Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Mae Iseri Yamada Interview
Narrator: Mae Iseri Yamada
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: November 13, 2009
Densho ID: denshovh-ymae-01-0001

<Begin Segment 1>

TI: Okay, so we're gonna get started. And the way I start is I talk about the date and where we are. So today's Friday, November 13, 2009, we are in the Densho studio in Seattle. On camera is Dana Hoshide, and I'm the interviewer, Tom Ikeda. And so today we have Mae Iseri Yamada to interview. And so, Mae, I'm just going to start at the very beginning and ask some basic questions. And the first question is, can you tell me when and where you were born?

MY: In Thomas.

TI: And what was your birth date?

MY: August 22nd.

TI: August 22nd, and what year?

MY: 1918.

TI: Okay. And do you recall, so that makes you ninety-one years old.

MY: Uh-huh.

TI: Do you recall where you were born? Were you born at your home?

MY: At home, uh-huh.

TI: Okay. So a midwife?

MY: No. I really don't know. I don't think so, because I was there when my youngest brother was born, and Mom was alone.

TI: Oh, so not even a midwife? Just the family did it.

MY: Not that I remember anyway.

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

MY: Sadako.

TI: And where did "Mae" come from?

MY: Huh?

TI: And how did you get the name "Mae"?

MY: Oh, "Mae" was just because, going to school, you know, teachers had a hard time with Japanese names, so I think we all got our English names after we started going to school or something.

TI: And do you remember who gave you that name or how "Mae" was chosen?

MY: No, I don't.

TI: So you don't recall who gave it to, whether it was your older sibling or if it was a teacher?

MY: Well, I had five, four older brothers and an older sister, so any one of them, maybe. [Laughs]

TI: So at some point, though, they started calling you Sadako -- oh, I'm sorry, Mae.

MY: Uh-huh.

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