Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Arthur Ogami Interview
Narrator: Arthur Ogami
Interviewer: Alice Ito
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: March 10, 2004
Densho ID: denshovh-oarthur-01-0039

<Begin Segment 39>

AI: Well, so then you and your wife then departed from Japan and was this, you said, in 1953 about was it in early --

AO: March.

AI: March of 1953.

AO: The first of March I left, boarded ship, left Japan and it's about the middle of March that I arrived. [Narr. note: OSK Line. Name of the ship Hawaii Maru, 10,000 ton freighter, 12 passenger. Ten days from Yokohama to San Francisco, then to Wilmington, California. Ship fare was $400 -- 1st class service.]

AI: And your sister greeted you?

AO: Yes. She came after me.

AI: And you had to start all over, so --

AO: Yes.

AI: So how did you do that? What did you do?

AO: Sunday I disembarked from the ship. Monday I went, I used my sister's car. I went to DMV for driving test and I passed. And then that same morning I went to Department of Employment, State Department of Employment on South Flower, 525 South Flower. And they sent me to what you call an interview. And the supervisor for billing of the company looked over my employment application and then he asked me when I wanted, wished to start work. I said, "I need money. I'll start today." He says, "Come in at quarter of eight tomorrow morning." That was Tuesday and I worked there for nine months. And then I met my friend that was in the internment camp in Manzanar. And he had a radio, TV and appliance store. So I went to work for him. See, I started billing at three hundred dollars a month. Then my friend offered to pay me $325 dollars a month. And I went. And then when my wife came in November of 1953, she came, then I was renting a room in a hotel on San Pedro Street, and then when she came I, the friend that I worked for in the fruit stand in Whittier had apartments in East L.A. And so I rented apartment there when my wife came. We stayed there for a while and then she said she'd like to work. And so I took her for interview with the same company I worked as a biller typist. And they said, "Yes, we'll try her out, put her on trial." And she worked there for over thirty years. So the timing was right for us and so we saved and invested in real estate. Then we bought an apartment for us to rent. So we have comfortable income now.

<End Segment 39> - Copyright © 2004 Densho. All Rights Reserved.