Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Sam Ogo Interview
Narrator: Sam Ogo
Interviewer: Megan Asaka
Location: Spokane, Washington
Date: April 25, 2006
Densho ID: denshovh-osam-01

<Begin Segment 1>

MA: Okay, so today is Tuesday, April 25, 2006, and we're here in Sam Ogo's house in Spokane, Washington. Dana Hoshide is the videographer today, and also in the room is Sam's wife Chiyo. So thank you so much for, for doing this interview, Sam. I wanted to ask you, when were you born?

SO: September 1, 1919.

MA: And where were you born?

SO: Millwood, Washington.

MA: Where were your parents from in Japan?

SO: Okayama-ken.

MA: And where's the first place they lived when they immigrated to the U.S.?

SO: My dad was here way before my mother, and I think he lived in Portland briefly. And when he got a job as a section foreman they used to call it, for the railroad company, he moved to Millwood. But I don't know exactly when he moved there. And, and my mother, I think, came several years later. So I don't even know exactly what year that was, either, but they didn't come together or anything like that.

MA: Do you know how they, how they met or how their marriage came --

SO: I think it was, the way I understood it, it was just more like -- they called it shashin kekkon, it's a, what is it? Picture bride, that's it.

MA: And what was, do you know what your father was doing in Portland at that time?

SO: No, I don't. I really don't.

MA: And so you said they ended up in Spokane because your father got a job with the railroad?

SO: No, he ended up in Millwood, then he wound up in Spokane when he got injured, I told you. Remember the truckload of logs fell on him? It just smashed his face to smithereens, they had to reconstruct his face and everything, then he gave it up.

MA: So let's talk a little bit more about Millwood. Where is this town located in relation to Spokane?

SO: It's about seven to eight miles northeast of Spokane.

MA: And what do you remember about your life in Millwood?

SO: Not very much, 'cause I was only five or six years old at that time, I don't remember too much. I know I, there's a big pond there, (and) a big paper mill there, and I know I used to play around that pond, but that's about all. There wasn't much to do, it was just a little, little town, not much to do anyway to begin with. That's about all.

MA: Do you have any memories of the house you lived in?

SO: (Yes), it was a boxcar. The railroad company gave all the employees, especially the section bosses, they provided the housing, and that was the housing: boxcars.

MA: What was the boxcar like on the inside?

SO: Well, it's fixed up like a, what little I remember, it was fixed up just like a home, but of course it wasn't. The light was very poor, all it had was oil lamps. We didn't have electricity or anything.

MA: What about in the winter? Was it very cold?

SO: I don't remember. I really don't remember, I was too young. But like I say, I think we moved into Spokane when I was about six years old, so a little -- no, seven, I think. I went to school there about one year, to the grade school.

MA: In Millwood?

SO: (Yes), in Millwood.

MA: Were there other Japanese families living in Millwood?

SO: Not that I know of. I don't remember any. They were mostly transient Caucasian workers.

MA: Caucasian workers?

SO: [Nods].

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

<Begin Segment 2>

MA: Can you talk a little bit more about your father's job on the railroad?

SO: Well, there isn't much to him. All he did was, I don't know exactly how many employees he was supervising. I would imagine maybe fifteen or twenty employees of the railroad, laying out new railroad sections, putting in new ties, general maintenance.

MA: And he was the Issei --

SO: He was, he was the boss, and that's why they called him the section boss, or section foreman.

MA: Do you remember who the other men were on, like, in his group? Were they other Isseis?

SO: No, they were all, the best, I think they were all Caucasians. I don't think there was, no Japanese in his group, at that time.

MA: Do you know, I guess, how he got this job for the... what was the railroad company?


MA: SP&S? Do you know how he initially got hooked up with that job?

SO: No, I don't. I don't know. All I know is -- [laughs] -- he got the job, but I don't know how he got it or who recommended him or anything like that.

MA: So you mentioned before that he got badly injured.

SO: Badly, very badly.

MA: So how did that actually occur?

SO: Well, evidently, there was a flat, you know what those flatbeds look like on the railroad, it was full of, not logs, they were like telephone poles, you know, they were that long, and they had a bunch of 'em on that and (someone) didn't tie it on there right, I guess, and it so happened the crew was working right next to, I mean, that (it) was parked right next to where the crew was working, and he was in the way when the whole thing came loose, and that's what fell on him. He just about lost his life then, actually.

MA: Do you have many memories of...

SO: No, that's all I remember, and I remember his face was, gone through it pretty, really bad, it's all out of shape, and they had to rebuild his face. That's all I remember.

MA: Did he receive any sort of disability pay from the railroad?

SO: I don't, I don't know about that either. All I know is shortly after that he gave it up, quit.

MA: And what were the effects of this injury for him?

SO: Well, it didn't bother him, actually, after he got well. He was able to function quite well.

MA: How long did it take for him to get fully recovered from this?

SO: Oh, that I can't remember either. I really don't know.

<End Segment 2> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 3>

MA: So you mentioned that you moved from Millwood to Spokane when you were about...

SO: Seven.

MA: years old. What did your, your father do after he moved to Spokane?

SO: Well, he bought the furnishings of the U.S. Hotel at that time, called the U.S. Hotel, and that's how he got into the hotel business. He didn't buy the building, now, we just, he just bought the furnishings.

MA: And where was this hotel located?

SO: On Main Avenue, it's on about... Division, First... I think it's on the 200 block of Main Avenue, that's all I remember.

MA: How did you feel moving from Millwood to Spokane? What was that transition like for you?

SO: I don't remember a thing, not a thing. [Laughs]

MA: I guess about the U.S. Hotel, who were the people that stayed there?

SO: Oh, like I told you over the phone there, mostly lumberjacks and transients, overnighters, things like that.

MA: Were there also long-term tenants as well?

SO: A few, few, uh-huh, that stayed with us, but very few.

MA: How was the relationship between the, the customers and then your parents?

SO: Very good, very good, no problem at all. Even during the war years, we didn't have any problems.

MA: What was the atmosphere like in the hotel?

SO: It was all right, I didn't mind it. Little cramped, but no, it wasn't too bad.

MA: And do you remember, like, how many rooms there were? Was it a pretty large hotel?

