Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Hikaru Morohoshi Interview
Narrator: Hikaru Morohoshi
Interviewer: Martha Nakagawa
Location: Los Angeles, California
Date: September 2, 2010
Densho ID: denshovh-mhikaru-01-0002

<Begin Segment 2>

MN: After you were born, when were you taken to Japan?

HM: When I was one, one year old. My parents took me over to Japan when I was a baby.

MN: Your parents left you with your grandfather and grandmother, and...

HM: Right, and they came back to the States.

MN: From what age to what age did you live in Japan?

HM: Until I was eighteen. Eighteen years old.

MN: After some years, did your parents move back to Japan to live with you?

HM: Right after the Great Kanto earthquake my parents came back, came back with Takeshi, Tsutomu and Toru. They were born in the States. Toru, Takeshi, Tsutomu, Tsutomu, Takeshi, Toru. The three were all born in the States. Great Kanto earthquake, and they came back to Japan, all three and the parents. Great Kanto earthquake, when was that?

MN: I looked it up. It was on September 1, 1923.

HM: Yes, I was in Japan then. I remember, our house collapsed. The pillar came down. The pillar came down, but it didn't hit me on the head. I didn't get hurt. My grandfather got hurt a bit. Our stone wall collapsed, and it crushed the house. My family came back from the States, but the house was crushed. There was a horse stable, that was where we lived temporarily, my parents.

MN: So you all lived in a stable? Because the house got crushed.

HM: Yes, because we did not have a place to live.

MN: With horses?

HM: Huh?

MN: You lived with horses?

HM: What?

MN: Horses. Were there any horses in the stable?

HM: There were no horses. We lived in the stable because it happened to be there. Because the house collapsed. The stone wall fell, the stone wall crumbled, and it crushed the house. The houses near ours did not have stone walls. Our house got crushed because there was a stone wall.

MN: The stone wall fell upon the house.

HM: It crushed the house. The main pillar fell down, but I survived. Even the mail pillar fell down. It didn't hit me on the head, and I didn't get hurt. I survived. A lot of people died then in the area. I heard that 140,000 people were killed in Tokyo by the Great Kanto earthquake. No one was killed in Numata. The other houses were still standing. Our house was the only one that collapsed because there was the stone wall.

MN: How many days did it take to be able to move back and live in the house again?

HM: We had a temporary house built. Let see, how many days... it could be a year or so... we had the stone wall rebuilt and...

MN: You lived with your parents and two, no, three younger brothers then?

HM: Yes, three younger brothers. Or four younger brothers? Tsutomu, Takeshi, Toru, and Miyako and Yachiyo. Five siblings.

MN: Miyako or Yachiyo had not been born yet then.

HM: That's right.

MN: So you lived with your parents, three younger brothers, your grandfather and grandmother?

HM: That is right. We were also with our grandfather and grandmother.

MN: Your grandfather and grandmother retired after that, right?

HM: Yes, they retired. I think we lived with them for about a year. Then they retired.

MN: What did they do before they retired?

HM: What?

MN: What did they do before they retired?

HM: Who?

MN: Your grandfather and grandmother.

HM: Agriculture. Farmers, agriculture. Agriculture, farmer.

<End Segment 2> - Copyright © 2010 Densho. All Rights Reserved.