Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Kay Aiko Abe Interview
Narrator: Kay Aiko Abe
Interviewer: Shin Yu Pai, Tom Ikeda
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: December 2, 2008
Densho ID: denshovh-akay-01-0001

<Begin Segment 1>

SP: Today is Tuesday, December the 2nd, 2008. We're here in the Densho offices with Kay Abe. My name is Shin Yu Pai, I'm the primary interviewer, and Tom Ikeda is here with us as a secondary interviewer. And Brian...

BH: Hashisaki.

SP: Hashisaki is our cameraperson today. So welcome, Kay. So I'd just like to begin by asking you some basic questions about your early life. Can you please tell us when and where you were born?

KA: I was born in Selleck, Washington, May the 9th, 1927.

SP: Okay.

KA: So I'm an old lady. [Laughs]

SP: Now, were you born in a hospital?

KA: No, at home.

SP: At home. With the assistance of a midwife?

KA: No, they had a doctor in Selleck, but sometimes they were not available. But I think they would come. I'm not positive whether my mother had a doctor there or not.

SP: To assist with the birth? Okay. Now, what was your name, your given name at birth? Was it Kay?

KA: Uh-huh, Aiko Yoshihara.

SP: Aiko Yoshihara, okay. And where are you in the birth order of your siblings?

KA: I'm the second oldest...

SP: Second oldest.

KA: ...of eight.

SP: Okay. So there's one above you, a brother...

KA: Yeah, uh-huh.

SP: ...or sister? Okay. And then you have six other siblings.

KA: Six other.

SP: Can you tell me the years that they were born, the age differences?

KA: Yes. We were all two years apart until my brother George. Let's see, now. He was born... I was born in '27, '29... he was born in '33. That's when my mother became ill and was hospitalized. And after that, she didn't have any children for six years. And Florence, my youngest sister, she was born in 1939. And then two others followed, one in the Portland Assembly Center, 1942, and my youngest brother, John, was born in Minidoka, 1944.

SP: Now, your oldest brother, his name is...

KA: Well, his Japanese name is Yukio, but he goes by Bob.

SP: Okay. And is he the one that wrote Okagesamade?

KA: No, it was Takeshi.

SP: Takeshi.

KA: Uh-huh. He was the first Japanese American to be accepted at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis.

SP: Okay.

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