Bob Anderson stated that his father, Jack Anderson of Anderson Studios, eventually bought the business for $7,000.  Mr. Anderson was the only person the Kanows would sell to.  Bob says that Frank Nakata and his family moved to Weston, and he worked at the Franklin Cafe as the night cook until his death. 

Immigration To America
                 Arriving by steamship in 1908, Rititario worked for the railroad in Seattle, Washington.    Later, he moved to Ogden, Utah where he worked for Tamaki Imports.  Having only himself to support, and living the American dream, he saved enough money to purchase an Indian motorcycle which he used for transportation to and from work.  One day when he was riding the motorcycle north between Brigham City and Pocatello, he was in an accident that almost killed him.  This was a turning point in his life.[26]

[26]  “Account of Life of Rititaro Kanow,” by his daughter.

His obituary called him a “familiar character to all of Cache Valley . . . who made a host of friends while in this city.  It mentions “a large crowd and numerous floral offerings.”[39]  Hubert Smith remembered the funeral at the Second Ward church.  “I have never seen a more impressive funeral before or since.”[40]  The funeral was a combination LDS/Buddhist service.   Described by the newspaper as “serene and interesting”, the service was conducted by Bishop Orion Jensen with songs and prayers by the ward.  Speakers included G. M. Cafferty; W. J. Fryer, r. A. Jones and three Japanese boys from Ogden.  “The speakers gave glowing tributes to the splendid qualities possessed by Mr. Kanow and his family.”[41] 
[39]  The Franklin County Citizen, April 11, 1934, p. 1           [40] Cache Valley Newsletter No. 14, edited by Newell Hart, Dec. 1969, p. 4.            [41] The Franklin County Citizen, April, 1934

               Rititaro was very fond of cars, and at one time he had four.  He bought one of the first Studebakers in Franklin County.  The Studebaker was his pride and joy.  He was always cleaning and waxing the car.[35]   Joe Nuffer of Preston remembered Rititaro owning a Nash touring car that was kept in the Petterborg-Nash garage next door to the café.  “It had sides you had to put on, isin-glass sides,” he said.[36]  Rititaro loved to take his family out for a drive in the country.  At one time he tried to teach Katsumi how to drive but when she tried to turn a corner she was so scared that she froze and almost crashed the car.[37]
[1]  “A Short Account of the Life of Rititaro Kanow”               [2]   Cache Valley Newsletter No. 107, edited by Newell Hart, September, 1977, p. 2          [3]    “A Short Account of the Life of Rititaro Kanow

Preston’s main street looking north in 1912.    The city water system has just been installed.  Front right is the R.A. Jones building (later the Franklin Café).  There were no buildings south of the Jones building.  The buggy and car (left center) are parked in front of the Isis Theater.  The power poles belong to the High Creek Power Company, in business from 1907-1913.  Picture courtesy of The Hometown Album No. 364, compiled by Newell Hart.  

Taka Kanow and Jefferson Middle School classmates

  • The Hometown Sketchbook: Preston’s Main Street in Transition, compiled by Newell Hart​  (Cache Valley Newsletter Publication, Preston, Idaho, 1981)
  • Intermountain NISEI Directory, published by Tamaki, 1940
  • Judy, Clarence G.  The History of Preston:  Master’s Thesis (Brigham Young University, 1961)
  • The Quiver, yearbook, 1938, 1939, 1941, 1944, 1945 editions, (published by Preston High School)
  • Seward, Jack.  “The Japanese,” (Reader’s Digest Condensed Books, Pleasantville, NY), 1973
  • The Sanseai Directory, (Idaho Falls JACI), 1961

                The 1961 Sansei Directory (children of Nisei) lists Tsuneo (Dick) Kanow, his wife Toshi Toguchi, and their children:  Richard Bruce, (1956), Kent Lee (1958), Kim Alan (1959), and Leah Reiko (1960)  living in Pocatello.[101]

​[101] The Sanseai Directory, 1961, published by Idaho Falls JACL p. 14 

Katsumi Kanow

World War II
                  Then came that fateful day that would change their lives.  On December 7, 1941, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.
                “Of 127,000 Japanese Americans living in the continental United States at the time of the Pearl Harbor attack, 112,000 resided on the West Coast.  About 80,000 were Nisei (literal translation: "second generation"; American-born Japanese with U.S. citizenship) and Sansei ("third generation"; the children of Nisei). The rest were Issei ("first generation") immigrants born in Japan who were ineligible for U.S. citizenship under U.S. law.”[88]
                 The bombing of Pearl Harbor resulted in hysteria and fear of Japanese people by other Americans.  The Japanese were suspected of being spies and saboteurs. Japanese Americans began to experience racism, discrimination, suspicion, and hate crimes.  The solution the government came up with was Japanese Internment Camps, the forced relocation of thousands of Japanese Americans to detention camps.  It was rationalized that relocating the Japanese would remove spies and saboteurs from close proximity to military installations, and at the same time protect Japanese Americans from hate crimes.  In the opinion of the Britannica encyclopedia, “that action was the culmination of the federal government’s long history of racist and discriminatory treatment of Asian immigrants and their descendants that had begun with restrictive immigration policies in the late 1800s.”[89]
[88]             [89]

