Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Hideo Hoshide Interview I
Narrator: Hideo Hoshide
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: January 26 & 27, 2006
Densho ID: denshovh-hhideo-01-0017

<Begin Segment 17>

TI: So let's go, so you graduated from Lincoln High School in 1936.

HH: Yes.

TI: And then what did you do after you graduated from...

HH: Well, before that, about a year or so before, we were able to go to Alaska to work in the salmon cannery. And so they had a crew, it was a contract-type, and so Seattle company, Japanese company, a contractor wanted to pick up a crew from Tacoma. And so I was able to go to Alaska, which was mostly, all the time we went from Tacoma to Ketchikan.

TI: So describe the crew that went from Tacoma. How old were the crew members and how large a group was it?

HH: Well, it was a pretty big, I think about thirty or so. But they had the two oldest ones that were going were more or less like our, oversee us, how to behave and everything else.

TI: When you say the two oldest, I mean, how old were they?

HH: Oh, they were much older than us. They were, I would say they were at least probably twenty-one or so.

TI: So maybe college students?

HH: No, this was from the community, so they recruited. And so I was one of the younger ones.

TI: And how old, so this was when you were still in high school, so you were, like, sixteen, seventeen years old?

HH: Yes. And I was able to go because my brother was going, too.

TI: Did your parents worry about you, about going all the way to Alaska?

HH: No, I don't think so. We got blessings to go join, because they knew that there's two older persons going to be more or less in charge of us.

TI: And so how did you feel? Was it kind of like an adventure, going to Alaska to work up there?

HH: Oh, yes. Well, then also, it was opportunity for us to get up during the summer, because before that, we'd only go to farms and berry picking or such like that.

TI: So by going to the, to the Alaskan canneries, you could make a lot more money than you could by...

HH: Yes. A lot more money in those days meant that we were able to, Southeast Asia, I mean, Southeast Alaska was the last area for salmon harvesting. Not way up north in Anchorage and such, Nome. So it worked okay during the summer, and that's where I was when, during the summers.

TI: And so what kind of work did you do in the canneries?

HH: I did mostly warehouse work, label, label machines for the cans that, put the labels on. And so I had a crew to take care of, to help me make the, label the cans. And then later on, I started working in the line for canning, butchers and various jobs that they have.

TI: So you'd work all summer, you'd come back to Tacoma. I'm curious, with the money that you made during the summer, was that going to be your money, or was that more the family's money? I mean, what did you do with the money?

HH: Yes, everything went to the family.

TI: So this was a way to help out the family and to do this. Okay.

<End Segment 17> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.