Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Rose Matsui Ochi Interview I
Narrator: Rose Matsui Ochi
Interviewer: Martha Nakagawa
Location: Los Angeles, California
Date: February 28, 2010
Densho ID: denshovh-otakayo-02-0019

<Begin Segment 19>

MN: I'm gonna switch tracks a little bit, ask about your parents' naturalization. Is it 1952 that they became naturalized?

RO: Yes. We'd been living in that same Percy Street in East L.A., and the opportunity came about, and do you know, you had to get some American citizens to vouch for you? And we had this wonderful neighborhood, we had a lot of immigrants, Armenians here, Mexicans behind, Mrs. Cambruzi, Italian. Most everybody were immigrants. Most of 'em were not citizens. And we had a citizen several doors down, it was a Scotch family. And I, I did not have a real relationship with them, but we were on the same block for many years. And their son came back from the war shellshocked, and that, kids, we knew that when we rollerskated in front of their house, we'd have to get on the grass, because any loud noises would have him scurrying under the bed. And this is as a result of World War II, Pacific War. This is his parents are the ones that stood up for my parents. They're pretty remarkable.

MN: And tell me about, how did your parents go about studying for the test?

RO: I think we tried to help 'em, 'cause they have to learn American history, yeah. I could remember we would, we'd get to teach 'em and quiz 'em.

MN: And is this the time that your parents took on a Anglicized name Roy and Grace?

RO: Hmm? Yes, they did. They accepted, and that was a fun process, finding names that they would like. I think probably my sister selected Grace for my mother.

MN: And how did your father get Roy?

RO: I don't know where that came from. It could be Roy Disney.

MN: Were you at the swearing-in ceremony?

RO: I don't think so, just the parents.

MN: And did they celebrate afterwards, or how do you recall that?

RO: Yeah. You know, it's... I do remember that they were so very proud. They just never seemed to, they never seemed to have any regrets, and they had many challenges.

<End Segment 19> - Copyright © 2010 Densho. All Rights Reserved.