                In 1918, Rititaro and Katsumi decided to move to America.  Did the Kanows  leave Japan to escape the Spanish flu pandemic, only to find it was rampant in the United States?   One of the deadliest disease outbreaks in human history had already killed 195,000 people in one month alone.   The pandemic lasted just 15 months, yet 500 million people worldwide fell sick and it killed between 3-5% of the world’s population.[28] Or, did Rititaro miss the opportunities to better himself and his lifestyle in the states?  We don’t know, but from the moment they boarded the steamer in Japan until they landed in America Katsumi was seasick.  And for that reason she never had any desire to return to Japan. [29]
                  The couple settled in Ogden, Utah.   In 1919 their first child was born a U. S. citizen, Tsuneo (Tuna) who was later called Dick.  Shortly thereafter, a business opportunity opened up in Preston, Idaho and the Kanows moved there.[30]
[28]       [29]   “Account of the Life of Rititaro Kanow,” by his daughter   [30]    Ibid.

The Franklin Café front façade, left.   The woman at right is unidentified.  The picture is printed backwards.

                Mrs. Kanow and her two daughters were still in Preston in 1961 but soon thereafter they joined Tsuneo (Dick) in Pocatello, Idaho.  She passed away in 1977.[99] The Rev. Masamoni Ohata of the Ogden Buddhist church conducted the funeral.[100]  Mrs. Kanow is buried in the Japanese section of Mountainview Cemetery, Pocatello, Idaho.

​​[99] The Cache Valley News No. 104, edited by Newell Hart, June, 1977, p. 8               [100] Ibid.
              “Japanese Americans”
              “Japanese Feudal System”

              “Meiji Restoration”
              “Okayama, Japan”
              “Okayama Korakuen Garden”
              “Okayama University”
              “The Great Depression”
              “The Spanish Flu”

               When not at the café Katsumi liked to crochet or read.  She also enjoyed her garden.  At one point she became a naturalized citizen of the United States.   As the children became old enough, Katsumi allowed the children to participate in school and city functions.   In 1931, included on the Primary program of the Preston LDS Second Ward with the Larks, Bluebirds, Seagulls and Trailblazers, are the Kanow children in native costumes performing a Japanese song.[43]  The next year Mrs. Kanow and her three daughters gave a demonstration to the Literary Club.  Mrs. Kanow knew how to play the Kotoi, a native instrument of Japan.  She played the Kotoi while her daughters performed a native dance. [44] That same year the Kanow family was asked to perform for the Oriental-themed sophomore program at the high school.  The family presented a song and dance in traditional dress.[45]
[43] The Franklin County Citizen, April 1, 1931, p. 5              [44] Ibid.  March 23, 1932, p. 1                   [45]  The Franklin County Citizen, 

              The bombing of Pearl Harbor was humiliating to many Japanese Americans.  They felt shame for the destruction caused by their countrymen.  So how did they feel during the bombings of Japan during 1945?
              “When World War II began, Okayama had a Japanese Army base camp, so they would have been a target of American bombers.  The biggest raid on Okayama was carried out in the early hours of June 29, 1945, by 140 B-29s that dropped 95,000 incendiary bombs (890 tons), burning down 73 percent of the city, destroying 12,700 houses, killing more than 1,700 people.”[93]
[93] Air Raids on Japan

Aiko (Nancy) was active in music.  She helped serve refreshment at the music club social for musicians and their parents.[56]  She also participated with 21 other PHS students in the National Music Clinic in Logan.[57]  She was given an award in 1938 for perfect attendance.[58]
[56] The Franklin County Citizen, December 27, 1939, p. 5           [57] The Franklin County Citizen, January 4, 1940, p. 1         [58] Ibid.  June 1, 1938, p. 1.  Picture from the 1939 Quiver, p. 12.  Aiko was a sophomore.

Monogrammed cloth napkin from the Franklin Café.

                 This discrimination seeped into Preston.  According to Newell Hart, local historian, “war prejudice became a factor in the [Franklin Café’s] declining business.”[90]  Bob Anderson, son of Jack Anderson of Anderson Photography Studio which was across the street, remembers:  “People quit going to the Franklin Café because the owners were Japanese.  My family continued to eat at the café during the war.”[91]  Further evidence of a decline in business comes from a bit in the local newspaper:  “Mrs. Kanow applied for a tax reduction on her personal tax assessment.”[92] 
[90] The Hometown Sketchbook, by Newell Hart, p. 15        [91] Bob Anderson (93) Interview, May 20, 2020, Preston, Idaho            [92] The Franklin County Citizen, May 21, 1942

Cache Valley Newsletter, edited by Newell Hart
            June, 1977
            December, 1969

            April, 1972
            June, 1972


      The Tanisaki, Kanow, Mayeda and Nakata families lived in Preston during the1920s up until the end of World War II.  Natives of Okayama, Japan, they moved to the United States to seek better economic and social conditions. The state of affairs they left in Japan and how they arrived in Preston, Idaho is a fascinating story.  The bulk of the information we have is on the Kanow family, so the focus of the story will be on Rititaro Kanow who was born in 1879 in Okayam, and his children.

Katsumi and Rititaro in the early 1930s.

