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-01-0025

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[Translated from Japanese]

TY: Could you tell me the life of your husband in the U.S.?

AT: He was farming. In the beginning, his brothers were running a business. Well, what was it?

TY: Were they the third and the fourth brothers? The oldest brother was the main family, and the second one became a yoshi to the Kubos, he was a yoshi to the Kubo family, right?

AT: Yeah, he went to the Kubos. It was the third and the oldest. They came to the U.S. In the U.S., at first, they were on the Second Avenue, the second floor, I think. It was the Second Avenue. What of here, he said that they were running a business before. The business was to get items from Japan, like importing. But, they didn't go more than that. There was no way it would go well. They laughed when I said, "These sons of farmers, when you became merchants, there is no way you can go up." People, if they hired people, they said, they had to pay salary. Terao was going to the middle school. He quit and he was called in to help them. The three brothers together ran the business. But, Terao said that he wanted to go to school as soon as he came. If he went to school in the morning, he couldn't help the store, so he had to go to night school, so he went to night school, he said. Then, he helped the store, and since there were sawmills, one brother went to take orders from sawmills. Next, once they took orders, they packed various this and that things... those who came from Japan, the sawmills, many at the sawmills, a lot of Japanese people worked there. There was a person who did the cooking. Rice, soy sauce, and other items, the brothers sent them all. They ran that kind of business. He said this often when we were over there. Since it was busy, they said, "Shizuto, well, we want you to come over and help us," so he quit junior high school and came in two years. He thought he could just study here, but it turned out that it was just so far from studying! He was made to work so hard at the store that he was always sweating, and it was just too busy. [Laughs]

TY: Ten... since he came when he was in the second grade in the middle school, he must have been around fourteen or fifteen, right?

AT: Yes, yes. So he quit, and that was how he came over. It was a night school, though. For this reason, he went to night school. But, he couldn't pronounce English words, and he said that he had a hard time. Then, he thought he should be independent since he really didn't get salary if he stayed with his brothers, and he had a friend in California. So he went there counting on his friend. His friend was farming there, so he made himself a farmer, too. There, he rented, what, 40 acres, because he couldn't own his own. So he rented it, and he farmed the land. One year... it was before the war. He got an unexpected income for some reason. He received the unexpected money because the crops he thought wouldn't sell were sold. He thought, "Well, maybe I can visit Japan for a while," and he came back, he said.

TY: You had the arranged meeting and got married.

AT: Terao, now, the grandma who arranged was related to both the Terao side and my side of the families. My aunt was married into the family.

<End Segment 25> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.