Densho Digital Repository
Alameda Japanese American History Project Oral History Collection
Title: Kenji Tomita Interview
Narrator: Kenji Tomita
Interviewer: Jo Takeda
Location: San Rafael, California
Date: November 20, 2021
Densho ID: ddr-ajah-1-3-13

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JT: So then after your service in Japan and occupation, you came back to, Topaz was closed, so where did you go after that?

KT: Oh, my folks, when I was at Fort Snelling, they permitted us to get our parents out of camp. And so I moved them from Topaz to Berkeley. So they were staying in this home, Togasakis' in Berkeley.

JT: On Channing Way?

KT: Yeah.

JT: Oh, for heaven's sake. Dr. Togasaki.

MT: I think her parents.

JT: Her parents' home. And that's where you lived for a while?

KT: Well, I didn't. My mother and father and sister lived with them for a while. It wasn't very comfortable. So when they found out that these housing projects were starting to accept you...

JT: To live there. Where was this?

KT: In Berkeley. It's right near San Pablo and Gilman.

JT: Yes, where the university housing, it became university housing.

KT: So my mother was happy.

JT: Sure.

KT: Happy you have your own private units.

JT: Right, you're not living in a barrack, you're not living in, well, you didn't have the stables, but she was able to find another place to work hard, take it easy. So what about school, though, Kenji? After that, where did you go to school? You said you were studying at Cincinnati?

KT: Out of the military. And I went to UC.

JT: Is that where you would have gone if the war hadn't come?

KT: Right. Most Japanese would go to UC if they could get in. And at that time, UC was pretty liberal in accepting students.

JT: You mean... okay, well, I think you're being modest, I think it was harder to get in there than other places. And did you stay in that housing on San Pablo and commute, or where did you live, or you commuted?

KT: I commuted from San Pablo to...

JT: University. And what did you study at Cal?

KT: Well, I was a Bus. Ad. major, probably two years I had my degree.

JT: That's pretty good because it sounded like in Cincinnati you weren't there that long.

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