                  How did the local people treat the Kanows?  Most likely they experienced some discrimination because some townspeople were suspicious of foreigners. However, the family was consistently treated with respect by the Preston Second LDS Ward.   On Dec 4, 1941, the newspaper stated:  “Immediately following Sunday School last Sunday, all members of the Second Ward were taken to the recreation hall where a complete luncheon was served to them by M. Mayeda and Mrs. K. Kanow of the Franklin Café.  Each year the people of the ward are remembered by Mr. Mayeda and Mrs. Kanow near or during the Christmas season.  This year over one-hundred and seventy people were served at the luncheon.”[63]  They must have been treated well by the Second Ward people to receive this kind of thank-you.
                  In 1943 when funds must have been stretched, Mrs. Kanow presented the Second Ward a $90 scarf “in appreciation for the attention paid her children in Primary and Sunday School.  Mrs. Kanow also gave $5.00 to the Sunday School to buy candy for the small children of the ward.”[64]
[63] The Cache Valley Clarion,  Dec. 4, 1941, p. 8                [64] The Preston Citizen, May 6, 1943, p. 2

             Rititaro also loved to hunt.  He hunted ground squirrels often as they were so numerous in the area at that time.  He also liked to hunt deer and other animals. In March of 1934, Ben was hunting deer when he hurt his leg badly.  The wound got blood poisoning.  For eight weeks Ben stayed at his rooms above the café and in April he passed away. [38]
[38]   Ibid.

                 What was the Kanow family’s reaction when they heard the news that Okayama, their hometown, had been almost destroyed by incendiary bombs by the Americans?  They must have been horrified.   Was Mr. Mayeda’s wife still there?  Kasumi’s obituary mentions three surviving siblings, all living in Japan—T. Akazawa and I. Fujiwara, sisters, and S. Fujita, a brother.[94]  Were they in Okayama or were they living somewhere else in Japan?   Surely the Kanows and Mayedas still had extended family members there. 
                  What about their favorite landmarks?  Gone was the ancient Crow Castle, with only two of its watch towers surviving the bombing.[95]  The Kayugen Gardens and the Buddhist Temple, so beloved by the Okayama people must also have experienced significant damage.
[94] Cache Valley Citizen No.104, edited by Newell Hart, June, 1977, p. 8             [95]

The Franklin Café 
                 Reports Newell Hart, Preston historian, “By late 1912 the name Franklin Café was first being used by an eating establishment at a location other than 43 South State.  The name was inspired by the hoped-for vote which would divide Oneida County in the 1912 election.  The confidence was justified and this became probably the first business to be named in honor of the new Franklin County (created January 30, 1913).”[69] 
                 The name “Franklin Café” was being used in 1913 by Louis Eden, a single man.  Eden had the place “in working  order” in January of 1913.  The newspaper reported that his “cooking is excellent cuisine.”[70]  Ten months later Eden sold out to marry Fay Evans of Preston.[71]
                 The new renter was the J. H. Tanisaki family.   Reported the newspaper, A new café has been opened up in the building formerly occupied by the Franklin Café.  It is called “the City Café” and is managed by J. H. Tanisaki who has made many friends since coming here.  It is certainly a fine-looking café and a credit to the town.” [72]
                  Under the Tanisaki family there was an upturn in the reputation of the café.  The editor of the paper devoted time and space to report that “since the Franklin Café opened its doors in Preston, it has more than given satisfaction and money’s worth.  Preston has always had the name of being a poor restaurant town but for the last two years this slogan has not been heard because one can get anything in dinners or short orders without paying [high] prices for it.”[73]
                   In the meantime, R. A. Jones, Preston photographer, had a cement block structure built in 1910-11 at 43 South State Street.  In October of 1914, Mr. Jones advertised that he was “selling his piano because I have rented my downstairs. …”[74]   The renters were the Tanisaki family.    The picture and caption on the following page are from The Hometown Album, compiled by N. Hart.
                   Despite the rave reviews for the Tanisaki’s café, we find a Harry Bradbury taking over later that year.  Harry Bradbury was a prominent restaurant man from Logan and an Englishman.  He advertised “a ladies dining room, short orders at all hours, courteous treatment and reasonable prices.”[75]   Three years later the Franklin County Citizen noted that the Franklin Café had been closed and that “it is not clear what Mr. Bradbury will do in future.” [76]
[69] The Hometown Sketchbook: Preston’s Main street in Transition, researched by Newell Hart (Cache Valley  Newsletter Publishing, 1981), p. 15.                 [70] The Franklin County Citizen, February 14, 1913, p. 2                    [71] Ibid.  October 24, 1913, p. 6
[72] Ibid., November 12, 1914, p. 10             [73] Ibid. November 11, 1915, p. 8              [74] Ibid. October 29, 1914, p. 2               [75] Ibid. April 8, 1915, p. 2                [76] Ibid. August, 1918

