The Oliver L. Austin Photographic Collection

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Home > The Nakadas

The Nakadas

The Nakadas and the Austin children

This color photo from 1948 or 1949 shows Timmy and Tony Austin at the back of their requisitioned house in Oyama-chô standing besides the three Nakada children, the neighbors with whom they played. Here, Yoshinao Nakada rests his hands on his younger sister Keiko, while his older sister stands to his right. His brother, Motonao Albert Nakada (not pictured), was an American citizen born in New York City to a family that reflected the strong transnational ties of Japanese with the United States in linkages that revived in the postwar period.

A hinamatsuri [Doll Festival] Party

This 3 March 1947 photo of a hinamatsuri [Doll Festival] party was taken at the Nakada's home next door to the Austins in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward in Oyama-chô. Tony and Timmy Austin were invited, while a young Dr. Yoshinao Nakada and his two sisters are also included in the photo. The family later donated the dolls featuring traditional Japanese aristocratic court life and their decorations to the Kokusai Bunka kaikan [International Culture Conference Hall] in the Azabu district of Tokyo, where they are still displayed annually during the week of March 3.An image of how the dolls are displayed today can be seen in this online article: https://www.ehills.co.jp/rp/dfw/EHILLS/hills/photonews/index.php?no=219

The friendships generated between the Austin and Nakada families as neighbors shows how the postwar US-Japan relationship developed on a more personal level in new contexts during the postwar period, with these two families as neighbors representing a microcosm of more general trends. As social elites from the United States and Japan, the two neighboring families shared more in common than their differences. The images in the Collection show the Austins and Nakadas enjoying a celebration of the New Year, through such longstanding Japanese traditions as pounding mochi rice, and feasting on festival food and drink. Yoshinao Nakada, a child in Tony Austin's age cohort, played with the two boys as a youth, and later stayed with the Austin family during the summers as he attended prep school in Massachusetts and completed his doctoral work in physics at Harvard University. Dr. Nakada worked as a scientist for Bell Labs, and engaged in research in the US and Japan, creating many notable inventions in fiber-optics. Dr. Nakada's sister, Keiko, received her Master's Degree from Florida State University in 1962, and would spend her holidays with the Austins.

Dr. Nakada's grandfather was Nakada Kinkichi (1865-1926), a graduate of Tokyo Imperial University and former Tokyo Court of Appeal's Judge, who served as the fourth generation director of the Sumitomo Corporation in his final years. 

The Nakada Family in 2014, picture 1 The Nakada Family in 2014, picture 2 The Nakada Family in 2014, picture 3

These three images show the Nakada Family and their descendants in 2014 during their family reunion in Maui, Hawaii, almost seventy years after they met the Austins as their neighbors during the Allied Occupation of Japan.