Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Kajiko Hashisaki
Narrator: Kajiko Hashisaki
Interviewers: Brian Hashisaki (primary); Tom Ikeda (secondary)
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: March 26, 2007
Densho ID: denshovh-hkajiko-01-0001

<Begin Segment 1>

BH: This is an interview with Mary Jane Kinoshita, I'm Brian Hashisaki asking questions, and operating the camera, Tom Ikeda, at the Densho studios. So to begin, Mary Jane, where were you born?

KH: I was born in Seattle.

BH: And what was the name that was given to you at birth?

KH: Kajiko.

BH: Kajiko Kinoshita?

KH: Uh-huh.

BH: And the names of your mother and father were...

KH: My mother's name is Akino Kinoshita, and my father is Suyekichi Kinoshita.

BH: And where were your parents born, your father?

KH: My father was born in Ibusuki, Japan, and my mother was born in Kagoshima City, Kagoshima.

BH: And when did they come to the United States?

KH: That I don't remember, but it was... oh, early 1900s -- no, not early, late... early 1900s.

BH: And do you know why they decided to come to America?

KH: I know my father came over because he knew that he was not going to inherit anything from his family. Japanese had the primogeniture structure, and the eldest brother inherited, like the farm and the homes. And my father was supposed to be the last child, Suyekichi, but he said that several were born after him, and so he said that he knew that there was no chance of inheritance. And he, he must have studied some English when he was in Japan, 'cause he was willing to come over. There must have been a group of Kagoshima fellows that came over together. He landed in Seattle, and they stayed as a group and then eventually found jobs, hotels.

BH: And did your parents meet in Japan, or did they meet in the United States?

KH: After my father worked for several years, he felt that he had saved enough money to get married, so he wrote to Japan and asked someone to look for a wife for him. And the person that he wrote to was a friend of my mother's family, the Toyoda family, and the Toyoda family had at least six or seven girls, and my mother was the eldest. And so the go-between went to my mother's family and said that he has this request from a fellow who was in Seattle, looking for a wife, and would one of the Toyoda girls be willing to marry my father. And my mother said she would. My mother was the eldest, and my mother said that she would be willing to marry him. So my father, the go-between wrote back and said, "I found a woman that's willing to marry you," and so my father said, well, he wanted the information about her and then when arrangements were made, my father went to Japan and married my mother, and then he brought her back to the States.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 2007 Densho. All Rights Reserved.