The Meiji Revolution
               That was the old way.  Rititaro Kanow was born in the middle of the changeover to Meiji Revolution policies.  The Meiji Revolution restored imperial power to the Emperor (Meiji at this time).    Since 1853 when Commodore Matthew C. Perry came to Japan with large warships, and technology that far outclassed those of Japan, the Japanese knew they must take the initiative or be dominated.   The country threw open its doors and signed a treaty opening its ports to foreign trade.  Some shoguns supported the Emperor and this policy, and some did not.  A war ensued between the shoguns, and the dissenting shoguns were eventually conquered.  They were stripped of their power, and in 1868 the Emperor made a formal declaration of the restoration of his power.[10]    That power shifted to a group of intellectuals (oligarchs) who worked through the emperor.  By 1872, the daimyōs were summoned before the Emperor, where it was declared that all domains were now to be returned to the Emperor. The roughly 280 domains were turned into 72 prefectures, each under the control of a state-appointed governor.  For the first time, a central government exercised direct control over the country.   If the daimyōs peacefully complied, they were given a prominent voice in the new Meiji government.  Later, their debts and payments of Samurai stipends were either taxed heavily or turned into bonds which resulted in a large loss of wealth among former Samurai.  As the Samurai were part of the educated class, they were offered positions in the government and in the schools.[11]
               The Restoration led to enormous changes in Japan's political and social structure.   The oligarchy strove to eliminate the class system altogether.  A series of land reforms made it possible for villagers to lease their land, making them rich in the process and shifting money to the poorer classes.  To reform the military, nationwide conscription was enacted and every male at the age of 21 or older was required to serve in the military for four years, followed by three years in the reserves.    The ancient privilege of bearing arms formerly granted only to Samauri was now bestowed on all men.  Furthermore, the government established a national system of public schools.  These free schools taught students reading, writing, mathematics, and moral training which reinforced students’ duty to the Emperor and to the Japanese state.  All of these changes contributed to the diminishing of the class system.  Soon ocean steamers, railroads, and automobiles increased the ability of the Japanese to travel and opened up the way for industrialization.[12]
                 The city of Okayama became the capital of Okayama Prefecture. A railroad was built in the city which furthered its development.   As a result, the Sixth Higher Middle School and Okayama Medical College were established there. Thus Okayama became one of the most important places in western Japan for transportation and education.[13]

​[10]  Ibid. p. 2-3.     [11]  Ibid. p. 3-4      [12]  Ibid., pp. 4-5        [13]  “Okayama University,”

Instruction for Japanese people in Los Angeles to move to a central place.  Courtesy of Julie Waldron.

Kanow children with their bikes.   Boy on left is unidentified.

Katsumi and baby Tsumeo

               The Kanows and Michihei Mayeda didn’t buy the café until 1920.  Mr. Mayeda had immigrated to the U. S. at the age of 36.  He left his wife in Japan.  The newspaper in 1920 reported that “the interior of the Franklin Café has been remodeled and beautifully finished.  A concrete addition has been added to the back of the building making the kitchen larger.  The Franklin Café is certainly in line with the spirit of progress and like other concerns believe in the progress and stability of the town.”    Later the partners added a new ice house which held about 160 tons of ice. Rititaro, Katsumi, and Mr. Mayeda worked at the café from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week. (Rititaro is the name his family called him, but at the café and around town he was known as “Ben ”.)  

                 The partners advertised the café as “the place to eat.  Finest short order house in the city.  Clean, neat and up-to-date.”     Another ad said the “service and quality is the watchword if you want a good meal[77]      

                  For the next two decades the business was very profitable.[78]   The cafe was responsible not only for feeding prisoners housed in the local jail, but also jurors and other court officers when needed. Franklin County paid from $30 to $250 per month for this regular service.   In addition, the Pickwick Greyhound bus made regular stops at the café.[79]  Soon the Franklin Café was catering luncheons and dinners for service and social clubs.[80]  In 1932 the café advertised a special lunch of soup and sandwich for students from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.[81]  Also that year the café applied for and was granted a beer license.[82]
                   Donations from the Franklin Café to the 4-H and Achievement Day Fair[83], to the unemployment fund[84] during the ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Depression, prizes for the 4th of July Celebration,[85] and a donation to the Autumn Day Celebration[86] indicate that the two families were generous with their profits.            
                   After Ben died, his widow, Katsumi Kanow, continued to run the café with Mr. Mayeda.  A month after Ben’s funeral, the owners gave a social dinner in honor of friends and business associates.  “Fifty were present at the elaborate dinner and social visit.”[87]
[77] The Franklin County Citizen, July 8, 1920, p. 8; and November 4, 1920, p. 5          [78] A Short Account of the Life of Rikitaro Kanow, by his daughter.           [79] The Franklin County Citizen, April 23, 1930.             [80] Ibid.  October 21, 1931.
[81] Ibid. October 12, 1921, p. 4.           [82] Ibid.  September 13, 1932, p. 9             [83] Ibid. June 20, 1934, p. 1             [84] Ibid. December 9, 1932, p. 1             [85] Ibid. June 20, 1934, p. 1             [86] Ibid. October, 10, 1934, p. 8.               [87] Ibid. May 9, 1934, p. 1

        Anderson, Bob (age 93) Interview, May 20, 2020, Preston, Idaho

        A Short History of Ritataro Kanow, by his daughter
       Cache Valley Clarion, December 4, 1941

Traditional Japanese Kotoi

Preston in 1912

Katsumi with Tsuneo and Taca at the George Paull rental on 200 East in Preston.

