Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Eugene Tatsuru Kimura Interview
Narrator: Eugene Tatsuru Kimura
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: September 5, 2008
Densho ID: denshovh-keugene-01-0003

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TI: How about your mother? What was your mother's name?

EK: Masano, M-A-S-A-N-O.

TI: And her maiden name?

EK: Masano Kimura.

TI: No, before she was married, though.

EK: Her name was Kimura, Masano Kimura. Masano was the first name, and her family name was Kimura.

TI: Okay. Oh, so wait a minute, but your father was a Kimura, wasn't he?

EK: No, the father had a different name like Okamura or something like that. Since he's a yoshi --

TI: Oh, I got it, okay, I got it. So he took on the...

EK: The name of my...

TI: Mother's family.

EK: That's why I said that it may have affected a little bit of his manliness to give up his family, his own name.

TI: Okay. Yeah, I misunderstood. Sometimes, you know how some families, like, they have several sons, one of the sons, they sort of give to another family so that they... so I got confused with that one. Okay, I got that. Do you know what your mother's family did in Japan?

EK: Well, I think, if I'm not mistaken, I think she was better-educated than my father because she knew enough about the Japanese language and all its nuances, so that she was able to teach Japanese in Seattle later on. She also played the koto and knew about flower arrangement and so forth. So then she used to talk quite a bit about the family, what should I say, in Japan many years ago.

TI: And did she grow up in the same area as your father did?

EK: That I don't know. She was a "picture bride."

TI: Okay.

EK: Probably, probably.

TI: And so how, how did the two meet? You said "picture bride," so was this an arranged marriage in Japan with pictures?

EK: I cannot say for sure, but probably it was, because that was the custom in those days.

TI: And when she came to the United States, did your father meet her on the coast, or did she meet in Sheridan with your father?

EK: Here again, I don't know.

TI: Okay. And that's okay, I'm just curious to see how this all happened. How about their age difference? Were they about the same age?

EK: My mother was about two or three years older than my father.

TI: That's interesting. So she was a little bit older, more educated, and your father took her, her family's name.

EK: That's right. She was quite facile with words. My father, on the other hand, was very taciturn, so that fortunately, both of them were not talkative. Both of them were not mute, anyway.

TI: In terms of personality, let's talk about your father first. You said he was a little taciturn. What other traits would you, how would you describe your father besides being taciturn?

EK: Well, I think he's as you would say, the silent type. And I think that would be the most fitting description.

TI: And what, what were some things he would do, perhaps, to relax? With his friend George Nishi, when they got together --

EK: Oh, that I don't recall how they relaxed and so forth. But then there were several photographs that they took, you know. I think he, George Nishi and my father built the home in, where they're living, by where they were farming and so forth. Then they may have played cards, that I do not know.

TI: How about, I think of Wyoming as lots of outdoors. How about things like fishing, hunting, any of those kind of activities?

EK: No, I don't believe he did much fishing or hunting of that nature. I think they were, more time was taken with the, with the running of the farm and so forth.

TI: And your mother, how would you describe your mother?

EK: Oh, vocal. She was not shy of words, which probably led her to be always a good teacher, because of the fact that she was able to explain things.

<End Segment 3> - Copyright © 2008 Densho. All Rights Reserved.