Beloved California doughnut shop owner reflects on childhood in Japanese internment camp

Doughnut shop owner reflects on internment camp


Doughnut shop owner reflects on childhood in Japanese internment camp

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Off Route 66 in Southern California, a small doughnut shop has been a community fixture for decades. 

Jim Nakano opened The Donut Man in Glendora, California, with his wife in 1972, because, as he told CBS News, “my wife likes hot doughuts.” 

And she’s not the only one. Loyal customers keep coming back for the wide variety of crowd favorites, from glazed to the shop’s signature strawberry.

Nakano’s story is uniquely American. During World War II, at just 2 years old, he was sent with his mother to a Japanese internment camp. 

“So many Americans do not know about this chapter in our history,” he said. “And some of ’em don’t believe it, you know, that our country would do that to people.”

He said it’s important for people to “learn about your culture, learn about your family, ’cause that’ll make us closer.”

Nakano says the shop has also helped him make a special connection with the community.

“This doughnut shop has given us so much opportunity to meet different people,” he said. “I’m just thankful that we were given the opportunity and we made the best of it and the American dream.”

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