                 During his recovery, Rititaro had time to think about his life and his future. What if he had been killed in the accident?  He would have had no posterity to carry on his family name.   He decided it was time to marry and settle down.  After he resumed work, he saved enough money to return to Japan to find a wife.  In 1916 he boarded another steamer and returned to Okayama.  There he met Katsumi Fujita and they were married that same year.[27] 

[27]   Ibid.

Another change of ownership of the Franklin Café.  From the Preston Citizen, July 15, 1948.

Rititaro Kanow’s funeral at the Preston Second Ward on Sunday, April 8, 1934

                The largest class was the farmers, fishermen and artisans, or the labor class, or commoners.  The merchant class didn’t produce anything, so they were considered of least importance.[2]   
                 Between the 12th through the 19th centuries when the feudal system flourished,  Okayama  became one of the ten major castle cities in Japan.[3]  The people of Okayama took great pride in three sites in the city:   Okayama Castle (1597), the adjacent Korakuen Garden  and the Buddhist monastery.  The ancient castle was nicknamed Crow Castle, or castle of the black bird, because of its striking black exterior.  The gilding on the roof and gargoyles glimmered in the sun. [4]

Franklin County Citizen, published by
            April 1, 1931
            March 23, 1932
            June, 1972

            April 27 and May 4, 1939
            January 23, 1941
            June 19, 1941
            February 20, 1942
            December 27, 1939
            January 4, 1940
            June 1, 1938
             August 10, 1938
             November 27, 1941
            February 14, 1913
            October 24, 1913
            November 12, 1914
            November 11, 1915
            October 29, 1914
            April 8, 1915
            August, 1918

            October 12, 1921
            April 23, 1930
            October 21, 1931
            September 13, 1932
            June 20, 1934
            December 9, 1932
            June 30, 1934
            October 10, 1934
            May 9, 1934

                 The Kanows were soon settled into a house next door to 50 North 2nd East.[31]   They rented the house from George Paull.   While living there other children were born to the family, all U.S. citizens:  Taka (Gloria, 1921), Aiko ( Nancy 1923) and Sumiko (Sue or Kathryn, 1926).  Katsumi performed the discipline in the family but let it be known that Rititaro had a good pinch.[32]
[31]   Cache Valley Newsletter No. 14,edited by Newell Hart, September 4, 1977, p. 2          [32]   “Account of the Life of Rititaro Kanow,”

The Japanese Experience in Preston, Idaho

Written by Myrna Fuller
Information and pictures about the Kanow family courtesy of Julie Waldron
Additional help from Jeff Sessions and Dallin Petterborg, Preston High School Special Collections
Interview with Bob Anderson, age 93 May 20, 2020

Education, Military and Immigration
                  Education was not offered to the peasant class until the Meiji Revolution when public schools were established.  A public school was established in Okayama in 1870,[21] nine years before Rititaro was born.  Was it acceptable to his parents for him to attend by the time he was old enough? 
                  Since the law had been enacted that required military service at age 21, Rititaro would have served his four years in the military and three years in the reserves.  His term of service would have ended when he was 28.  When Rititario was 29 and still unmarried, he left the life he knew and made his first trip to America.  Was he looking for a better life and opportunities beyond his class when he came to America?[22]  Some insight is given about Japanese immigration to America in a Wikipedia article.  “People from Japan began migrating to the US in significant numbers following the political, cultural, and social changes stemming from the Meiji Restoration in 1868. Large numbers went to Hawaii and later the West Coast. In 1907, the "Gentlemen's Agreement" between the governments of Japan and the US ended immigration of Japanese unskilled workers, but permitted the immigration of businessmen, students and spouses of Japanese immigrants already in the US. The Immigration Act of 1924 banned the immigration of nearly all Japanese.[23]
                 “The ban on immigration produced unusually well-defined generational groups within the Japanese American community. Original immigrants belonged to an immigrant generation, the Issei, and their US-born children to the Nisei Japanese American generation. The Issei comprised exclusively those who had immigrated before 1924. Because no new immigrants were permitted, all Japanese Americans born after 1924 were—by definition—born in the US. This generation, the Nisei, became a distinct cohort from the Issei generation in terms of age, citizenship, and English-language ability, in addition to the usual generational differences. Institutional and interpersonal racism led many of the Nisei to marry other Nisei, resulting in a third distinct generation of Japanese Americans, the Sansei [24]
                    “The Naturalization Act of 1790 restricted naturalized United States citizenship to "free white persons", which excluded the Issei from citizenship. As a result, the Issei were unable to vote and faced additional restrictions such as the inability to own land under many state laws.”[25]
                     So when Rititaro finished his military commitment, clusters of Japanese were already established in the U. S., making it easier for him to immigrate.  However he was allowed to immigrate after the Gentlemen’s Agreement ended immigration of Japanese unskilled workers, so Rititaro must have had a skill, or came as a businessman or student.

[21]   Okayama University,”      [22]   “Account of Life of Rititaro Kanow,” by his daughter.      [23]   “Japanese American,”      [24]   Ibid.      [25]   Ibid.

Negative ads from about 1942 when the Japanese were being moved into Internment camps.  Courtesy of Julie Waldron.

