Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Yasashi Ichikawa Interview I
Narrator: Yasashi Ichikawa
Interviewer: Tomoyo Yamada
Location: Portland, Oregon
Date: October 16, 1999
Densho ID: denshovh-iyasashi-01-0011

<Begin Segment 11>

[Translated from Japanese]

TY: So you said that there were many Isseis in Fresno. Were they all engaged in farming?

YI: Fresno?

TY: Japanese Issei and Nisei in Fresno.

YI: Mainly engaged in the hotel business.

TY: Oh, is that right? In Fresno?

YI: Japanese were in hotel business. There were farmers a little distant from the city. Grapes. In those days, all grew grapes. Vineyard. They made the raisins. Because it had hot weather. Now I understand they grow a variety of fruits. There are no Isseis left. There was a Japan town. There was an area where Japanese businesses lined the streets. In those days.

TY: In Fresno?

YI: At the time when Issei were alive. You could find anything. A tofu store, a bookstore, a grocery store, anything. But, nowadays, not many Niseis or Sansei are engaged in such business.

TY: Were there that many Japanese to form a Japantown?

YI: There were quite a few Japanese.

TY: And I heard about that...

YI: I did not know. Anything.

TY: Then when you had difficulty eating the meals aboard ship, you must have worried about the food here.

YI: I thought I would have to eat only American food.

TY: Then you found Japantown and you could buy even tofu.

YI: Ministers... our church was quite big. There were four or five ministers. They gave services and taught at the Japanese language school. My husband also taught at the Japanese language school. Two or three years ago, a woman visited me from Fresno and told me that she had learned from Reverend Ichikawa. She has children and grandchildren now.

<End Segment 11> - Copyright © 1999 Densho. All Rights Reserved.