Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Asano Terao Interview I
Narrator: Asano Terao
Interviewers: Tomoyo Yamada (primary), Dee Goto (secondary)
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: May 19, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-tasano-01-0021

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[Translated from Japanese]

TY: Before the arranged meeting, you heard various things about your husband, about Mr. Terao, from the grandma, didn't you? Before you had the arranged meeting, you saw the pictures, too.

AT: Yes, that's right.

TY: What kind of things did you hear?

AT: Um, nothing particularly, the family lineage of the Teraos. She also said that he was the fifth boy, and he was not the main family heir. So she said that he was free to live anywhere. The grandma said to my mother that if we wanted him to be yoshi, they said that he could be yoshi. But, my mother had suffered from yoshi herself, so she said she did not want yoshi.

TY: Your mother.

AT: We had our uncle's son to take our name to continue the family name. She suffered from her own yoshi experience, so she said that she would never have me adopted. I think it was better this way. The name is still continuing today. The name Nagao is. She made a mistake, so she was careful not to do the same thing again. But, well, as long as we just took the name, we could succeed the property of the Nagao forever. We say that it is just fine.

TY: About the main family successor, back then, the oldest son...

AT: The oldest son only, it was the oldest son.

TY: The oldest son only. But, why was that?

AT: Usually, it was the oldest son. Well, it is the branch family after the second boy. When considering the monetary estate, "We give you so much land, we give you so many guns, so many mountains," this way, they divided and received the property, and broke into branch families. But, the money, if there were many families, many people, if there were many brothers, the property of the main family would be gone. "Give that one a quarter acre, give this one a quarter acre, give mountains to this and to that." The Terao brothers, how many were there? The main family brother, Brother Kubo, Sakuyama, and him... there were five boys. For this, the main family... Well, it was fine. If they divided the fortune to the other four, they said that however much fortune they had, the main family would run down. So, those who came to the U.S. said that they could manage to make a living without receiving the fortune, and they didn't get any. To the family called Kubo, the second oldest brother, there was a young girl in the relatives called Kubo, and he went into the family as a yoshi. They didn't have to give him a share of the fortune, so he went into the family when he was asked to be yoshi. That brother, he was different. He was very stable and kept manners, and so I said, "I get headache when I visit Brother Kubo," and I came home. [Laughs] He was polite. When I bowed and looked up, his head was still down, so I stooped myself like this again. [Laughs] There are such people, those who are way too polite. I don't know now. Well, he was so polite that it was excessive, the brother. Instead, he never made mistakes. The neighbors used to say, "Oh, the master of the Kubo is so polite, so polite." Since he was called master, master, I said, "Oniisan, it is this and that way," then he said, "Oh, all right. Then, well, we should do that way." Brother, he was very gentle. Since he went into the relative Kubos from the Teraos through yoshi arrangement, he became Kubo. The wife was, she was a very good wife. She would say yes, yes, yes, yes to whatever her husband said. So, even though he was a yoshi to the family, it didn't look like he was a yoshi. Yes, so...

<End Segment 21> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.