Mitsuye May Yamada - Joe Yasutake - Tosh Yasutake Interview Segment 75

Introduction of three narrators, father's family background (ddr-densho-1000-135-1) - 00:09:45
Mother's background: her family's decision to follow her husband to the United States (ddr-densho-1000-135-2) - 00:05:39
Mother's experience as a "picture bride," encountering a new lifestyle upon arrive in the U.S. (ddr-densho-1000-135-3) - 00:06:44
Description of Mike, the oldest brother (ddr-densho-1000-135-4) - 00:02:08
Living in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Seattle (ddr-densho-1000-135-5) - 00:02:04
Tosh's birth in Seattle, Mitsuye's birth in Japan (ddr-densho-1000-135-6) - 00:06:04
Mitsuye's memories of childhood in Japan: learning a country-style dialect of Japanese (ddr-densho-1000-135-7) - 00:05:51
Coming to the United States, Mitsuye becomes ill with pleurisy (ddr-densho-1000-135-8) - 00:03:49
A childhood recollection of Tosh and Mitsuye running away from nursery school (ddr-densho-1000-135-9) - 00:04:20
Tosh's memory of father's love of early movie cameras, and discussion of items taken by the FBI during wartime raid (ddr-densho-1000-135-10) - 00:07:22
Discussion of learning both Japanese and English as children (ddr-densho-1000-135-11) - 00:04:05
Moving to the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Seattle, memories of neighbors and an amusing Halloween incident (ddr-densho-1000-135-12) - 00:04:04
Memories of elementary school: dealing with the language barrier and perceived cultural differences (ddr-densho-1000-135-13) - 00:07:01
Discussion of ethnic composition of neighborhood and grade school (ddr-densho-1000-135-14) - 00:07:09
Mitsuye's upbringing: raised differently by mother as the only girl, being raised in Japan, and having poor health (ddr-densho-1000-135-15) - 00:05:53
Recollections of community activities, Tosh's learning martial arts (ddr-densho-1000-135-16) - 00:04:50
Memories of high school, controversy over the school valedictorian (ddr-densho-1000-135-17) - 00:05:15
Tosh's and Mitsuye's recollections of brother Joe's birth, live-in nurse (ddr-densho-1000-135-18) - 00:03:10
Incident involving the final decision on Joe's Japanese name (ddr-densho-1000-135-19) - 00:04:34
Reuniting with childhood nurse (ddr-densho-1000-135-20) - 00:02:53
Recounting an accident involving Joe as a child (ddr-densho-1000-135-21) - 00:05:21
Family's trip to Japan (ddr-densho-1000-135-22) - 00:01:59
Extended trip to Japan and Korea in the 1930s, Tosh's memories of coming home alone by ship; Joe's childhood tribulations regarding bathing (ddr-densho-1000-135-23) - 00:09:28
Mitsuye's memories of attending a girls' school in Japan (ddr-densho-1000-135-24) - 00:04:01
Mitsuye recalls a frightening near-drowning incident in Japan (ddr-densho-1000-135-25) - 00:07:53
Tosh's and Mitsuye's thoughts on feeling different as Americans in Japan (ddr-densho-1000-135-26) - 00:05:34
Description of relatives from Japan (ddr-densho-1000-135-27) - 00:02:17
Returning home after living in Japan (ddr-densho-1000-135-28) - 00:02:22
Joe's childhood memories: learning Japanese on trip to Japan (ddr-densho-1000-135-29) - 00:04:25
Mitsuye's recollections of middle school graduation, assignment to attend Cleveland High School (ddr-densho-1000-135-30) - 00:05:42
Attending Japanese language school in Seattle (ddr-densho-1000-135-31) - 00:04:27
Memories of childhood dogs (ddr-densho-1000-135-32) - 00:03:47
Parents' values: don't bring shame to the family (ddr-densho-1000-135-33) - 00:02:30
Considering Japanese American identity as children (ddr-densho-1000-135-34) - 00:03:16
Discussion of issues of identity as Japanese American children (ddr-densho-1000-135-35) - 00:07:42
Prewar plans to attend college (ddr-densho-1000-135-36) - 00:05:35
Parents' values; influence of religion while growing up (ddr-densho-1000-135-37) - 00:06:33
Description of father's Japanese poetry club, influences on Mitsuye's later work as a writer (ddr-densho-1000-135-38) - 00:06:59
Father's love of literature and reading (ddr-densho-1000-135-39) - 00:04:55
Parents' religious background in Japan (ddr-densho-1000-135-40) - 00:05:39
Memories of the day that Pearl Harbor was bombed (ddr-densho-1000-135-41) - 00:05:08
FBI raids family home on December 7, 1941, a frightening experience for mother and children (ddr-densho-1000-135-42) - 00:07:37
Discussion of items taken by FBI: home movies, short-wave radio, books (ddr-densho-1000-135-43) - 00:06:03
FBI agents take Tosh to find father at a neighborhood restaurant (ddr-densho-1000-135-44) - 00:01:55
FBI raid of family's home (ddr-densho-1000-135-45) - 00:05:06
Finding out that father had been detained at the immigration office, a place where he had previously worked (ddr-densho-1000-135-46) - 00:09:42
Dealing with the aftermath of father's detention: dropping out of school, finding a way to pay the bills (ddr-densho-1000-135-47) - 00:07:25
Encountering financial hardship after detention of father (ddr-densho-1000-135-48) - 00:07:09
Recollections of the holiday season of 1941: "Christmas was very grim" (ddr-densho-1000-135-49) - 00:01:28
Hearing about mass removal in other communities (ddr-densho-1000-135-50) - 00:03:02
Memories of the curfew, deciding what to take during mass removal (ddr-densho-1000-135-51) - 00:08:36
Emotional responses upon returning to the site of the Minidoka camp many years after the war (ddr-densho-1000-135-52) - 00:08:01
First impressions of camp (ddr-densho-1000-135-53) - 00:01:39
Recollections of feelings, worries while preparing for mass removal (ddr-densho-1000-135-54) - 00:04:42
Registering families for mass removal (ddr-densho-1000-135-55) - 00:02:32
Discussion of storage of belongings (ddr-densho-1000-135-56) - 00:04:58
Destroying Japanese objects and papers after FBI raid (ddr-densho-1000-135-57) - 00:03:51
Memories of FBI search of house on December 7, 1941, losing possessions (ddr-densho-1000-135-58) - 00:08:36
Records kept by the government (ddr-densho-1000-135-59) - 00:05:43
Memories of the day of mass removal, the bus ride to the Puyallup Assembly Center (ddr-densho-1000-135-60) - 00:05:43
First impressions of Puyallup Assembly Center: stuffing own mattresses (ddr-densho-1000-135-61) - 00:03:53
Tosh's work in the Puyallup camp hospital (ddr-densho-1000-135-62) - 00:03:41
Remembering sickness in camp, rumors of disease (ddr-densho-1000-135-63) - 00:03:06
Joe's more pleasant memories as a child in Puyallup (ddr-densho-1000-135-64) - 00:03:54
Receiving some visitors in camp, work friends of father's (ddr-densho-1000-135-65) - 00:03:03
Tosh describes moving to Minidoka concentration camp early to set up the hospital (ddr-densho-1000-135-66) - 00:06:15
Mitsuye's first impressions of barrenness of Minidoka; "this is the end of the earth" (ddr-densho-1000-135-67) - 00:05:40
Mitsuye's work at the Minidoka camp hospital (ddr-densho-1000-135-68) - 00:02:23
Mitsuye describes writing letters applying for college while in camp (ddr-densho-1000-135-69) - 00:03:20
Tosh's experience leaving camp and working on a sugar beet farm in Idaho (ddr-densho-1000-135-70) - 00:08:59
Joe's experience attending school in Minidoka; memories of recreational activities (ddr-densho-1000-135-71) - 00:04:37
Piecing together news of the war from inside camp (ddr-densho-1000-135-72) - 00:04:49
Difficult period for mother in camp after one son had volunteered for army, and two other children were leaving camp to attend college (ddr-densho-1000-135-73) - 00:03:11
Tosh enlists the help of a family friend to tell mother of decision to volunteer for the military (ddr-densho-1000-135-74) - 00:05:30
Answers to the so-called "loyalty questions" (ddr-densho-1000-135-75) - 00:04:15
A tense journey for Mitsuye and Tosh to visit father in Lordsburg, New Mexico (ddr-densho-1000-135-76) - 00:03:08
Memories of seeing father for the first time in several years at the Lordsburg internment camp, New Mexico: "a very surreal moment" (ddr-densho-1000-135-77) - 00:07:55
Memories of seeing father for the first time in several years at the Lordsburg internment camp, New Mexico (ddr-densho-1000-135-78) - 00:07:08
Seeing the effects of internment on father (ddr-densho-1000-135-79) - 00:04:58
Childhood memories of camp (ddr-densho-1000-135-80) - 00:02:33
Mother's difficulty adjusting to the idea that three of her children were leaving camp (ddr-densho-1000-135-81) - 00:01:50
Mitsuye's recollections of leaving camp for Cincinnati (ddr-densho-1000-135-82) - 00:06:17
Description of older brother Mike's difficulties as a pacifist at his university (ddr-densho-1000-135-83) - 00:05:55
Living in Cincinnati during the war (ddr-densho-1000-135-84) - 00:06:51
Joe's experience reuniting with father in Crystal City, Texas (ddr-densho-1000-135-85) - 00:02:24
Tosh describes being wounded in France, family's worry at not being able to contact him (ddr-densho-1000-135-86) - 00:04:31
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ddr-densho-1000-135-75 (Legacy UID: denshovh-ymitsuye_g-01-0075)