SO: Well, I can't remember the U.S. Hotel. (But) the second hotel that he had, I remember about, I think there was about fifty-five rooms, I think, but I can't remember how many -- I think U.S. Hotel was a little larger. I'm just guessing probably around sixty, sixty-five rooms, probably.

MA: And did your family live in the hotel?

SO: We all lived there, uh-huh, we had a room of our own.

MA: So the location of the hotel was pretty much, was it where the other Japanese-owned businesses were?

SO: Pretty much, yes. There was another hotel right across the street from us called the Palm Hotel, run by Japanese. There were, I imagine, oh, probably around twelve, fifteen hotel owners at that time, I imagine, 'cause most of the Japanese Isseis, and that's what they went into, either hotels or couple of hand laundries, you know, laundries, and a couple restaurants, but the majority of 'em ran hotels.

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

<Begin Segment 4>

MA: What was the ethnic make-up of this area that you lived in during that time? You said there was Japanese...

SO: Well, it was mixed. Oh, let's see. I don't believe there (were) as many blacks, I think, as there are now. (Yes), I don't think there (were) quite as many at that time, during those days.

MA: What about, like, Chinese families?

SO: There were not too many, there (were) a lot of Chinese restaurants, too -- not a lot, but there was a few. If it was restaurants, that's what the Chinese did mostly, they ran restaurants, and the Japanese ran hotels or hand-laundries. A couple, three restaurants, but very few. They were run by Chinese, mostly.

MA: Do your remember interacting with any Chinese kids?

SO: No, not Chinese. I had a good, real good friend, what was his name? Tucson, I think, was his name. He was a black kid, you know, I met him in school, and we became good friends.

MA: Do you remember going over to his house?

SO: No, I met him mostly at church. We used to play, I don't even know where he lived, actually. We used to meet at school and then go from school, we'd go to the stores or whatever, you know, played together.

MA: What sorts of things did you do when you played?

SO: Nothing much, just go around and visiting stores, mainly. [Laughs] Bat, baseball or something like that, played baseball. Not very much to do in those days.

MA: And so you met him at...

SO: At school.

MA: Was this grade school?

SO: Grade school, uh-huh.

MA: And which, which school was that?

SO: Well, now, I got a long story on that. I told you I went to Millwood one year.

MA: Right.

SO: Right, then I moved to Spokane, then I went to a school called Hawthorne School, and that burned down after my first year. [Laughs] I guess they saw me coming. It burned down.

MA: What happened?

SO: Well, they had a big fire and it just burned to the ground. So they transferred all the students to what they called the Lincoln School, and that's where I finished up my education here.

MA: Was Lincoln where most of the other Niseis went to school?

SO: I think the majority of 'em went to Lincoln School, and then Lewis & Clark, that's the high school. I think the majority of 'em.

MA: So then you met your, your friend at Hawthorne, right?

SO: No, I didn't have very many friends there, 'cause I wasn't (there) long enough to, I wasn't there long enough to actually make what you call real good friends, you know. I don't think I was there a year and it burned down. Burned to the ground. I don't know why, how it burned down or why it burned down. So they transferred us all to Lincoln School.

MA: What are your memories of Lincoln School?

SO: Lincoln School was all good, the teachers were all real nice. I didn't like the principal, she was real strict, I remember that. Mrs. Bradley. But other than that, it was a good school.

MA: What sorts of things did Mrs. Bradley do that made the students not like her?

SO: Oh, I don't know. I was in there so often -- [laughs] -- I don't know what I thought. But yeah, (she) gave me a whack on the fanny, and hit (the back of) your hand. Those days, they allowed it, the teachers to whack you on your fanny. I got quite a few of those, I don't know what I used to do. But the teachers were all very nice, good, good teachers, very good teachers.

MA: Were the teachers mostly Caucasian?

SO: All, all Caucasians.

MA: And then the students, it sounds like, some, some Niseis attended the school.

SO: Oh, yes. I think the majority of the Niseis went to Lincoln School, if I'm not mistaken. Then I think the majority of 'em went to Lewis & Clark High School. Not all, but majority of 'em, I guess.

<End Segment 4> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 5>

MA: And did you attend Japanese language school?

SO: Yes.

MA: What were your experiences like at the language school?

SO: The experience was good, the education was terrible.

MA: What do you mean by "terrible"?

SO: I didn't learn anything. I went there eight, eight years, got my diploma, went back to Japan like I told you, and because of my age, they put me in the fourth grade. [Laughs] And then they said that, "You don't even belong in the fourth grade, but we can't put you any lower because of your age," so they put me in the fourth grade.

MA: What sorts of things at the language school were lacking, did you think?

SO: Mainly it's writing.

MA: Writing the kanji?

SO: (Yes), first thing they make you do when you take a test over there is you gotta know your kanjis. Like I told you, I couldn't write the word "sakura." I can do it now, but I couldn't then, and that's what flunked me. He said, "You don't even belong in the fourth grade."

MA: Do you remember your, the teachers at the Japanese language school?

SO: I only had one, his name was Mr. Nozaki.

MA: What was he like?

SO: He was strict, disciplinarian, he was very strict, but he was a good teacher, I guess, considering. I didn't learn much from him, but he was a good teacher, well-liked. Very strict, though.

MA: Did he also whack the students?

SO: I got a few bangings from him. [Laughs] Yes, not, nothing to hurt me or anything, but enough that you felt it, (yes).

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

<Begin Segment 6>

MA: I wanted to ask you about your siblings. Can you name your siblings, I guess, their names and the order of their birth? So you, you were first born, right?

SO: (Yes), I'm the oldest. And then my brother is, yeah, my brother, Tom is his name, and Japanese name is Tsuguo, T-S-U-G-U-O, Tsuguo. And then Emiko, then Michie, M-I-C-H-I-E.

MA: And you said that, were all the siblings given both Japanese and American names?

SO: Uh-huh, yes. Well, well, (it) is shortened, I would say. I guess it is a little different. I mean, Michie, the American name was Michi, so it was just shortened a little bit. Emiko is, they still called her Emi, so they just took the "-ko" out. I don't know if that's a change or not.

MA: How did you choose "Sam"? Did you choose?

SO: No, my dad. My dad had it chosen, so I went along with it. [Laughs]

MA: And you said you were involved with the church. Was that the Methodist?

