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Sleeping on Potatoes: A Lumpy Adventure from Manzanar to the Corporate Tower (book)

Creators: Carl Nomura

Book cover. Courtesy of Erasmus Books
View in the Densho Encyclopedia

Memoir of a Nisei, from his early childhood as the son of a violent father and a loving mother, his experience incarcerated at Manzanar , his career as a successful physicist at Honeywell, and his years after retiring.


Carl Nomura (1922–2015 ) begins his memoir with recollections of his childhood with a difficult and violent father and a hardworking and loving mother. His memories of the pre-World War II years include moving around from Montana, where he was born, to Long Beach, California, so the family could be near more Japanese Americans. He also describes how life changed for his mother after his father died in 1930, and how the family struggled to survive during the Great Depression.

Nomura then describes his experiences following the attack on Pearl Harbor, including what it was like to be incarcerated at Manzanar, his eight months working in Idaho on temporary leave, being drafted but then not being stationed abroad because Japan surrendered. He studied physics at University of Minnesota after the war and eventually became a highly successful physicist in the private sector.

Author Background

Carl Nomura, born 1922 in Deer Lodge, Montana, was incarcerated at Manzanar, and after serving in the U.S. Army, earned a PhD in Physics from University of Minnesota. He went on to become a vice president at Honeywell, where he worked for his entire career. He was awarded an Outstanding Achievement Award from University of Minnesota in 1988.

Authored by Emily Anderson
Media Details
Author Carl Nomura
Pages 248
Publication Date 2003
For More Information

For More Information

Sleeping on Potatoes - Overcoming Injustice [video about Carl Nomura].

Carl Nomura Obituary , Star Tribune , Aug. 15, 2015.

Carl Nomura Obituary , Port Townsend Leader , July 28, 2015.

Wilson, Scott. " Carl Nomura, A Pi Lover & Community Builder, Passes at 93. " Port Townsend Leader , July 29, 2015.