Tsuneo and Jefferson Middle School classmates

Passport pictures of Katsumi and Rititaro Kanow

                   Mr. Mayeda was spared the shock of the destruction.  He had died at age 81 in March of 1945.  He had co-owned the café for 36 years.  His obituary describes him as “one of the respected citizens of Preston . . . . highly regarded for his integrity and friendliness in the business affairs of the city.”  His funeral services were conducted by Bishop Howard Hall and there were three speakers from the Japanese Buddha Church in Ogden.  He was buried in the Lewiston, Cemetery.  Mr. Mayeda had only one relative in the United States and that was his nephew Shozo Nakata (known as Frankie) who had been brought from Japan to work at the cafe.[96] Nakata was in Preston at least by 1940.[97] Nakata and Katsumi Kanow resumed the management of the Franklin Café.  Nakata was also from Okayama, and had a wife named Mary and a child named Shoichi.  The Nakata’s and the Kanows are all listed as living at 43 South State in Preston in 1940[98]
[96] The Preston Citizen, March 15, 1945         [97] The Intermountain NISEI Directory, 1940, Published by Tamaki, p. 65                 [98]  Ibid.

                The Kanows moved to Preston in time to get established before the Great Depression, “a severe worldwide economic downturn that took place mostly during the 1930s. The Great Depression started in the United States after a major fall in stock prices that began around September 4, 1929, and became worldwide news with the stock market crash of October 29, 1929, (known as Black Tuesday). Between 1929 and 1932, worldwide gross domestic product (GDP) fell by an estimated 15%. By comparison, worldwide GDP fell by less than 1% from 2008 to 2009 during the Great Recession. …Unemployment in the U.S. rose to 25% and in some countries rose as high as 33%. …Cities around the world were hit hard, especially those dependent on heavy industry. Construction was virtually halted in many countries. Farming communities and rural areas suffered as crop prices fell by about 60%.”[65]
                  During this decade, Franklin D. Roosevelt was president of the United States, H. C. Baldridge then C. Ben Ross were governors of Idaho, and Lorenzo Hansen and T. R. Bowden were mayors of Preston.  What was it like in Preston when the Kanows were starting a business?
                  During Mayor Hansen's terms of office the Great Depression … brought on the critical problems of unemployment and finance. Special projects helped to provide work for the needy and thus to dispense aid. Pay was in the form of orders on the merchants which were picked up by the city with funds made available from federal and state sources. Strict controls were kept. Only ten pounds of sugar were allowed to the family. There were to be no purchases of gum, candy, cigarettes, beer or liquor, though a small quantity of sack tobacco could be bought. Mayor Hansen stated in a letter that, “Progress Administration and Civilian Conservation Corps projects eased unemployment somewhat as time went on. A CCC camp was located on Cub River until 1939.”[66]
                   Succeeding Mr. Hansen as mayor was T. R. Bowden, who served two terms from 1935-1939. Mr. Bowden was manager of the First Security Bank and was well-qualified, therefore, to handle the problem of refinancing the city's indebtedness. The city’s bonded indebtedness stood at $331,000.  The Depression made payment difficult. Tax revenues were short of meeting the city's obligations and current needs. The debt was refinanced at more favorable terms through the First Security Bank and the city was able to meet its payments.  In addition to relieving the financial crisis, Mayor Bowden and the city council undertook the enlargement of the pipe line from the city reservoir to the spring. The old wooden line was replaced by a steel water system. Arrangements were also made to construct a new million-and-a-half-gallon reservoir with WPA labor.  Constant extension of the sewer system had been taking place since its first construction in 1917.[67] 
                    The primary source of income in Franklin County during the 1930s was farming and related industries.  A milk processing plant, a grain elevator, a meat packing plant, and an auction yard were located in Preston, with a sugar factory in Whitney and a cannery in Franklin.  The dairy industry had long been an important source of income. The first creamery was built near the city on Worm Creek in what was known as Creamery Hollow. In 1927 the Sego Milk Products Company built a plant just one block from the center of the city. In 1936 the plant was receiving an average of 50,000 pounds of milk per day.[68]
[65] “The Great Depression,”              [66] “The History of Preston,” Master’s Thesis of Clarence G. Judy, (BYU, 1961), p. 78-80.           [67] “The History of Preston,” Master’s Thesis of Clarence G. Judy, (BYU, 1961), p. 78-80.           [68]   Ibid.  p. 85.

               Tsuneo, the oldest was active in sports.  The 1938 Quiver lists his senior accomplishments:  quarterback and half back of the Preston High School Football team, member of the basketball team, and captain of the track team .  In track he participated in high hurdles, high jump, 830 relay, and the broad jump.  He ranked high at the district meet.[47]   He lettered all three years and received an athletic award at graduation.  One teammate, Frank “Chalkie” Mockli, captain of the football team, wrote in Tsuneo’s yearbook: “I have enjoyed your friendship very much.  You are one of the greatest athletes that ever graduated from Preston.”  Tsuneo also participated in two social clubs:  the Parlor Games Club and the Thespian Club. [48]
                 Tsuneo must have worked at the café after graduation, because the newspaper reports that he applied for a beer license in January of 1941 for the Franklin Café.[49]   Later in the year, Tsuneo left to attend the National Schools in Los Angeles, California to pursue training in air conditioning and refrigeration.  It was an eight month course. [50]   He was back in Preston in 1942 applying for another beer license for the café. [51]
[47] The Franklin County Citizen, April 27 (5) and May 4, 1938, p. 1             [48] 1938 Quiver, published by Preston High School.               [49]  The Franklin County Citizen, January 23, 1941, p. 8
[50]  The Franklin County Citizen, June 19, 1941, p. 4.              [51] Ibid., February 20, 1942, p. 4