SO: Methodist, uh-huh, United Methodist Church.

MA: How did you become involved with that?

SO: Well, that was our main religion during those days, I mean. Even the Isseis were Methodist. They're the ones who started this Methodist Church, way back in 190-something, I think they said it was, yeah.

MA: So your parents, then, were Christian?

SO: Methodist. They were Christians, too.

<End Segment 6> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 7>

MA: Let's talk a little bit about your time in Japan. So how old were you when you went over there?

SO: How old was I? Let's see... Fourteen, I think I was about thirteen-and-a-half.

MA: Thirteen? Okay.

SO: Thirteen-and-a-half or something. I wasn't quite fourteen when I went back.

MA: And why did you, why did you go over there?

SO: Well, my folks wanted us to learn a little Japanese language, and they thought that was the best way to learn, so they took us all back, all four of us.

MA: So all four of your siblings?

SO: (Yes), but my mother took us back.

MA: How did you feel when you first heard that you were going to go over to Japan to maybe live for a couple years?

SO: Oh, actually, I didn't have any feelings at that time. It was kind of exciting in a way, I was excited in a way. 'Cause I'd never been back there, didn't know what it's like. But I never regretted it, I think it was good, a good thing.

MA: And who did you stay with when you went --

SO: My uncle, my mother's brother. Their name was Higuchi.

MA: So your mother then had a number of relatives still in Japan?

SO: Oh yes, they had quite a few. My grandmother was still living there, my uncle and aunt and, oh, there was quite a few relatives, I can't remember 'em all.

MA: I'm curious about the, you took a ship, right?

SO: Uh-huh.

MA: What was that journey like?

SO: Oh, you would ask me that. I got a good laugh from Mas last night. Said, "Don't you remember?" I said, "Remember what?" He said, "You know you were on the ship fourteen days?" "Yeah." "He said, "Lucky you remember that 'cause you were sick for fourteen days. Never got out of the bed," he said. He said, "You didn't get off of the bed" -- not the bed, the cot or whatever I was on -- said, "You were (seasick) for fourteen days, never drank, never ate." And I was dehydrated, and they had to give me water to, you know, so I could walk. When I landed, we reached Vancouver, B.C., that's when I first got up. [Laughs] He remembered all that, I forgot all of it.

MA: So you kind of blocked it out? You didn't, you don't remember?

SO: No, I didn't remember all that at all. I knew I was sick, but I didn't know for how long. He said, "You were sick for the whole fourteen days," he told me. So I guess he ought to know. [Laughs] He took care of me. Seasick, (yes).

<End Segment 7> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 8>

MA: So, and you said your Japanese was okay when you went over?

SO: To Japan?

MA: Yeah.

SO: No, it wasn't okay. I couldn't speak it well enough to pass and I couldn't even write it. I mean, the written exam, I just flunked that completely. So the eight years didn't do me much good, actually.

MA: So when you first went over to Japan, you had to take some sort of test to...

SO: Well, they give you a, they called it an entrance exam, I guess, here. Yeah, they give you a short exam, they gave you a chair and a paper and a pencil, and then the teacher will say, "Write the word 'boy,' or 'girl,' or name of a flower," whatever, and they would see, (to) see how much you (knew). Well, I didn't know (anything). So that's the reason I (was) put in such a low grade.

MA: How did the other students, I guess, treat you when you first came to school?

SO: Badly. Very badly.

MA: What sorts of things did they do?

SO: Well, they called you an old Yankee, you know, like the Americans called the Japanese here just the opposite. And then time was, and somebody'd come and razz you, and then finally (I was involved in) a big fight (as) I told you and (broke) somebody's arm, and (that) quieted 'em down. Then I got bawled out by my uncle when I got home. I'll never forget that.

MA: What, what did he say to you?

SO: Oh, he'd whack me good. He told me, "Don't you ever do that again." 'Cause I guess he was, he knew the principal of that school quite well. So I didn't get along too well for a while.

MA: So did they, did the students, I guess, know right away that you were American?

SO: They could tell, I think. Pretty much the way we talked, because I couldn't even pronounce some of the words correctly.

MA: How did it feel for you, being, I guess, a teenager, and being put into the fourth grade?

SO: Terrible. I won't ever forget that.

MA: What was your first day like when you walked in?

SO: Well, I was really ashamed, because on top of that, I had bad eyes, and I was the tallest, a foot taller then those kids there. And I was sitting in the very front row. I couldn't see from the back, 'cause there were sixty-three students in my class. I was in, because of my height and everything, they sat me, they didn't know I had bad eyes, and they put me way in the back. I couldn't see (anything), so they put me right up in the front (row), right next to the teacher's desk. So that's where I sat. [Laughs]

<End Segment 8> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 9>

MA: What are some of the differences that you remember, that stand out between going to school in Japan and going to school in the U.S.?

SO: It's a lot, quite a bit different. Over there, you'd learn. Over here, I didn't learn very much. I mean, if I got a "C," well, that (didn't) bother me. I don't think I ever got an "A." But over there, you don't do that. I mean, you do your best or else.

MA: Why do you think you did so well in Japan?

SO: Well, you had to, pretty much. My aunt and my uncle, they were pretty strict, too, so you learned. I mean, the teachers are, too. They don't give you any leeway over there like they do here. You learn or else, that's all. So you don't use the word "I can't." There's no such word. (Yes), I learned the hard way.

MA: Yeah, it sounds like there was just more, more discipline in the school system.

SO: Yeah, a lot more discipline. Even schools over here, you just walk in. Over there, they have assembly, our school anyway, the school I went to, from first grade on up, they have an assembly every morning, the (entire) six hundred students in the morning, you have an assembly, and then you go to your classes. You don't just walk in there whenever you feel like it. If you aren't there, you better have a good excuse.

MA: What subjects did you take?

SO: Well, like I said, I liked that abacus. That's what I, not majored, but I studied the most. I was getting pretty good at it.

MA: I see, so they actually, they offered courses on how to use the abacus?

