Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Gene Akutsu Interview II
Narrator: Gene Akutsu
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: April 17, 2008
Densho ID: denshovh-agene-03-0001

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TI: Okay, so today is Thursday, April 17, 2008, and we're doing a second interview with Gene Akutsu. The first interview was done over eleven, or about eleven years ago, on July 25, 1997, with Larry Hashima and Steve Fugita. And I'm not sure if you remember that, but that was about eleven years ago. And when I went back and, Gene, we talked, we felt that there were some gaps in the first interview, and so we thought this would be a great opportunity to revisit some of those things. And so I'm going to start off with just some basic stuff that wasn't covered in the first interview. The first one was, what date were you born? What's your birthdate?

GA: September -- [coughs] -- excuse me, September 23, 1925.

TI: Okay, and where were you born?

GA: Seattle.

TI: And do you remember where in Seattle?

GA: Yes. About a block away from the Vets Hall. There used to be a Japanese hospital on Eleventh between King and Jackson.

TI: Good, okay.

GA: Since then, it's been torn down, and they got into the, Acme Poultry took over the whole area, but then I was born there.

TI: And do you remember where your parents lived when you were born?

GA: When I was born, let me see, that was on Ninth between Fir and Spruce. That was the Japanese community, basically, they were the Baptist church group that was close to the church, and we (lived) amongst them.

TI: Got it, okay.

GA: The first year. Then we moved and wound up going down to Seventh and Yesler, and then after I was approximately a year old, we moved to the, a four-plex that was up the alley on, between Spruce and Alder, between Sixth and Seventh Avenue.

TI: Good job, good memory.

GA: And I was there 'til 1938, when they tore down the, all that area to make room for the project, the low-income project. And so I had to move up to another place up there on Tenth and Alder, and that's when, where we wound up going to, taken to Puyallup (Assembly Center).

TI: Okay.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 2008 Densho. All Rights Reserved.