Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Betty Fumiye Ito Interview
Narrator: Betty Fumiye Ito
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: April 5, 2006
Densho ID: denshovh-ibetty-01-0001

<Begin Segment 1>

TI: Okay, so today is April 5, 2006, and we're at the Densho studios. And on camera we have Dana Hoshide, and I'm Tom Ikeda, the interviewer. And today we have Betty Ito. And so, Betty, I'm just going to start from the beginning. So can you tell me where and when you were born?

BI: I was born in Seattle, Washington, in 1918.

TI: Okay, and what was the name given to you at birth?

BI: Fumiye.

TI: And so it's Fumiye...

BI: Sakaguchi.

TI: Sakaguchi.

BI: Uh-huh.

TI: And then can you tell me what your father's name was?

BI: Yotaro.

TI: And where in Japan did he come from?

BI: Kumamoto.

TI: Okay. And can you tell me, sort of, when he came to the United States and why he came?

BI: Well, I think he came in the late 1800s, and I'm sure he came thinking he'd make a fortune and go back to Japan and live comfortably, but it didn't work out that way. [Laughs]

TI: So do you know what kind of work he did when he came to the United States?

BI: I think he first worked on the railroad, and then after that, he was in Seattle, and he worked for the Seattle Bakery for a while. And I think Mother and he had a boarding house, and at one time, they had a little restaurant.

TI: And these were all in Seattle?

BI: Yes, uh-huh.

TI: And a restaurant. So you mentioned your, your mother. So how did your father and mother meet?

BI: I'm not sure, but I think it was a picture marriage. Probably the family knew each other in Japan, and arranged the marriage. That's my understanding.

TI: So your sense is that they probably didn't see each other for the first time until they met in the United States, and they were already sort of arranged to be married.

BI: I think that's the way it was, uh-huh.

TI: Okay, so what was your, your mother's name?

BI: Chima.

TI: And so...

BI: Last name was Murata.

TI: Murata?

BI: Uh-huh.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.