SO: Well, you had to take (it), that was part of your math. I had about, oh, gosh, over here I don't know how many subjects you have in high school, but I had about, in junior high, my gosh, fifteen, sixteen subjects, maybe more than that. Because math, you (had) abacus, you had to take that. You don't take it all in one day, I mean, but they alternate. You might take it once or twice a week, and then you (had) geometry in the fifth grade -- no, fourth grade. Latter part of the fourth grade I had geometry, and had little bit of algebra, and then you had general, your general math, so there (were) four math classes. The math alone, got that many. You had to, you had to take it; it's required. But that isn't every day. You might have algebra (today), tomorrow you might have abacus, and then the following day you might geometry, and then the fourth day you might have your general math.

MA: And was there also like a Japanese language, like, reading and writing class?

SO: Oh, yeah, oh my gosh, I had four or five, I think, let's see. Yeah, four or five subjects in math alone, and then I even had, we had reading, writing, of course all your math, four or five math, and you had, oh, gosh, I had botany and agriculture. I can't remember 'em all, but I think there (were) around twelve or fifteen subjects we had to take.

MA: What did you do for fun, or on the weekends?

SO: You don't have much fun. You go to school six days a week, including Saturdays. Only day you had off (was) Sunday, and Sunday was my hardest day 'cause I had to help at home (because) my uncle had a farm, they were farmers. And you know how farmers are, you don't have off days.

MA: What are some things that you would do to help?

SO: Well, I had to, it was my chore go take care of the chicken coop, clean it out, and do whatever necessary. And then I had to walk the cow every morning before I went to school, those were my two main chores. Then studying was all done after dinner, so sometimes I was up 'til one, two o'clock in the morning for tests, you know, especially when you have tests.

MA: And what, did you get up really early then, in the morning?

SO: I had to, yeah, I had to get up by, be at school by eight o'clock, so we (didn't) get very much sleep sometimes.

MA: I see. Did your siblings also help out on the farm as well?

SO: Well, no, they didn't do too much. I think my brother helped some, but I don't think my sisters done very much at all as far as farming.

MA: But you were all living with your uncle?

SO: All in the same house, uh-huh.

<End Segment 9> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 10>

MA: How many years did you stay in Japan?

SO: That's another thing I was discussing with Mas yesterday. He said, "I think you was there a little over three years, wasn't ya?" And I think so, about three-and-a-half years.

MA: So by the time you were maybe sixteen, seventeen, you decided --

SO: Yeah, let's see. Oh, easiest way is if... thirteen... if I went backwards, fourteen, three, and I was, yeah, it must be three-and-a-half years, because from eighteen, we would have been drafted. See, I was seventeen-and-a-half when I left, that's another reason I told you I came over.

MA: I see. So the age for the draft in Japan was eighteen years old?

SO: Eighteen, yeah. It wasn't necessarily the draft, you couldn't leave the country after that. They kept you there, you couldn't leave. So if they have to draft you, they got some, you'd get drafted. That's the draft age, so after draft age, they called it ashidome, that means you can't leave the country, you're stuck.

MA: And so you --

SO: Before that, I took the last boat out and came back.

MA: And what, what about your brothers and sisters?

SO: He served. The girls didn't serve at all, but he did, he served in the navy.

MA: For the Japanese navy?

SO: For the Japanese navy, and he lost his citizenship, of course.

MA: So you left to avoid the Japanese draft, to avoid the draft, basically?

SO: Mainly, yeah. I hate to say (these) things, but that's the truth.

MA: And then your siblings stayed in Japan.

SO: They stayed --

MA: And they eventually stayed throughout the war?

SO: My brother, he was going to come, but he passed his exam for higher ed., so he went to college, and he said he'd like to finish it out before he came over. And then, of course the war started and he was stuck there and he got drafted, and that was it.

<End Segment 10> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 11>

MA: How was it returning to the U.S. after three years?

SO: Oh, it took me a few months to get readjusted, because like I told you, the first thing I couldn't do is the math, you know, I mean, over here. [Laughs] It's different; it's feet and inches, and over there is all, it's metric, so I had to adjust over. They say so many inches, and then I had to figure out what is an inch? That's two-and-a-half, what is it, about two-and-a-half centimeters, isn't it? Something like that. But other than that, I didn't have any problems.

MA: And when you came back, did you go directly back into high school?

SO: No, I came back and I helped my folks with the hotel for... when I came back I was seventeen, so twenty... what did I do there? I helped them at the hotel there for about four or five years, I think. I think I helped them in the hotel for four or five years, and then I was able to get a job as a farm hand, and I worked on the farm for a few years to earn some extra money. The truck gardening they called it, just vegetable farms run by Japanese.

MA: Was that common in Spokane?

SO: It was common here, yeah. There was quite a few truck gardeners, they called it truck gardening. And I was one of 'em eventually, that's what I wound up doing, I bought my own place. In fact, you (ran) over it today, that's where they built the freeway, right over my farm, part of the freeway when you come into town. That's (why) I lost my farm. Well, (the state) bought it from me, but I mean, I lost the farm.

MA: And you, you had mentioned that you got your high school equivalency, you took an exam?

SO: Yeah, I went through a... which I got that from American schools, (it) was through a correspondence course, I got it. And then after that, I was bored, so I took up automotive repair, went to night school here to Lewis & Clark for two-and-a-half years. And like I told you, I had a good chance of going down to California, one of the major automotive schools there, and then the war broke out and that put the kibosh on that. They wouldn't let us in, they were kicking everybody out of California, remember, World War II? So I lost my education there. Then after that, I went to another, took another correspondence course with DeVry Technical in Chicago, then I had to go over there for two weeks, or more than two weeks, I think, to do some bench work, then I got my diploma in electronics. I still haven't got (a) college education. [Laughs]

MA: Going back a little bit, why did you decide to do a correspondence course instead of going back to high school?

SO: Well, 'cause I wanted, I wanted to earn (extra spending money). I can't be working (and attending) school at the same time, I'm full-time. Correspondence, well, I took my time, studied when I could. It took a couple years, but that's better than four years.

MA: I see.

<End Segment 11> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 12>

MA: So you were at this time helping your parents at the hotel?

SO: Uh-huh, I was helping them, yeah.

MA: What sorts of things were you doing at the hotel?

SO: Oh, helping make beds, and vacuum clean the rooms. Mainly, my dad was getting pretty old, so I was helping him stoke the furnace. That was a chore. You had to shovel the whole, sometimes close to half a ton of coal into those coal hoppers, remember, to keep the heat going and things like that, (and) chop wood.

