Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Kiyoshi Seishin Yamashita
Narrator: Kiyoshi Seishin Yamashita
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: October 30, 2009
Densho ID: denshovh-ykiyoshi-01-0001

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TI: Today is Friday, October 30, 2009, and we are in Seattle in the Densho studio. On camera is Dana Hoshide, and I'm the interviewer Tom Ikeda, and today we have Reverend Kiyoshi Yamashita. So, Reverend, I'm going to start by just asking, can you tell me when and where you were born?

KY: I was born in 1920. According to my birth certificate, I was born in Kent, Washington, but I don't remember a thing about it. First thing that I recall, and the city name was Auburn, Washington, and that was when I was young. So I'm sure when I was one or two, something like that, the family moved to Auburn.

TI: Okay, so Kent is pretty close to Auburn, so it's just like...

KY: Yes, it's within, say, five, six miles.

TI: And so 1920, what about the date? What's your birth day?

KY: Birthday is February 14th, I'm a Valentine's baby. [Laughs]

TI: And so that would make you eighty-nine years old.

KY: Eighty-nine.

TI: And you'll be ninety in...

KY: Couple of months.

TI: ...couple months. And what was the full name given to you when you were born?

KY: Full name was Kiyoshi Yamashita, and no middle name, no English name.

TI: And do you know why you were given the name Kiyoshi?

KY: I have no idea. Kiyoshi means "clean and pure," for one thing, but I can't say about me as a person. [Laughs]

TI: So you never heard from your parents why they named you Kiyoshi? It's just that's what they...

KY: No.

TI: So I now want to -- because you came from a large family -- just to go through your other siblings, kind of in the birth order. So can you start with the oldest and just kind of work your way down?

KY: Yes. My oldest was a brother named Tokio, and he was born in 1912. And his birthplace, I have no idea, I didn't see any records, and he died a number of years ago, and not mentioned or discussed his background, where he was born and so on.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright (c) 2009 Densho. All Rights Reserved.