Answers to the so-called "loyalty questions"

00:04:15 — Segment 75 of 86

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October 8 & 9, 2002

Densho Visual History Collection


Courtesy of Densho


Mitsuye May Yamada
Joe Yasutake
Tosh Yasutake

Mitsuye May Yamada - Joe Yasutake - Tosh Yasutake Interview

07:12:07 — 86 segments

October 8 & 9, 2002

Seattle, Washington

Before being contacted by Densho, the Yasutake siblings had planned to conduct their own family history interviews. Individually and jointly, they and other family members had written and gathered material documenting their family history. They shared much of this with me to assist with research and preparation for the Densho interview. Mitsuye's daughter Jeni had coordinated much of the family history work. Jeni participated as a secondary interviewer during the group sessions, October 8-9, 2002.

The group interview sessions were conducted in Seattle at the home of Tom Ikeda, executive director of Densho. The oldest Yasutake sibling, Reverend Seiichi Michael Yasutake, had passed away less than a year before the Densho interviewing, in December, 2001. The remaining siblings emphasized that his absence left a gap in their discussion of family history. In addition to Jeni Yamada and videographers Dana Hoshide and John Pai, also present during some portions of the group interview were Tom Ikeda, and Mitsuye Yamada's son Kai Yamada.

Alice Ito, interviewer; Jeni Yamada, interviewer; John Pai, videographer


Courtesy of Densho