MA: And what was the name of this hotel that they owned during this time?

SO: Well, they went from U.S. Hotel, they went to Frederick Hotel, that was the second one.

MA: And was the clientele similar to the U.S.?

SO: It was the same, there were, quite a few of 'em moved with us when we moved from one to the other. The clientele, they just (came) with us. Then from there we got, the last one we had was called the Astor Hotel, that was just about a thirty-room, small hotel, that's the last. And that's where... well, I kind of forced my dad to retire more or less. They wanted him to renew a lease and I told him I wasn't going to renew the lease. So they said, "If you don't renew the lease, you can leave," so I left. I didn't want him to stay, eighty years old and shoveling coal, that wasn't very good. So I forced him out, bought him a little house and they retired.

MA: So with the Frederick Hotel, you said that the, a lot of the clients, clientele moved from the U.S. Hotel.

SO: Uh-huh.

MA: Why did they stay...

SO: Well, I don't know. They just get to know you, more or less. And most of 'em were lumberjacks, they worked down in Idaho, around, I don't know, where they have those (logs), you know, make, cutting. Most of his clientele was old-timers, I mean, they've known him for years. A lot of 'em stayed 'til they passed away.

<End Segment 12> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 13>

MA: Do you remember hearing for the first time about Pearl Harbor, about the bombing of Pearl Harbor?

SO: Uh-huh.

MA: What went through your mind when you heard this?

SO: Well, I didn't think too much of it myself, until they started talking about evacuation and this and that, then I got a little bit worried. But when that started, well, what really scared me was they had, I don't know if it was an actual rum-, I mean, actually going around or whether it was just a rumor, but somebody started spreading rumors that the FBIs were going to check up on all the Japanese people here in Spokane. I don't know how it started (or) who started it, and I thought, "Oh, my gosh," and I had, (as) I told you, I had all my valuable credentials from Japan and everything, and I took 'em all down (to) the basement and threw it in the furnace. So I haven't got nothing. I just have to tell people to take my word for it, can't prove anything. I burned it all up, (I) had a samurai sword there, and they said the FBI will throw you in jail if you have contraband, so (I) burned it, and of course, some of our clienteles, they had, they'd leave their packsack and things there and (suddenly) they die or something, and they'd leave guns, (clothing), and this and that. My dad (found) three or four pistols -- we didn't buy 'em, they just left them. And so I took them down to the (furnace), and burned them (but) nothing happened. It was just a rumor. Well, I guess some of the, there's a couple people here that were, they were thrown in camps. But other than that, I had no problems. No problems at all.

MA: But you definitely, from what you were saying, it seems like you definitely felt some sort of tension.

SO: Yeah, I did there for a while, yeah, especially when that rumor started going around. That's why in a way I wish I hadn't burned everything, now I can't prove anything.

MA: How much did you discuss these events, like the war, with your family or with your parents? Was there, did you discuss these events?

SO: Not, not very much. We didn't, because like I (said), we didn't have to evacuate or nothing. We ran the business same as usual, and nobody bothered us. FBI didn't bother us, no one bothered us. We just, I guess some of the people were, the outstanding so-called leaders of the Japanese community, a couple, three went to camps, but other than that, we never had any problems.

MA: Do you remember when they were taken away, those two?

SO: No, I don't remember, but it wasn't too long after Pearl Harbor, yeah, they rounded up, but I don't think there was too many. You should ask, I think Mas would have known, probably, more about that than I would. But I don't think there were too many, maybe two or three. No more than four, I don't think. But no, like I say, we didn't have any problems. We went about and done our own thing, and nobody bothered us.

MA: Going back a little bit, so you said there was this rumor that the FBI was going to come and take you away. Was there also similar feelings about being evacuated? Was there a sense that, oh, in Spokane we're gonna be taken away?

SO: No, because they said that they were sending people to Spokane. See, this was Zone C, they're evacuating Zone A and B, that's the coast, so that's the reason we didn't worry too much, 'cause I knew we didn't have to leave. They were coming, people were coming here from the coast.

MA: But people were, how aware were they of what was going on with the camps and everything like that?

SO: Oh, I don't know. It's... I don't know how to describe that.

MA: Or how -- did you have a lot of knowledge about what was going on with the evacuation, with the camps themselves?

SO: Only what we read in the, read in the papers, you know. The headlines, the West Coast evacuated, all Japanese, yeah. And so we went by mainly what was in the papers.

<End Segment 13> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 14>

MA: You said that a lot of the Japanese Americans started coming over and settling in Spokane.

SO: (Yes).

MA: How was that? I mean, what was the relationship like between those two groups?

SO: Fine, we didn't (have any) problems. In fact, I made (many new) friends with... I was talking to Mas, we were talking about that last, yesterday when I was over there. He said, I asked him, "By the way, how many evacuees were here during the war? How much did the Japanese population grow here during the war?" He said, "Gosh, I'm not sure," he says, "it could have been up as high as five thousand," but that's a guess. I really don't know what -- I know there's quite a few, and quite a few of 'em are still living here, as far as that goes. But yeah, the population here was really, it (increased) all of a sudden after the war. I imagine there was between four and five thousand, just guessing.

MA: What were some effects of that sort of increase in population of the Nisei or Japanese population?

SO: I don't know. I made a lot of new friends, I didn't have any problem with them, yeah. In fact, I helped a couple people get out of camp by offering them a job.

MA: Oh, how did that work?

SO: Well, as long as I could, you could prove that they'd be self-supporting, and they weren't of bad character, see, they were letting them out. (...)

MA: Did, did they contact you, or did you contact the camp authorities? How did that connection...

SO: Well, my mother, I think she went to a couple camps as a visitor, with a visitors' permit, and she ran into a couple, three families there that wanted out, so we decided to help them get out.

MA: Why did your mother initially decide to visit the camps?

SO: Oh, just wanted to see what it was like, I guess. She had a chance to go down there. I think she went to the Minidoka, is the one she went to. But I can't remember, I'm trying to think of the names of the people. There's two or three families I know she helped, came out.

MA: Did she talk much about her, what she saw in the camps with you?

SO: No, no. Other than that, said there's a lot of people there, that's all she used to say.

MA: I see. So your mother visited the camp, and then made contact with a few families.

