The residents even had their own sort of dialect, a mixture of Japanese and English known as “Terminal Island lingo.” A direct and often rough way of speaking, it arose from the need to get things done quickly while fishing. Although Goodrich had designed the harbor in a way he hoped would take the smell of the canneries to the sea, residents and visitors agreed, Fish Harbor stunk.Each cottage is exactly the same size, shape and color as all of the other—the kind of homes which large corporations provide for their employees in wholesale lots.This close proximity to neighbors, who often shared a large bath, in the Japanese style, meant that the community was intimately involved in their neighbors’ everyday lives.