Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: George Yoshida Interview
Narrator: George Yoshida
Interviewers: Alice Ito (primary), John Pai (secondary)
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: February 18, 2002
Densho ID: denshovh-ygeorge-01-0010

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AI: Well, now, 1936 -- and this was after you graduated the Washington School.

GY: Uh-huh.

AI: Was that about the time where your family moved?

GY: Times were really hard. It was, my father's fruit and vegetable run was not profitable, although one benefit from his unprofitable business was the fact that he had fruits and vegetables which he couldn't sell, which he brought home, which we ate. Or if the fruit was not good enough to be sold, we'd just sort of clean up the rotten part. We'd enjoy the fruit. So that was, that was nice. But other than that, it was not profitable.

So the decision was made to go to Los Angeles because he had some friends, Issei friends, men who had businesses here. And one of the, his friends was Mr. Nagao, who earlier lived in Seattle and moved to Los Angeles earlier with his family. And he started a shoyu manufacturing business. And I think it was he who was somewhat instrumental in my father taking his family to Seattle in 1936.

AI: To Los Angeles.

GY: Yeah. From Seattle to Los Angeles. And so after much discussion and again, I know that my mother was very reluctant to go. She did not want to go. And I recall hearing her crying in the kitchen, some argumentative voices, I think. I know she was very sad because she spent many years here in Seattle, and her closest friends were, were living here. Friends who were members of the church. I remember the Hata family was a very close friend of hers and -- Mrs. Hata. And it was very difficult for her, but my father didn't have any other choices. And I don't know how it felt. I guess there was this, a loss of friends, but there was this new adventure, too. God, California. Go to California. So one day after packing everything and selling whatever he, we had to sell -- there wasn't much to sell, we took a Greyhound bus, and it took many, many hours to get down there. It was an old bus in those days. A rather rickety bus. And they carried some milk and orange juice in the back. And milk bottles rattled, and here we're going in the back. And it was not a very comfortable trip, but golly, taking a long bus ride was something else. And when we hit the California border, started to see here and there palm trees. Thought wow, palm trees. Look at that. That was so exciting. Introduction to Californ-i-a. [Laughs] Palm trees. Made it to San Francisco, and we stayed overnight there because we had an aunt in Berkeley. Went to the Japanese Gardens and the San Francisco, Golden Gate Park, spent a day. Spent the night and continued on to Los Angeles, 1936.

<End Segment 10> - Copyright © 2002 Densho. All Rights Reserved.