Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Mary Kageyama Nomura Interview
Narrator: Mary Kageyama Nomura
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Torrance, California
Date: July 9, 2009
Densho ID: denshovh-nmary-02-0001

<Begin Segment 1>

TI: So today is Thursday, July 9, 2009, we're in Torrance, California, at the Holiday Inn. And on camera we have Dana Hoshide, and I'm the interviewer, Tom Ikeda. And so, Mary, let me just start from the very beginning, and can you tell me when and where you were born?

MN: I was born in Los Angeles in 1925, centuries ago. [Laughs]

TI: And 1925, what month and day?

MN: September 29th.

TI: And so that will make you eighty-three years old?

MN: Almost eighty-four.

TI: Almost eighty-four. And you drove down from Huntington -- or drove up from Huntington Beach?

MN: Yes.

TI: Good. And then what was the name given to you at birth?

MN: Just Mary Kageyama, I had no middle name. All my siblings had Japanese names, and I did not.

TI: Do you know why?

MN: I don't know why. But my mother called me Meri instead of -- you know, my birth certificate says "Mary," but she always called me Meri, M-E-R-I. So my little business -- well, this is something else -- I call myself Meri.

TI: Okay, interesting. So you mentioned your siblings had Japanese names. Let's go through and list your siblings in birth order.

MN: Akira, Frank Kageyama.

TI: And did you call him Frank or Akira?

MN: We called him Akira. And my sister Fumi Miriam, and my other sister Mae Michiye, little sister Tillie Yuriko.

TI: Okay, so you were the fourth.

MN: Yes. And a half brother.

TI: And his name?

MN: Bill Susumu Fukawa.

TI: And in terms of the age difference, like your older brother, how much older was he?

MN: He is nine years older than I.

TI: Nine years older. And then your elder sister --

MN: Was eight years older.

TI: Okay, and your -- Michie was...

MN: Mae is two years older than me. Yes, she's two years older than I am, and then my little sister was four years younger.

TI: Four years younger. And then your half brother, Bill, was?

MN: Oh, my gosh, I don't remember.

TI: Quite a bit younger.

MN: Quite a bit younger, yes.

TI: And later on, it will be important to kind of know those age differences, that's why I wanted to ask.

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