Densho Digital Archive
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Title: John Kanda Interview
Narrator: John Kanda
Interviewer: Ronald Magden
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: May 12, 2000
Densho ID: denshovh-kjohn-01-0001

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RM: John, tell us where you were born, and little bit about your family, the beginning.

JK: I was born in Seattle, here on King Street, I understand. My parents were both from Japan. Going into the history, I found out that -- I knew that my oldest sister was a half sister. I didn't know just the circumstances of it, but I found the, that sister of the man that (mother) was married to initially, and that it didn't work out. And so, this was in Seattle. So when my father met her sometime later and married and raised a family of a sister that is three years older than myself, my brother that's six years older than myself, and a younger sister that's about a year and a half younger that I am. And we moved to the, shall we say south to the countryside (King County) because of my health. I was born as a premature, and the doctor after, having me on the Carnation, (can), milk type of diet, because Mother had no milk, (and) I broke out with hives and whatnot. The doctor told my parents that if I had any chance of living, it would have to be near a goat farm (for) fresh milk. And at that time we moved to South Park, I understand, just south of the King County Airport landing (strip). And anyway, being Japanese, they didn't read the English paper. And about a month or so after they found the goat farm and house to rent, they got eviction notice, because they were going to extend that landing strip one mile south. So they went looking for another goat farm, which brought us to Thomas, Washington, which is between Kent and Auburn. The goat farm was on the hill off of 99 on the Des Moines Highway. But my dad was in the business of a, limousine service in Seattle and so he had a car available all the time. And his work was in Seattle most of the time, so he would always pick up the milk. And so that's the reason we're out, ended up in Thomas, Washington, which is between Kent and Auburn.

RM: So you went to school, then, first at Thomas?

JK: Yes, I went to school in Thomas, which was a six-grades, grade school. I didn't finish there. I went through the third grade, then we moved to Auburn because my dad's business changed. He became a buyer for a shipping, produce shipping firms. And so his work was local, and his shippings, produce places, warehouses were in Auburn or Kent. So we moved to Auburn, and I finished school -- I didn't finish school, I went up to my junior year there in Auburn before Pearl Harbor.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 2000 Densho. All Rights Reserved.