In 1892, when Jujiro Wada first reached the Arctic, he saw the Northern Light for the first time on his life. One second he thought it was a rainbow, but then it changed color, kept moving, shaped difficult forms. One of his fellow whalers, an Eskimo, told him it comes closer by whistling a tune with your mouth. As Jujiro Wada spent an exceptional amount of time in outdoor activities under the open sky in the Yukon and Alaska, the biography on Wada by author Y. Tani is titled “The samurai who chased the aurora”.

About Wada`s sailing: read further at 1907年10月へのリンク ,

About Wada`s hunting: read further at 1895年へのリンク,

About Wada`s mushing: 1892年へのリンク

Ancient Inuit legends about Northern light, often are related with the afterlife. Northern Light appears when a soul leaves this world and rises up to heaven. It is said to be a path which is made clear by lights shining on it. In Greenland people also tell a legend that the spirits are playing soccer using a walrus skull for a ball. This then causes the Northern Light.

For more details on Wada`s travel see Life History

Family Tree

Discovering My Japanese Heritage, Harry Michael O’Hare Jr. Part 2

Go back to Part 1

-teller- Michael O’Hare-

The company my dad worked for in the early sixties would send him from time to time to the Los Angeles area for business. My dad had a pilot’s license and would fly the company plane there. He always visited Uncle Harry on those trips and we, (my brother and sisters and I), enjoyed the stories he told us about his visits with his brother.

Uncle Harry at the family reunion 1985. His daughter Cynthia is directly behind him. You can see part of her face.
Uncle Harry at the family reunion 1985. His daughter Cynthia is directly behind him. You can see part of her face.

When they lived in San Jose they had a big old house. I have memories of an elevator in the house and we kids would ride it up and down. I wasn’t sure if my memory was correct so I asked my cousin Ron and he says he thinks it might have been a dumbwaiter. He’s probably right. Whatever it was we had a lot of fun riding in it.

In the front of the house was a big swimming pool that needed to be repaired. My father along with Uncle Harry and I think Uncle Richard was there, worked on repairing it. There was no water in the pool and I walked around in it and went to the deep end. I thought it was so cool to be in the deep end with no water. The edge of the pool seemed so high up.
The house was later torn down and a six lane freeway now runs through where the house once stood.

Uncle Harry was an inventor. He created many different products. His most famous one is Ty-D-Bol, which is a toilet bowl cleaner. He developed it in 1958 and sold the company in 1960.

From 1968 to 1984 one of the most famous commercials on TV was for Ty-D-Bol. It featured a man in a yachting uniform driving a boat in the toilet tank. He was called the Ty-D-Bol man. It became an American icon. People today still remember the Ty-D-Bol man and comedians sometimes mention him in their monologues.

He invented other types of cleaning materials, a swimming pool chlorinator and a water filter system.

He was developing the water filter system in the 1980’s. The company was called HOH Water Technology. He lived in Thousand Oaks, California at that time. That’s a city about an hour drive north of Los Angeles. My father and mother lived there for a few months so my father could help Uncle Harry with building the filter.

The rights of the filter were sold a couple of times to different companies and Ron taught the workers the technology of how to use it until he retired last year.

Some of Harry's Children. From left to right Daniel Timothy, Cynthia. Roger and Ron.
Some of Harry’s Children. From left to right Daniel Timothy, Cynthia. Roger and Ron.

My father always told us a story that in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s Uncle Harry invented an anti-gravity ball or machine. The U.S. military learned about it and took it away from him.

Uncle Harry was fun to be around. He always had us laughing.
When he lived in Thousand Oaks he kept asking me to move down there. He told me he had committed his life to Jesus Christ and became a Christian and wanted me to teach the Bible to him. I eventually did move there in 1985 and stayed 2 years.

Harry and some of his children at the family reunion 1985
Harry and some of his children at the family reunion 1985

Whenever I visit with other relatives, Uncle Harry always comes up in conversation and memories of him shared.

Harry's daughter Cynthia and her husband Joseph at the family reunion 1985
Harry’s daughter Cynthia and her husband Joseph at the family reunion 1985
Harry's Son Timothy at the family reunion 1985
Harry’s Son Timothy at the family reunion 1985
New ArrivalNews

Jujiro Wada, A Japanese American Pioneer in Alaska : His life and the situation among three people who cooperated in finding a goldmine (Noriko Kan)

This paper focuses on an illegal immigrant named Jujiro Wada who stowed away on a ship bound for the U. S. mainland in 1892. The first section introduces the research that was conducted in both Ehime, Japan and Alaska, U. S. A.

The next section overviews the resources collected in both locations and describes Wada’s individual immigration history.
Wada is particularly notable for his pioneering experiences in Alaska and Canada, which were frequently reported in the newspapers. However, his exposure to the media diminished after he found a goldmine with two other people. He then remained in obscurity until he died alone in 1937. The third section profiles the two people with whom he found the goldmine, paying special attention to their ethnic backgrounds.

Finally, the paper compares the tone of the later lives of these three people, contrasting the world’s international situation with their own, and concludes that the fading of Wada’s name from the media was caused by the pervading fear of the “Yellow Peril.”

New ArrivalNews

The Aurora Walk is a short path along the Ishite River by Wada’s statue, and has been recommended as one of the Top views in Matsuyama. However, the path is unfamiliar to both tourists and residents. The walk is primarily maintained by senior citizens of Hinode.  However, the Welfare committee requested help from Takunan Junior High School.

