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Title: Marian Shingu Sata Interview
Narrator: Marian Shingu Sata
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Los Angeles, California
Date: September 23, 2009
Densho ID: denshovh-smarian-01-0001

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TI: So today is Wednesday, September 23, 2009. Running the camera is Dana Hoshide, and I'm the interviewer, Tom Ikeda. And today we're here with Marian Sata. And so Marian, I'm going to start with a basic question. Can you tell me when you were born and where?

MS: I was born August 31, 1935, at the Japanese hospital in Boyle Heights in Los Angeles.

TI: That's interesting. I just, earlier this week, I interviewed Francis Kaji, whose father was Dr. Tashiro, who helped, worked at that hospital and started them. So who knows, he might have delivered you.

MS: Well, probably. My aunt was a nurse there.

TI: Oh, okay. So they probably, I'm sure they knew each other.

MS: They probably worked together.

TI: Now, what was your given name when you were born?

MS: Marian Taeko Shingu.

TI: And was there any meaning or reason that you were named that? Like were you named after anyone?

MS: No. I think my mother, "Taeko," I think means some sort of a gate, like a torii gate, and I think that's... well, I'm not sure about that.

TI: But they, they gave you a, sort of an American or a western European first name, but then your Japanese middle name.

MS: Yes, uh-huh.

TI: So let me start with your father. Can you tell me where your father was from, and his name?

MS: My father was Lloyd Shuzo Shingu, and he came from Hiroshima when he was a teenager.

TI: And in the same way, his first name was Lloyd?

MS: No. That was a name that I think a Caucasian family gave him when he was attending high school in Alameda and he was a schoolboy. He lived with the family and did chores for them, and then they called him Lloyd, so he kept the name.

TI: Okay, good. And he was from Hiroshima. Do you know what his family did in Hiroshima?

MS: Oh, they were farmers.

TI: And in, earlier, during the phone conversation, you mentioned that his father or your grandfather was, while he was growing up in Hiroshima, his father was already in the United States?

MS: Yes. I'm not sure when he came, but he was not the oldest son, so he did not inherit any land. So he came over here to earn his mountain of gold, I guess, and then go back, but he never did go back, of course.

TI: And where did your grandfather do this farm work?

MS: In Hiroshima, in the outskirts of Hiroshima, the family had land there, I guess.

TI: Right. But then, I'm sorry, after your grandfather came to the United States, where in the United States?

MS: Oh, he first came to Hawaii, but he didn't stay there long. And then he came over to San Francisco and on into the Delta area near Sacramento, Stockton area. So he lived in Stockton.

TI: And at what point did your grandfather have your father? I mean, was it sort of after he had come to the United States, or was it before?

MS: I think it was before he came. And because my father wrote a little bio for my son a long time ago, and he said that he had not, when he arrived in the United States as a teenager, he had not seen his father for years. So he was afraid that he wouldn't recognize him. So I think most of my dad's life, he was with his grandparents or whomever took care of him in Japan, and I'm not sure of that. His parents were here in the U.S., working.

TI: Okay. Did your father have any siblings?

MS: He had a younger sister. She's probably two or three years younger.

TI: And was also the younger sister in Japan?

MS: Yes, with my dad.

TI: Okay. Yeah, it gets complicated when you have all these multi-generations. So your father and his sister, your aunt, were in Hiroshima, your grandfather was already in the United States working on a farm in the delta.

MS: Yes.

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