SO: Yeah, I guess they made friends during their visit there, and then they wrote to her and wanted to know if they could help out, so she said, "Yes," so we got 'em out. I can't remember the name, there's two or three families I used to know. But we did help a couple, three families.

MA: What did they do when they came over from --

SO: Like I say, we got 'em out. [Laughs] (...)

MA: I see. So it wasn't, like, explicitly sort of, like... it's not like you set up something with the camp administration.

SO: No, no, no, nothing like that.

<End Segment 14> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 15>

MA: You'd mentioned that your brother was in the Japanese navy.

SO: Uh-huh. I asked my sister about that, too, and she said she didn't know too much about him either, living, being over there all that time. And I said, "What's the matter with you?" Said, "How do you expect me to know?" I was bawling her out the other day. Well, all she knows is he graduated from college, and he took some kind of a course or whatever, his specialty was in communications. So she thinks that's what he was in, in the communications department, and after the war, that's why he was sent all over the world. He'd been over to, in the Middle East, setting up new telephone exchanges, that's what he'd done for a living.

MA: But during the war, he wasn't like a, in combat?

SO: No, he wasn't in combat, she knows that. But he, she said, she told me that she thought he was in communications, because he, telephone, radio, telephone, things like that. 'Cause he's been over to Ceylon, you know, and places like that, setting up new telephone exchanges.

MA: Were you able to communicate with him at all?

SO: No, not until (he met), he made a good friend with this GI, and he took care of everything, he was kind of a go-between between him and us over here.

MA: So your brother met an American...

SO: Over there, uh-huh.

MA: ...soldier.

SO: Soldier, yeah. He was from Spokane at that time, and said that, so we sent, we used to send packages and things, everything through him. He was enjoying himself during the war, he didn't have any difficulty.

MA: And what about your sisters?

SO: Well, she got married, and they, they, I think... yeah, her husband died.

MA: During the war?

SO: No... oh, how old was he? Must be about, about fifteen, twenty years ago, I guess. They have a small farm they live in. That's all they done.

<End Segment 15> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 16>

MA: Did you ever consider enlisting during World War II?

SO: Here?

MA: Yeah.

SO: Yes, I told you Spady Koyama? Yeah, he told me, "We're short on interpreters," and he says, "why don't you enlist?" So I went down, took an exam, I flunked it. They gave me a 4-F, couldn't make it.

MA: Was this a physical?

SO: (Yes).

MA: A physical exam?

SO: Physical, yeah. And then I went back ninety days later, they called me again. [Laughs] Flunked it again, and then they called me the third time and I flunked it again, then some major or some, I don't know what his rank was, but he shook his finger at me and said, "I don't want to ever see you in this hall again." Says, "You're done," and gave me a big 4-F and that was it, they wouldn't accept me. I couldn't pass my physical, 4-F.

MA: Is that what it means?

SO: Yeah, well, 4-F (classification means unfit for service).

MA: Why do you think you...

SO: Well, at that time I had ulcers, and the first time I was too small. You know, because the (standards were) quite high when they first started recruiting, and then they lowered the standards little by little. You had to be five feet, I think, first, was 5'5" or 4" or something like that, you had to weigh so much, and this and that. And I didn't have the height, I didn't have the weight, and then about that time I (had) ulcers and something else wrong besides ulcers. Anyway, I (didn't) pass it, so I told Spady, "I'm sorry," I said, "I tried, but (didn't) make it."

MA: How did you feel after sort of this rejection?

SO: Well, just had to take it, I guess. I mean, there wasn't much I could do with it, do about it. I just went about my way, kept on farming. They said, "You're more valuable to us right where you're at," so he says, "Forget the army," that's what the guy told me the last time I went there. I don't know, he had stripes, so he must have been a major or something, quite a ways up there. Yeah, he got mad and said, "You back again?" I said, "Well, they told me to come, so here I am." 'Cause if I didn't report, they'd come after me. So I had no choice, but I didn't pass.

MA: I see. But then since you were doing farming, they said you're more valuable as an agricultural...

SO: Yeah, agriculture, so they gave me an exemption on that, too. So Spady was kind of disappointed, but I tried, anyway. And I know I could, I could have done it, too... General MacArthur.

<End Segment 16> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 17>

MA: I wanted to talk a little bit about your farm. So you said that when the war broke out, you had plans to go to California for automotive school.

SO: Uh-huh.

MA: But you couldn't do that, that was closed to you.

SO: I couldn't, no, 'cause they were evacuating people.

MA: So then when you, is that when you decided to go into farming?

SO: No, I was farming already. I was still farming already, but I wanted (a) change, you know, into something (with a little more future.) (The teacher) told me I was, came out, came in first out of the class, the automotive class, and the teacher, I guess, (he) was really impressed with what I'd done. I overhauled a airplane engine, for one thing. I mean, yeah, first thing, said, "My goodness," he wrote out a... what do you call 'em? A recommendation (to the school, but) then the war broke out, that was it. So that just about killed my first ambition.

MA: Did you think about going back to automotive school after the war ended?

SO: No, after that, then I kept on farming, and then like I say, I took (a course in) electronics, and I (received) my diploma, and they gave me a list of places where I could apply for employment. And the best one I could find was (in) Texas, (but) who in the heck wants to go to Texas? So I didn't go.

MA: Did you run this farm yourself?

SO: Well, my folks helped me. We had the hotel and the farm at that time, see, so we (did) both.

MA: Were you living on the farm?

SO: No, I lived in town. I never lived on the farm. [Laughs] I just had the land, well, there was a house on there, but nobody lived there, I just used it for storage.

MA: How did you, did you have many employees on the farm, then? How did it work --

SO: No, it's just, I only had five acres, but you know, when you raise carrots and beets, five acres is quite a bit. I didn't have, well, my folks helped me, and I'd help 'em, we kind of switched around, you know. And let's see... I had, oh, sometimes I had a couple, couple helpers, I guess, I'd hire for the week or day or whatever time I needed 'em for. No one steady.

MA: And then you'd harvest the, the produce and then sell it?

SO: Yeah, I'd bring it to (the) wholesale, they used to call, the one called -- I don't know if they're in business now or not, but Pacific Fruit & Produce Company. I used to take all my produce down there.

MA: The area that you farmed in, were there also other Nisei farmers around?

