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-01-0003

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TI: Now, so tell me a little bit about your father's family. Did he have brothers, and what kind of work or, yeah, business did your father's family have?

HH: My father was the youngest of a fairly large family in that there were eight siblings, I guess you'd call it. Six were male and two female, or my father was the youngest of the six of eight in the family.

TI: So was it, so there were six males, and of the boys, did any of the other, or any of the siblings come to the United States to also work to raise money?

HH: Yes. They, I know for sure it was at least three, three with the youngest, younger ones, and my dad was the youngest. And then there was two, my two aunts in between, and then Uncle Shokichi Hoshide who was the fourth up the, from my dad, and then another uncle after, Seijiro. And I understand that there was another one, but I'm not really sure because I... but at one time I thought that I heard somewhere that there were four came, and only two remained here: my uncle Shokichi and my dad.

TI: Okay, so four of the sons came to the United States to work, and of the four, two stayed in the United States for, to live. I'm curious, was it common for families to send so many of their sons to the United States to work?

HH: Well, it was more or less under the Japanese system of inheritance and things like that, the family, there were so many, and so many male sons that it's very hard to have the, well, unless you had like some kind of industry or mostly farming. In Yamaguchi-ken it was more farming area, not much industry. So, and this is, one of the reasons why was that the family had a shipping kind of a business, and that used to carry, haul coal from Yamaguchi-ken or Agenosho to Osaka on the Inland Sea, and it was shipwrecked. And the main reason was that they needed to build another ship, and this was probably the main reason. I don't know how many other families had that many sons coming over, but this was so that they could have... and I can't remember --

TI: So let me, let me sort of make sure I understand this. So your father's family, with the eight siblings, your grandfather had a business where they had ships that would get coal from the local area and bring it up to, I believe, like Kobe you said?

HH: Osaka.

TI: Osaka. And then that ship in a storm was sunk, and so they needed to raise money to replace it. Because if, because I would imagine if that ship were still going, your grandfather would need his sons to help run that business?

HH: Yes.

TI: Without that business, they, they didn't have work to do.

HH: Yes.

TI: Okay, good. Now, it's common when you have so many boys, I've interviewed other people where sometimes a family will let one of the sons be adopted by another family because they have so many boys, and then there might be another family that doesn't have a son. Did that happen in this family also?

HH: Yes, it's very, very common in Japanese system of inheritance, so the families that do not have a son would resort to adoption system. So not only my father's family, one Hadano, he was adopted by a family in Kyoto. And in my mother's family, there was also, one of my uncles was adopted by a Yamamoto family.

TI: Yeah, I always find that interesting that they do that. So going back to your father, so in 1906, he came to Seattle, he was the youngest. So there were, was there any of your uncles or any of his brothers in Seattle at that same time?

HH: Yes, they all came to Seattle, but I don't know whether they came all together or most likely, my, Shokichi, I think, he is the one that came first. And then probably others, but I don't know for sure what, if they all came together.

<End Segment 3> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.