Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: George Morihiro Interview
Narrator: George Morihiro
Interviewer: Megan Asaka
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: December 15 & 16, 2005
Densho ID: denshovh-mgeorge_2-01-0001

<Begin Segment 1>

MA: So today is December 15, 2005. We're here in the Densho office with George Morihiro, I'm Megan Asaka, and Dana Hoshide is the videographer. So, hi, George.

GM: Hi.

MA: Thanks for coming in. So I wanted to start off by talking a little bit about your, your father's story. Where was his family from in Japan?

GM: They were from Hiroshima.

MA: And what did his family do for a living?

GM: Then?

MA: Uh-huh.

GM: I'm not too sure. I think they were poor. [Laughs]

MA: Oh, okay. When did your father immigrate to the U.S.?

GM: He came here in 1898, when he was sixteen years old.

MA: What was the reason for his...

GM: Just about like every other immigrant in those days, they probably, was looking for a better life, and he also didn't want to be taken in the army in Japan, so... since he was sixteen.

MA: So he came over all by himself when he was sixteen?

GM: By himself.

MA: Where did he arrive in the U.S.?

GM: I think he, I believe he arrived in Tacoma.

MA: What were some of the jobs he did when he first came to Tacoma? I mean, being sixteen...

GM: Well, as far as I know, he never worked on a farm, and he was always in a lumber camp or in sawmills. And sometime in downtown Tacoma, but I don't know the dates and things.

MA: Did he ever talk to you about that time and what it was like for him as a teenager being in Tacoma all by himself?

GM: Well, he didn't talk to me too much about it, but he did tell me the story where in the early days, see, used to go to the docks, and he used to pick the men as they came off the ships, and he'd hire 'em. He'd get five dollars a head for each man he picked up.

MA: Were these ships coming from Japan? Were these Japanese people?

GM: Uh-huh. Immigrants coming from Japan. This is in the early years, beginning of 1900. It was kind of a, I guess, a plush job.

MA: Kind of like a go-between with the...

GM: The white employers, yeah.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 2005 Densho. All Rights Reserved.