Let the Aurora Walk bloom, Tribute to Jujiro Wada Our homeland Matsuyama No.36

On Sat. Feb.2nd   2020  Students gathered with senior citizens at Aurora Path to pick up trash, remove weeds and plant pansies Soga Elementary School also helps clean-up Aurora Path.    

Takunan Junior High School students interview the local community about Aurora Walk beautification and clean-up activities. 4 student members of the school’s welfare committee interview locals about Junjiro Wada after clean-up activities of the Aurora Walk (a short path along the Ishite River by Wada’s statue, which was erected in 2010)

Takunan students interview the locals in Hinode Where Jujiro grew up
Takunan Jujiro highschool students with Mr. Ueoka and Mr. Kondo

Interviewed with Mr. Ueoka, the administrative of JWMA (Jujiro Wada Memorial Association)

Students: What motivated you to promote and make Wada Jujiro more known to the public? Mr. Ueoka: We wanted to let the people of Hinode, where Wada grew up, know about Wada’s pioneer spirit and devotion to his mother, so we founded JWMA ( Jujiro Wada Memorial Association )

Students: What message would you like to deliver to Takunan Junior High School? Mr. Ueoka: Wada went abroad at the young age of 17, pioneered an unknown land, and faced racial discrimination. He was dragged down by adversity and even became a crime suspect. Despite the adversity that tried to drag him down, he went on to succeed. We’d like for students to know his hardships. and to apply his experiences to their daily lives. His experiences may encourage those struggling to cope with difficulties in their lives.

Interview with Mr. Soga, administrative of Soga Community Center

Students: What message would you like to deliver to Takunan Junior High School? We would like the local community, students, and elders, to make a habit of regularly maintaining this path, and in doing so, to foster a good community. Students: How do you see this path in the future? Mr. Kondo: We would be thrilled for you to visit this path to learn more about Wada , who was an inspiration to many.



Date: 2020. Feb. 4th In 2019, the Beverage Industry Environment Beautification Association’s (BIEBA) President Award was given to Takunan Junior High School for its long-term community clean-up efforts. BIEBA* consists of six companies and started awarding prizes from 2000. All elementary and junior high schools are eligible to enter. 

*BIEBA(Beverage Industry Environment Beautification Association)

Class representatives receiving President Award from BIEBA

 BIEBA selected 4 schools for the President Award, 6 schools for excellence award, and 25 schools for prize of excellence. Takunan Junior high school has cleaned up the local community for over 40 years.  From 2018, they started to clean up around Wada’s statue (Ishite River bank area, Hinode). The delegation from BIEBA handed the President Award to the class representatives (Ms. Murakami and Mr. Aoki; pictured)

Ms. Murakami was proud of their long-term clean-up efforts which had spanned 40 years and Mr. Aoki wants to improve clean-up efforts.

Past Events

The descendents of Jujiro Wada, Sean O’Hare and Ryan O’Hare, and Joe Frio of their friend came to Ehime prefecture.
On November 25, they interacted with member of jujiro wada memorial association.
After that, they went to Soga Elementary School and the fifth graders of elementary school performed songs of Jujiro`s musical with a feeling of welcome to them. They were very pleased.
NHK, Nankai Broadcasting, Ehime Shimbun, and Ehime CATV covered it.
We would like to express my sincere appreciation for the cooperation of the Inoue Principal and other elementary school teachers.
Thank you to Eri Osakabe who volunteered as an interpreter.
Noriko Kan, who had other requirements and was unable to participate this time, met by chance at Matsuyama Airport and sent them off together.
It was a very good day.
We are very happy about that the elementary school children met descendants of Jujiro Wada and made their eyes shine.
And they said that they were proud of the local great man Jijiro Wada.
The elementary school children had a lifetime memory.
Sean, Ryan, Joe. Thank you very much for coming. 

Past Events


This year, 150 year has passed since the beginning of Meiji Era (1872 – 1912), we will hold a talk show about three great people from Ehime prefecture who played an active part in this era. Jujiro Wada (an pionner), Noriaki Mizuno (soldier who complained anti-war), and Shigetoshi Shigemi (Soseki Natsume’s rival)


Three women who are active in various fields such as Miki Enoki, NHK World Executive Producer, who will lead the talks, Setsuko Kaida of “Mikan Ichiza“, and Noriko Kan of NPO president of Item Matsuyama.

Those who would like to participate

JWMA’s President Kazuhiko Tanaka (Nankai Broadcasting President) will be held as chairperson. It will be held from the noon on Saturday, 13th on the second floor hall “Saka No Ueno Kumo Museum”.  Admission is free. You are all invited. We will be broadcast live on the Nankai Broadcasting Radio. We will keep updated on Facebook.

Past Events


Meet Jujiro Wada at Hokkaido Museum of Northern Peoples

The 33rd Special Exhibition “North to the Future, History of Japanese Contact with Alaska” has been held at the Hokkaido Museum of Northan Peoples, the organizer of the Symposium. Curator Mr. Noguchi showed us around the exhibits. He came to Ehime to borrow some stuffs of Jujiro Wada, when representative of Jujiro Wada Memorial Association, Mikio Ueoka took care of him. That made Ueoka and Noriko Kan come visit Abashiri, Hokkaido. There was a Jujiro section in which his mini video has been shown. Another curator Ms. Sasakura introduced them at the reception.

Those who would like to participate

Hokkaido Museum of Northern Peoples
309-1 Shiomi, Abashiri City, Hokkaido
JAPAN, 093-0042 (English) (Japanese)

Jujiro Wada
Jujiro Wada at right

Jujiro Wada
Moccasins of Jujiro Wada

Jujiro Wada
A view of the exhbition

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