Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Joe Yasutake Interview
Narrator: Joe Yasutake
Interviewer: Alice Ito
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: October 9, 2002
Densho ID: denshovh-yjoe-01-0015

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AI: And so we were, just before we broke briefly, you were just at the point of finishing up your service with the army.

JY: Uh-huh.

AI: And you had been rotated back to the United States. And so at this point, what had you decided to do then?

JY: Well, you know, I didn't know. And we stopped in New York because May lived there, and, and probably more than anything else because I didn't quite know what to do at that point, I decided to enroll at NYU, and I hadn't even been accepted there yet. [Laughs] I hadn't even applied, but I thought, well, you know... and then my wife loved New York. As soon as she hit the port there she just absolutely loved, fell in love with the place. So we decided to stay there for a while, and so I started going to school and she got a job. She was a registered nurse, and she got a job in an operating room fairly easily. So I started taking classes as a special student, and, and then eventually I got accepted as a regular student. And so we lived in New York for about, about two years while I was finishing up my master's degree. And during that time, of course, we interacted with May's family quite a bit because she was there. You know, she had a home and all that. And we were living in a basement apartment, so we spent a lot of time at their place in our spare time. And so we were there for about two years.

And when I finished, got close to finishing my master's degree, our first baby, our first son was -- she became pregnant with our first son, and he was born just about the time I finished school. So at that point, of course, I felt -- I decided I needed to go to work, so I finally found a job with the air force as a civilian in one of their research laboratories as a psychologist. So we moved to Dayton, Ohio, and there my second son was born in, let's see, in Dayton. And then after spending a couple years there I was offered an opportunity to go further to graduate school to get a Ph.D. from, by the air force. They had a fellowship kind of a program, and although I hadn't really even thought about goin' back to graduate school again it was an opportunity where they paid your full salary, moved you up there, paid all the tuition and books and so forth, and it was hardly a thing I could pass up. So we went up to Columbus for a year, and then my third son was born there just about the time I finished school.

And I went back to Wright Patterson and I was working for the, what they called the Air Force Systems Command at the time at the Aeronautical Systems Division. And after working there for about seven years or so I was offered a job in Dayton -- Denver, Colorado, from a guy I had worked with, one of the -- a senior psychologist who had, who I'd worked with in Dayton, and he moved out to Denver to start a new lab. And so he asked me to come out, so I did. And so we moved to Denver in about 1970, and we were there for about eighteen years. So all my kids kind of considered Denver their home. They, you know, they went through grammar school, high school, and so forth while we were in Denver.

AI: Now, as your kids were growing up there in Denver -- and excuse me, what are their names? Your --

JY: My oldest son's name is Jack and the second one is Shawn and then my third one is Paul, and none of them have Japanese names. We, we struggled with that for a while, I mean, each time a child was born, and we decided, well, since they have the name Yasutake it's not like we have to identify their identity and so forth, so we just decided to give them -- like Joseph Jack is my oldest son and then Shawn Michael is the second one, and so forth, so they, they have just regular English-type names before the Yasutake comes up.

<End Segment 15> - Copyright © 2002 Densho. All Rights Reserved.