Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Ramsay Yosuke Mori Interview
Narrator: Ramsay Yosuke Mori
Interviewers: Tom Ikeda, Kelli Nakamura
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Date: February 28, 2011
Densho ID: denshovh-mramsay-01-0001

<Begin Segment 1>

TI: So today's February 28, 2011, and we're in Honolulu at the Ala Moana Hotel. Kelli Nakamura is helping with the interview. I'm Tom Ikeda, and on the camera is Dana Hoshide.

RM: You couldn't have found a better person. She knows how to...

TI: How to ask these questions?

RM: She knows how to make me talk.

TI: So Ramsay, I'm gonna start at the very beginning, and can you tell me when you were born?

RM: Not really, but it was in Japan, in Tokyo. February 23, 1933.

TI: And so that makes you just, you just had your seventy-eighth birthday.

RM: That's right.

TI: Okay.

RM: Just last week.

TI: Well, happy birthday.

RM: [Laughs] Not that I wanted it, but it came on me. Yeah.

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

RM: Yosuke, which is, my mother explains that Tahei yo no yo to suke, which is your normal suffix used in Japanese boys' names, and thus Yosuke.

TI: And so where did the name Ramsay come from?

RM: My father was a avid, had an avid interest in politics and one of his great political heroes was Winston Churchill, of course, in those days, and from that he took, took a look at, you know, the political hierarchy in Britain, and he came up with Ramsay McDonald, so he thought that would be a fine name for me and so he named me Ramsay.

TI: So you mentioned you were born in Japan, yet your father was in Hawaii. What, why were you born in Japan?

RM: Because of the immigration rules at the time, my mother had to go back to Japan every other year, and because they were so discriminatory she was very angry about the situation and, and she thought that "if the United States does not want my child, he will become a Japanese."

TI: Oh, so she chose to have you in Japan?

RM: Yes, definitely. And of course my father was doing well enough that he could afford to send us every other year. That was three of us, my sister Pearl and I and my mother.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 2011 Densho. All Rights Reserved.