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-01-0005

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TI: Let's talk about your mother now. So what was your mother's name and where was she born?

HH: My mother was also born in the same island of Oshima, Oshima-gun. And, but she was living on the other side of the island in a small village, and their family -- my mother's family -- had orchards, Japanese mandarin orange. And one of the industries that they had was that they would can those mandarin oranges that they were shipping to United States. So, but she was the oldest. My mother's name was Tsuta.

TI: And her maiden name? Tsuta...

HH: Okamoto. And anyway, she was the oldest of the fairly large, there was four brothers, and two other, my mother and two other females.

TI: Now, do you remember the village that she grew up in?

HH: Yes, she was living in Doi, D-O-I, Doi, on Oshima.

TI: Okay, good. And so they had the, the mikan orchards.

HH: Yes.

TI: Did your mother and father know each other, because they were on the same island growing up?

HH: I don't think so. I think Japanese system is that they have so-called nakodo, which is a... I can't think of the name now. It's a person that kind of works to get the two families together.

TI: Kind of like a matchmaker?

HH: Matchmaker, yes.

TI: So then at what point did they meet? I mean, how, at what, was your dad still in Japan, or was this after he had gone to the United States? When did they get connected?

HH: Just before, after my dad established himself in Tacoma and had the business going and all that, he was there by himself, he wasn't married yet, and so he decided to go back to Japan to get married. So I don't know, most likely it was matchmaking, matchmaker's way of getting together. I don't know if they knew each other, but maybe the family probably didn't know each other, even though it's not too far away.

TI: Okay. And what, what was your mother like? When you think of your mother, what kind of personality did she have?

HH: Well, being the oldest and my dad being the youngest, I think there was always a little feeling, I guess, that my dad was more or less not as mature maybe as my mother, even though my mother was younger.

TI: So it was like your, your mother took care of your father, even though he was older...

HH: I think so.

TI: ...your mother was used to it because she was the oldest in her family.

HH: Yes, I think so. This is the way I feel, that my mother was more, not domineering, but especially we were usually with my mother because Dad had to always be working. They used to work seven days in about, not just eight hours or whatever, they would work sixteen hours or whatever. [Laughs]

TI: So when you say your, your mom was perhaps more mature, took care of things, what would, can you recall an example of how that would happen? I mean, would it be that your mother would sort of organize things more than your father, or how would you, how would you describe that?

HH: Well, even though my mother was not, all her life she was not able to master the English language, just like any other so-called Issei and their spouses. Some of them came as "picture brides" and everything, so they didn't even know each other until they met off the ship in Tacoma. In those days, ships used to come in from Japan in Tacoma, because the consul office was there originally, and then moved to Seattle later. But I say that I think she was more with us children because my dad was hardly home until nighttime, because he used to stay in the drugstore until about ten o'clock at night. So we didn't hardly see each other, the children were not able to see him unless you'd go down to the shop or the store on Sundays. But even Sundays, he would work shorter hours, but he would always go down to open up his store. One of the reasons for this is that the farmers were in the nearby town of, this farming area in Puyallup or...

TI: Fife?

HH: Fife area, which is only about six miles or so in the valley, the Puyallup valley there. So it's just amazing, so it's hard for us to really, for the father to take care of us, although he was very, very good, and both my uncles were very good in English. But my mother was never able to master the...

<End Segment 5> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.