~"Nikkei” in Palau~ Interview Series: Vol.3 Ms. Huyuko Hiroichi
Bone to Japanese parents, Ms. Huyuko Hiroichi is now 86 years old. She was adopted to a Palauan father from Airai and mother from Melekeok at the age of 8.
Ms. Hiroichi’s Japanese father’s family name is Kuromiya and her mother’s name is Shigeko Kuromiya from Tokyo. She grew up with her four sisters and five brothers in downtown Koror around where Palasia Hotel is currently located. However, all of her siblings moved to Japan before and after the war. She was 7 years old when the World WarIIended. A Palauan man from Airai named Rebluud adopted her when she was 8 years old. Ms. Hiroichi married a Palauan man and had seven children.
She speaks both Palauan and Japanese. She told us that many years of her friendship and working with Ms. Hiroko Kishigawa, who is the owner of Carp Restaurant, when she was in her 50’s, helped her learn how to speak Japanese.
In her life, Ms. Hiroichi has been to Japan five times to visit her relatives in various parts of Japan. She told us she had a difficult time in Japan because she was not familiar with the culture. But she says she loves Japan, and she likes Japanese food such as mochi, sushi and miso soup. She loves Palauan food as well and her favourite is taro and fish.
Ms. Hiroichi loves her life in Palau and says it is easier for her to live in Palau than in Japan.