Social Expectations of Traditional Japanese Men and Women
                 Speaking of pre-World War II men, their native dress was the kimono, but “men were indifferent to their attire.  Any interest in his clothing was regarded as unmanly.  Footwear was something filthy to kick off at the door.  Hats were crumpled, sweat-stained and tired-looking.”[14]  Childhood constituted the Japanese males’ glory days.  They were indulgently treated as little gods and allowed to satisfy almost all of their aggressive urges.  Then, as they matured, “they were taught to become the exact opposite of what came before.  In lieu of braggadocio, they were expected to practice self-effacement; instead of aggression, self-sacrifice.  Where before they were ruggedly individualistic, now they must be concerned always with the welfare of the group.  Thus dualism was deeply implanted in the characters of Japanese men.  Thus, in adulthood, and longing for the pleasures of childhood, their adult behavior was described by MacArthur as “having the mentality of twelve-year-olds.”[15]  “A stronger-minded man who resisted the expected change to manhood was forced to pay lip service to a social system in which he did not believe.  Doing this called for considerable play acting  The manly Japanese man was known by his sincerity.  It was the enthusiasm a man demonstrated for his own beliefs.  It was behaving the way the Japanese expected a decent man to behave.”[16]  In the United States we prefer men who stand out from the crowd.  The Japanese like to blend in.  “They would rather be harmonious than right; they are guided by a code of manners rather than of ethics.  They like the familiar and shy away from the unexpected.  They compete better as groups thanas individuals.  For them, loyalty is the beginning and end of morality.”[17]
Japanese men had a superior attitude about women.  Buddhist precepts taught that “women were fundamentally more prone to sin than men and that their only path to expiation lay in total subservience to the male.  A woman had not only to obey her husband and master in everything, but also to ‘enjoy’ subservience.  Her pleasure came from learning to do what she had to do as a woman, to obey and bring comfort and happiness to her three master:  her father in her youth, her husband during the middle years, and her son or sons in old age.”[18]   “So accustomed [were] Japanese women to being treated as inferiors that many of them regarded it as natural.  The most frequent grounds for divorce suits brought by wives were infidelity, followed closely by cruelty.  The quality women desired in their husbands was above all else, gentle kindness.”[19]  Unfortunately the kind husband was the exception rather than the rule.

               Japanese women tended to be petite, graceful, energetic, and fine-skinned.  Their legs were often slightly bowed from carrying their babies on their backs.  They had no rights, only duties.  She married at the command of her parents and was ruled thereafter by her husband.  They didn’t go out with their husbands for pleasure.  If they did accompany their husband, they were to walk three paces behind him, stay clear of him during the event, and speak only when spoken to in mixed company.[20]
                 Both Rititario and Katsumi would have been raised in the traditional fashion.  We don’t know how readily the changes made by the Meiji government were accepted by either family, but these values were still being practiced in Japan after World War II.

[14]    Jack Seward, The Japanese, (Reader’s Digest Condensed Books, Pleasantville, NY, 1973), p. 324      [15]    Ibid.  p. 326.      [16]    Ibid. p. 328-329      [17]    Ibid.  p. 329      [18]    Ibid.  p. 332​      [19]    Ibid. p. 325       [20]    Ibid. p. 332

                    Okayama after the bombing in 1945

               Taka (Gloria) graduated in 1939.  That year Aiko was a sophomore.  Taka’s senior biography lists the Opera, Home Economics Club, Girls Athletic Association (she served as secretary), and girls’ basketball as the activities in which she participated.[52]  After graduation she moved to Boise where she attended beauty school.  In 1941 she married Frank Ikuno of Rock Springs, Wyoming.  Frank was a graduate of the University of Wyoming and MIT.  At the time of his marriage to Taka he was working as a civil engineer for the state of Wyoming. [53] Later he would serve in the military stationed in Japan.[54]  They eventually ended up in Monterrey, California.[55]
[52] The Quiver, 1939, published by Preston High School           [53] The Franklin County Citizen, June 19, 1941, p. 5                 [54] The Cache Valley Newsletter No. 42, edited by Newell Hart, April, 1972, p. 8. 
[55] Ibid. No. 44, June, 1972, p.  Picture from the 1939 Quiver, Senior Picture

Okayama Castle

The Feudal Era in Japan
            Japan was changing.  Caught in the interim
upheaval between feudal and Meiji political
philosophies, the Kanow family was having trouble adjusting to the constant alterations being made to
their world. 
          For centuries the feudal lords had fought
over and maintained control of Japan.  Under the
feudal system the emperor was at the top of Japanese society but had little real power.   The elite class, made up of powerful families, were the actual rulers. These consisted of shoguns (politicians) controlling 280 separate domains, the diamyos, or nobles, the warlords or Samurai, and the paid soldiers who were considered
commoners.  The Samurai received regular stipends which were a “financial drain” on the country.[1]

