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-1-3-14

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JT: And then you graduated and then did you get a job right away? Or what year was that? Now we're talking about 1940...

KT: '49.

JT: Oh, '49, okay. So did you get a job right away? You studied Bus. Ad., what kind of Bus. Ad? I mean, was it accounting or marketing?

KT: Well, I went into accounting. But it was hard to find a job.

JT: Oh, yeah.

KT: And so there was some others that worked at the naval air station in Treasure Island doing payroll work. And then we had a lot of overtime work and stuff like that.

MT: Actually, Kenji, before that, you went to graduate school, started.

KT: Yeah, I started.

JT: You couldn't get enough school. So what were you taking in graduate school? More business?

KT: More business, more accounting. So when I was working on Treasure Island for the navy in payroll work, I thought, well, I'd better find a more permanent kind of job. And so I took exams with the state, and I guess I got on the list pretty high. And so I had a choice of going to work for the state. And the thing was, pay-wise, it was not that high of a level. And so... but I decided, well, working on the navy payroll, I could make more money. But how long is that going to last?

JT: Right, you were thinking ahead.

KT: And so I said, okay, I got on the state list, and they told me, "You can go to work for the Department of Public Health." And they had another Chinese fellow who worked on this one particular area, and that was hospital construction. They would get grants to construct hospitals.

JT: Build hospitals, sure.

KT: And various places. And they needed somebody to go and check those expenditures.

JT: That's what you did?

KT: That's what I did, yeah.

JT: So you traveled.

KT: Right.

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