Family Tree

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

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-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.”

Past Events

Jujiro Wada Memorial Association (JWMA) received the 8th ” Rejuvenating Local Community Excellence Award ” in 2017.

This prize is awarded by an organization consisting of 46 local newspaper companies and Kyodo news annually to local organizations that engage in activities to enhance the awareness and rejuvenation of the community.  JWMA was awarded for its contribution to the community by promoting valuable activities.

On February 9 (Friday), there was a ceremony at the City Cosmos Hall in Tokyo, and Mikio Ueoka received a certificate on behalf of JWMA, and it was also widely published in the Ehime newspaper of the local newspaper.

” Jujiro Wada was an explorer from Ehime Prefecture was active in North America, Alaska and Canada from the Meiji period to the Showa period. Our mission is to honor and pass on his accomplishments and filial duties to the next generation.  Jujiro Wada Memorial Association, JWMA, cooperate with local volunteer groups to improve the lawn and banks around the “Jujiro Wada Honorable Monument” and make it a place for relaxation for townsfolk” (Ehime Newspaper)

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation to have such a proud prize.
In order not to be ashamed of this award, we would like to continue working on further activities.

We sincerely wish to express our sincere gratitude to you for your continued support.

Jujiro Wada
President Tanaka

Jujiro Wada
At the City Cosmo Hall with Award (from the left) Tokuda, Uchikawa, Tani, Ueoka

Jujiro Wada Honored in local community
Ehime News Paper

Past Events

The symposium held at Fanano, Italy, home town of Felix – Pedro,

Also, the state of the symposium at Fanano, Italy was posted on Felix · Pedro’s website, so please have a look at it.

On December 28, 1902, Wada mushed one of Barnette’s dog teams into Dawson City to tell about the gold strikes by Felix Pedro, near Fairbanks, Alaska.  This, Tanana Stampede, caused several hundred miners to leave Dawson City for Fairbanks.

Jujiro Wada
Article from local newspaper

Jujiro Wada
Slide presented at the Symposium, Pedro and Jujio

Past Events

In May 2015, Mikan Iza’s musical “Samurai running toward the Aurora” was performed in Anchorage. To commemorate his legacy, “Jujiro Wada honorific monument” was built in Seward City, Alaska.

Activities to raise awareness of Wada’s exploration is becoming international.  Recently, a symposium introducing Wada was held in Fanano.  This city in Italy is the hometown of Felix Pedro, who found a gold mine near Tanana River with Wada.

It has been over 80 years since Wada’s death and because many documents are missing, an international symposium was held at the “Saka No Ueno Kumo” museum in Matsuyama for scholars who research about Wada to preserve existing documents and share information about their findings and upcoming events on November 18, 2017.

The symposium was moderated by Ms. Setsuko Kaida, who is the director of Mikan Ichiza. In the symposium, active debate was made by Mr.Kazuhiko Tanaka of Jujiro Wada memorial association, JWMA, President, Mr.Tony Nakazawa of Alaska JWMA, Mr.Timothy Minezaki of Alaska JWMA Vice President, and Mr.Hiroyuki Matsuura of International coordinator.  An active discussion was held on the future global development of international recognition activities by four men.

Finally, three separate organizations related to Wada based in USA, Canada and Japan had a signing ceremony to agree to cooperate on promoting research about Wada.

This symposium was broadcasted on Nankai local radio. It also aired on “News Channel 4” and NHK’s “HimePon.”

Scholars who research about Wada
Scholars who research about Wada


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