SO: There was, let's see, myself and my cousin was there, that had a farm there, (Hitomis), and what is that other... there (were) four of us in my area, there was four of us. And then down in the, I call it the hold, it's down, you're right on top of the mountain, did you see that scenery down below?

MA: Uh-huh.

SO: (Many) of the Japanese farms were, down in, (the) Hangman Creek (area). That's where most of 'em were, down there. There was practically all Japanese farms down there. No longer, though, they're building, there aren't too many left. They're building condos and (single family units). That's where most of 'em were.

MA: What was the majority of, was it mostly produce?

SO: Produce, all produce. All produce. Yeah, anything from a radish on up, you name it, as long as it was green, we raised it.

MA: And were there also maybe like Caucasian farmers around as well, or was it just mainly...

SO: There, no, Caucasians didn't do that kind of farming, not around here, they were all big wheat farmers and things like that. They had thousands of acres, you know. Ours (were) just little dinky (farms) -- I guess the biggest one around would probably be, oh, if they had eighteen or twenty acres, I'd say that was an awful large farm, truck farm.

MA: So why did, why was there this separation between the, the Caucasian farmers who had so much?

SO: Well, most of the Caucasian farmers around here are grain, grain farmers, they raised wheat. And they don't like the type of farming that we (did). They like, they want to run those big combines, you know. So there weren't any Caucasian truck farmers around here that I know. They were all Japanese.


MA: Okay, well, we're back, and we've been talking about your farming business. And I wanted to ask you a little bit about truck farming. Why was it called that? Why was it called "truck farming"?

SO: I don't know. (Why), they called it "truck gardening," I don't know, that's what we hauled the produce with, I guess. I don't know the reason for it, but they all called it truck farming.

MA: And how long did you farm?

SO: I farmed for about nineteen or twenty years, before the state, not took, but purchased the land for the freeway construction. That's how I lost it.

MA: Oh, I see. So the state came and bought up all the land.

SO: Yeah, they bought all of us out there. And like I (said), you, I betcha you (drove) right over (what) used to be my land.

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

<Begin Segment 18>

MA: And I wanted to ask you about your wife. How did you meet your wife, Chiyo?

SO: In the bowing alley. See, during the war years, our recreation facilities were limited in a way, 'cause we couldn't just travel, now I want to go to Seattle, or I want to go, you couldn't do that. So most of it was usually at a bowling alley or roller rink, those were the two main (pastimes), or if you, if you were entertaining privately, well, you'd go to your friend's home and play pinochle, things like that. That's where I met her, in a bowling alley.

MA: Was it like big groups of people would go together?

SO: Yeah, there was, I think there was a, if I'm not mistaken, there was about six girls in her group, and I think equal number of boys when we went, yeah, that's how we met. Five or six of us.

MA: Did you talk to her when you saw her? How did that happen?

SO: More or less, uh-huh. We kind of divided up, and I talked to her and my other friends talked to somebody. Most of 'em got married to the same girls, too.

MA: And, now, your wife was actually born in Seattle, right?

SO: Seattle, uh-huh. She went to Seattle, and I think she said she went to, what, Bailey Gatzert school or whatever --

MA: Bailey Gatzert?

SO: Yeah.

MA: Was she one of those people that moved to Spokane during the "voluntary evacuation"?

SO: Yes, yes, rather than going to camp, they voluntarily moved over here. I think they moved to a place north of Spokane, that'd be that way, north, northeast of Spokane. I forgot what they called that area, it was some little farm, hakujin farm, they moved there for a while. What was the name of that area? Now, I can't even remember. That's where she lived for a while.

MA: So you then met during the war, right, during the war years?

SO: Uh-huh.

MA: What did the two of you do for fun, like for a date, for example?

SO: Well, like I say, you either roller-rinked or you bowled. [Laughs] And if she wasn't with me, I'm out playing pinochle. I was a pinochle fiend, so that's where we made our rounds. Play pinochle here, and the next day you'd play pinochle over there, and the next day you'd play pinochle at somebody else's house. And once in a while poker, but I didn't know anything about poker. I lost every time I played, anyways.

MA: And when did you get married?

SO: I knew you were going to ask me that.

MA: Well, was it kind of during the war or after?

SO: Oh, no, it's, let's see. Sixty-one years ago, what would that be? What year would that be... is it sixty-two?

MA: '40-, sixty-two years ago? '44? 1944, 1945? It's okay. It's okay.

SO: It's, it's 194-, let's see, the war broke out in 1941, '42, '43, I think it's 1943. 1943, I think.

MA: 1943?

<End Segment 18> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 19>

MA: What did you end up doing after your farm was sold to the state?

SO: Then I worked in a gas station, an automotive repair shop for, off and on for about fifteen years. Yeah, about fifteen years. Then I worked for a retail firm there, it was one of the elite department stores in Spokane. I worked there for twenty years and retired.

MA: What did you do at this department store?

SO: I had no title, but I had a lot of responsibilities. But actually, I guess I was... they called me everything under the sun. Receiving room manager, I guess would be closest thing. But that wasn't all, and I had to do everything.

MA: Were most of the other people that you worked with, were they Caucasians?

SO: They were all hakujins.

MA: What was that like?

SO: Oh, I had no problems, I had no problems. I treated all of 'em -- the worst problem I had was trying to keep about sixty-eight or seventy women happy, that was the biggest problem. You know, you can't show... "Oh, I'll do this for you, but you do your own," you couldn't do that. I mean, if somebody had to do something, you had to do it equally, and that was the hardest part, trying to keep everybody happy. I did, though, I guess. I'll show you something when you get through here, I got it down there, you could look at it. But I enjoyed it.

MA: So it sounds like, then, from what you had said about during the war with your, your father's hotel and the customers were very nice, and then your experiences in the retail business...

SO: Nice, no problems.

MA: It seems like you've had positive experiences with the...

SO: Uh-huh, all positive. I've never had any negative experience.

MA: Did you ever witness any sort of discrimination?