[1] “The Feudal System”, at

Ad in the Franklin County Citizen for the Franklin Café Thanksgiving dinner.  November 21, 1934, p.3.​

                Ben and Katsumi were proud of their children and their accomplishments.  Their children attended the local schools: the Central and Jefferson Middle School. All four children graduated from Preston High School—Tsuneo in 1938, Taka (Gloria) in 1939, Aiko (Nancy) in 1941, and Sumiko (Sue) in 1944.[46]
[46] The Quiver, 1938, 1939, 1941, 1944 editions, yearbooks published by Preston High School.

Sumiko (Sue or Katherine) won a contest for the oldest doll in a doll show.[59]  She was on the honor roll as a sophomore. [60]Her biography in the yearbook states: “Sue has been a member of the choir for three years and has taken part in the operas all three years.  She is very talented in art, which is her main interest.”[61]  Sumiko would eventually a man named Jones.[62]
[59] Ibid. August 10, 1938, p. 1         [60] Ibid., Nov. 27, 1941, p. 3.            [61] The Quiver, published by Preston High School, 1944, p. 12               [62] Bob Anderson Interview

               South of the castle, Korakuen Garden was developed over a 14-year period starting in the 1690s. The garden was designed in the "scenic promenade" or Kaiyu style.  “This style presents the visitor with a new view at every turn of the path which connects the lawns, ponds, hills, tea houses, and streams.”[5]

                 The third site, the Buddhist monastery, belonged to the Rinzai sect.   Many monks were trained here to serve at other religious places throughout Japan.[6]  [The Kanow family were most likely Buddhists, although many Japanese people also practiced a combination of Shinto and Buddhism.]

                 The Kanow family would have been familiar with these landmarks and been proud to live in a city that was known for them.  Judging from their work habits in America at the Franklin Café, it is most likely the Kanows were part of the peasants and artisans class.[7]  Although they worked long hours, seven days a week, they might have been able to visit these sites on the traditional festival days. Rititaro’s parents had grown up under the feudal system under which the father or patriarch had commanding authority over his wife and children and their families.  The patriarch was commonly succeeded by his eldest son, and then household command shifted to him, not only the son’s wife, but also his brothers and sisters.  The sisters were under him until they married and entered someone else’s house.  Younger sons often needed their elder brother’s permission to marry. A younger brother’s wife would be entering the elder brother’s household, and any children of that marriage would be members of the elder brother’s household.[8]  Additionally, the feudal society allowed only the Samurai to bear arms.  They were often seen on the streets wearing their swords as a sign of their status.  Indeed, every domain had its own dialect, only the upper classes were educated, and villagers were not allowed to lease land.  Furthermore, the death penalty for foreigners entering or Japanese nationals leaving the country was the foreign policy of the day.  It reflected the Japanese fear of colonial domination.[9]

​[2]  Ibid.     [3]  “Okayama, Japan”, in    [4]   “OkayamaCastle” in     [5]  “Okayama Korakuen Garden” in www/      [6]  “Okayama, Japan” in www/
[7]  ”Japanese Feudal Society,” in      
[8]  “Japanese Family Structure,” in​​      [9]  “Meiji Restoration,” in p. 1-2.​​

Other Known Japanese People in Preston

                 Interestingly, the 1945 Quiver pictures six Japanese students at Preston High School:  Joe and Eugene Yamada, Alice and Takeo Ichikawa, Johnny Saito, and Tom Futagaki.  None of them were registered at school previously in 1944 or afterward in 1946.[102]

                Tom Kajizo Kusumoto washed dishes at Paul’s Café for four or five years in the late 1940s.[103]
[102] The Quiver, 1945, published by Preston High School.            [103] Cache Valley Newsletter No. 158, edited by Newell Hart, December 1981, p. 6

Back:  Katsumi, two of the girls, _____  and Bishop Jensen.  Front:  Tsuneo, Japanese men from the Buddhist church in Ogden.

                Hubert Smith, whose family lived next door, recalls this story told to him by his mother.  “Tsuneo (Tuna) was still in his infancy and Mrs. Kanow had just given birth to Tocca.  Tuna somehow fell into a wash-tub of scalding water and was burned quite badly.  At about the same time, mother was nursing my younger brother Willis, so she took Tocca into our home and, along with my brother, nursed the two of them until Tuna was well again.  From then on my mother or dad never had to pay for a meal at the Franklin Café as long as Ben Kanow lived, and many times Mrs. Kanow would knit a beautiful shawl or bed spread or sweater and give it to mother for Christmas.  When the Kanows moved to the Second Ward [upstairs of the Franklin Café] the rental house was known from then on as the Jap’s house. [33]
                 Hubert Smith remembered Ben Kanow.  “I used to think that Ben was the largest man for a Japanese that I have ever seen.  He always had a cigar in his mouth and although he couldn’t speak English very well he had always a friendly smile and “hello” for everyone. [34]
[33] Cache Valley Newsletter No. 14, December 1969, p. 4          [34] Ibid.