Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Minoru "Min" Tsubota Interview
Narrator: Minoru "Min" Tsubota
Interviewers: Tom Ikeda (primary); Tetsuden Kashima (secondary)
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: August 18, 2003
Densho ID: denshovh-tminoru-01-0021

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TK: Can we take a typical sort of week, real briefly. I mean, you were working at that time with the farm supply, and then you were also playing in the band. Could you maybe talk about what you did, Monday through Friday, and then the weekends in about 1935?

MT: Let's see... well, '35 I was still going to high school because I graduated in '37.

TK: Oh, okay.

MT: But I was able to, like I said, I had a Model T Ford and a Model A Ford that I would drive into Seattle and practice with them. And, but it was a chance for me to mature into, from a young kid into a semi-adult life of the Japanese community in Seattle. Very enjoyable.

TK: Then, after you were in the farm supply area, did you change your occupation from that? And this is after, certainly, with the Andrews?

MT: Andres. Uh-huh.

TK: Andres.

MT: Andres Market.

TK: Did you consider going into other kinds of businesses or work?

MT: Yes, at the time, Roy was... after our import/export experience, heard of my draft status and thought, was asking, do you want to stay where I am or go into the foreign trade right away, or -- then, but that time the Japan-American treaty was breaking off so Roy said probably the best thing to do is, "My friend is the head of the Standard Oil Company. And they wholesale gas to all the fishing boats and farms, large farms in California." So he said, "Min, I've talked to them and told (them) about your background and they were very pleased," and they said that they'd like to talk to me. So I met with them and they thought I would fit the picture so I told them that that I was, notify Mr. Lebo and I would go that way. But about that time, the Japan-American treaty coming off, the Standard Oil Company checked my draft status and they found out that -- that was in February of 1941 -- they said that, "We found out that you're gonna be drafted in one month so why don't you enlist and get" -- in those days all you had do was serve one year then you can come back and then you're back in civilian life, so he said, "Min, if you serve your one year and come back, your job will be open at Standard Oil in the wholesale gas route." So I accepted to go that way.

<End Segment 21> - Copyright © 2003 Densho. All Rights Reserved.