SO: Well, I had one bad one, just during, right after the war started. A friend of mine said, "Let's go out for a cup of coffee," and I never, usually made my own coffee, but he wanted to go out, so I said, "Okay, let's go." So we went to a... what was the name of it, I can't even think of the name of the restaurant, it's a long, (just) a small restaurant. We went in there, minding our own business, we ordered our coffee, and (sat) in the booth there and sipping our coffee, here comes a couple sailors. And (they) said something, I don't know what exactly (they) said, but (they) said something to this fellow I was with. And he said, and then the last thing I heard (was), "Well, let's go outside." Went out, he had both of 'em flat on the darn cement. [Laughs] He was an amateur boxer, you know, so he knocked 'em out. I guess (they) said, said something bad or something, I don't know. He said, "You stay here, don't come outside, now." So I stayed in there and sipped my coffee, and he (came) in a couple minutes later. "What happened?" (I asked). "Oh," he said, "I took care of it." [Laughs] That was all. And (I) looked out the window there, flat on the sidewalk (were) two sailors. That was the thing, that's the only thing I remember that I didn't, you know, kind of felt bad. I had nothing to do with it, I was just a witness -- I wasn't even a witness, I didn't even see it. Other than that, no problem.

MA: And this was, sorry, this was your friend who was the amateur boxer?

SO: Good friend, yeah, he was, he was Spady Koyama's older brother, Jack. He was a good friend of mine, and I used to pal around with him all the time. That's the only bad experience I had, if you want to call it bad.

MA: What about during the war when, what were the interactions like with the Chinese?

SO: No problem. I never had any problem, anyway, but... and Chinese, hakujins, blacks, it didn't make any difference. We got along real well. I never had any run-ins with anyone of any nationality. Maybe I was lucky, I don't know, but I didn't have any problems.

MA: What about the shops and restaurants? Were you able to, were they sort of segregated at all during the war? Like, were Japanese allowed?

SO: I don't think so, I don't think so. We ate pretty much where we wanted to eat. Well, you know, the funny part of it is I think the one company that sort of segregated, had segregation was the store that I worked for. That was just like Macy's, it was a store like that. And I heard that -- I never ate there before, but they had a restaurant on the sixth or seventh floor, and I guess some people went up there to eat and they wouldn't serve them or something like that. Now, that's what I heard, but I don't know.

MA: These are Niseis that went?

SO: Yes. But as far as going in there and shopping and everything, I guess (they) didn't have any problems. Yeah, they said they wouldn't serve 'em or something like that. Now, there again, I can't verify that, because that's just what I heard, so it may not even be the truth. 'Cause that's the company I worked for for twenty years, and I was treated more than fair.

<End Segment 19> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 20>

MA: What about Spokane today? How have you, what are some major changes that you've noticed? I mean, you've lived here for many years.

SO: Well, it's all for the worse, population growth. Yeah, it was just a real livable town years ago. You didn't have to worry about, oh, going around that corner and getting into wrecks, or somebody holding you up. I think what I hate the most is the growth.

MA: The population growth?

SO: Population growth, yeah. That's ruining the country, I mean, the city.

MA: What about with the Japanese American community in Spokane? What sort of things have you noticed, the changes...

SO: No, we're all doing pretty much the same old thing that we used to do, I guess. Like I say, we, at least in my part, I've never had any hardships of any sort.

MA: What do you see is the future of the community in Spokane, Japanese American?

SO: Oh, there isn't going to be any. Because we were just, I was talking to Mas yesterday, we were talking about the original Spokanites, there's only thirteen of us left in Spokane, including myself and Mas, that's all. I mean, that's depleted us, that's it. And our church is mostly hakujin now, too. Well, that's, can't be helped. I think there (were) thirteen, yeah, thirteen I counted. Went through the phone book and counted 'em, there's thirteen of us left. Yep, then all the so-called kids like ours, Sanseis, (after graduation, looking for jobs were unsuccessful because) they don't have any good manufacturing jobs and things like that (here in Spokane), so they all leave town. That's why very few of us here have kids here. They're all scattered throughout the country, wherever the jobs are. So you can't help it. When you (graduate with a degree) you have to go where the jobs are. That's why (ours are) scattered all over, nobody here hardly.

MA: Do you still talk with some friends that you had, like, childhood friends?

SO: Well, what few, there aren't very many left. All my close friends are just, we were talking about it last night, I haven't got any what you call close. All my close friends are, they've died. Every time I read, or open the paper, that's the first thing I look at, the dying, obituaries. Yeah, I don't have what you'd call a close friend now, other than relatives, but they're not friends. Well, they're friends, but...

MA: So can you tell me about your children? How many kids did you have?

SO: Well, we had, like I say, we had one daughter and two sons. And the daughter died (as) I told you, and my youngest son, he lives, resides here in the northeast part of Spokane, and he, he looks after us, does all the lawn work and repairs, all the repairs and everything. He looks after, he's about the only one we have here, the rest are all scattered in Oregon.

MA: And your other son lives in...

SO: In, in Salem. And that's the only two we have, the one here and one over there. Of course, I've got my granddaughters, grandkids, they all live in Oregon, too, so I have no one here, other than the telephone. [Laughs] It's all we can do, is just talk over the phone.

<End Segment 20> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 21>

MA: Are there any lessons or sort of, I guess, values that you remember from the Issei generation, or learning from your parents or their generation, like, that you sort of kept with you?

SO: Well, main thing, you learned (was) discipline. And I still keep that, well, that's what I kept, I guess, mainly. I hope I raised the kids right. Seem to be doing all right, so I guess we did.

MA: So you learned this discipline from your parents?

SO: Mainly, yeah. Yeah, they were quite strict, but not like Japan, but they were strict. They were strict in a nice way, they told you what they thought you should do and things like that, but not like Japan.

MA: What, what is something that you want people to learn from your story, I guess, when they hear this, listen to your interview, what's one thing that you want them to sort of take away with them after they...

SO: Well, I'd like to see 'em just continue with the tradition that we have built. Guess that would be about the only thing.

MA: What traditions do you mean?

SO: Well, follow the straight and narrow, main thing. I mean, don't get involved in all the crazy things that's going around now. Thank goodness we haven't got one kid that's that way, I'm thankful. That's about the main thing, I guess. Follow the way of the Isseis.

MA: Great. Well, is there anything else you'd like to say?

SO: I don't know. What else you want to know? [Laughs]

MA: Well, we can end here. So thank you very much for doing this interview. It's been great.

SO: You're welcome.

<End Segment 21> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.