Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Satoru Ichikawa Interview
Narrator: Satoru Ichikawa
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: April 20, 2009
Densho ID: denshovh-isatoru-01-0001

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TI: Okay, so today is April 20, 2009. We're in Seattle, Washington, in the Densho offices, and this morning we have Satoru Ichikawa. I'm doing the interview, my name is Tom Ikeda, and on camera we have Dana Hoshide. And so, Sat, it's so good to have you here. So, Sat, I'm going to start from the very beginning. Can you tell me when and where you were born?

SI: Yes, I was born in Fresno, California, on November 2, 1929.

TI: And what was the full name given to you at birth?

SI: My full name is Satoru Ichikawa.

TI: How about a middle name, was there a middle name?

SI: I don't have a middle name.

TI: The name Satoru, was that, do you know why that was given to you?

SI: I believe it has something to do with my father being a Buddhist minister, and he wanted to give me a name that means, "Satoru," which means "to become enlightened."

TI: Good. And growing up, did you ever have any nicknames that people called you?

SI: Yes, I've had a nickname called "Chiisai" because I was one of the smallest kids in the boy's camp. That was one of my nicknames. I don't remember any other nicknames, other than "Sat," which is short for Satoru.

TI: And it's funny, do you remember who gave you the nickname Chiisai?

SI: I really don't know for sure, but it could have been possibly Rube Hosokawa, who happens to be a brother of Bill Hosokawa, or Stanley Kirakomi. They were camp leaders at that time.

TI: Okay, that's a good, that's a new nickname for you, for me, I haven't heard that one yet. Can you tell me your, the names of your brothers and sisters, kind of in birth order? I believe you were the first one, but can you kind of walk through your brothers and sisters?

SI: Sure. After me, my sister Etsuko, my brother Kazuya, my sister Noriko, my brother Akira, my sister Hiroko, and my youngest brother Shinya.

TI: So there were seven children.

SI: Correct.

TI: Okay.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 2009 Densho. All Rights Reserved.