Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Jim M. Tanimoto Interview
Narrator: Jim M. Tanimoto
Interviewers: Tom Ikeda (primary); Barbara Takei (secondary)
Location: Gridley, California
Date: December 10, 2009
Densho ID: denshovh-tjim-01-0001

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TI: Today is Thursday, December 10, 2009, and we're in the home of Jim Tanimoto. Helping with interviews is Barbara Takei, I'm Tom Ikeda, and on camera we have Dana Hoshide. So, Jim, thanks for agreeing to be interviewed. So I'm going to start from the beginning of your life. Can you tell me where and when you were born?

JT: Well, I was born Marysville, California, on June 3, 1923. And I don't think I was born in a hospital. It was probably a midwife thing, I'm not sure. But I think that's what it was in those days.

TI: And what was the name given to you at birth? What did your parents name you?

JT: My parents' name?

TI: No, what did your parents name you?

JT: My name is Minoru Tanimoto, and people that, when I started kindergarten, couldn't pronounce my name Minoru, so they had my neighbor change it, give me an American name called Jim. And Jim is what I did all of my life, is "Jim."

TI: Good. So let me ask you first about your siblings. Can you tell me your brothers and sisters in terms of their birth order?

JT: Okay. I have my mother and father, and I have seven brothers and sisters. My oldest sister is Shizuko, and my oldest, the next in line is my brother Mike, or Masashi, and then next to that was Jack. And next to Jack was Mori, Mamoru, and next to Mamoru was my sister Eva Kikue, and then me, and my youngest brother George. So there was five boys and two girls.

TI: Good, okay. So let's, in terms of age difference, how much older was Shizuko?

JT: What?

TI: How much older was your, the oldest one, how much older?

JT: Well, we're between one and a half years to two years apart. I don't know, Jack claims he's ninety-four, gonna be ninety-four, but it doesn't fit the formula between a year and a half. But that's what he says he is, he's ninety-four. The rest of us are about a year, year and a half apart.

TI: Okay, good.

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