Densho Digital Archive
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Title: Toshio Moritsugu Interview
Narrator: Toshio Moritsugu
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Date: March 2, 2011
Densho ID: denshovh-mtoshio-01-0024

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TI: Okay, so you now go to Ohio State University for a graduate program, and so how was it entering a graduate program in chemistry at OSU?

TM: Well, it was completely different. You had selected people who had applied and it was very competitive. You had to (maintain) a certain grade point average to be able to continue in the graduate school. And it was a constant struggle trying to get good grades.

TI: And as you're going to graduate school at OSU, how's the family doing back in Hawaii, what's going on with the family?

TM: In 1949, my father lost his health, he was weak, and (during the 1950) summer that I returned I was able to see him. Then as I did my studies in 1951, I was called by my mother saying that my father was quite ill, that it would be best that I returned home to see him before he left us. And so I (made) arrangement, I made arrangement with my professors and in 1951, August, I was able to return home. When I returned home, my father was already in a coma situation. He was at Queen's Hospital and from there he went to Maluhia Hospital in Kalihi, and stayed there until he died. But I was able to see him, talk to him, but he could not respond, and after he passed away, I returned to Ohio State and decided that I would now get my master's degree first and hopefully PhD. Because normally at that time you went to a graduate school, bypassed your master's degree, and go directly to your PhD which would shorten your grad school days by one year, I think. But I needed to get the master's degrees to show that I (had) earned something. Because I didn't know what drastic situation may happen again at home where I would not be able to continue.

TI: So you were concerned that something might happen that might disrupt your PhD track, and that you might not get anything. So at least get the master's first so that you'll have that and then you'll continue hopefully for PhD. But by doing so, you had to do a thesis for a master's which would take longer. So it was like an extra step that you took.

TM: I had to explain to my senior professor that I wanted to get the master's degree (first) and so the (...) the research that I'm doing to get my thesis worked out would be for master's. He told me that he understood my situation but all his degrees that he gave were (worth) the PhD degrees. So my master was equivalent to a PhD thesis research, and I'm actually doing two PhD type research. I said that I understood that and even if it (took) me longer I would be assured of a master's degree.

TI: So was he trying to talk you out of it in some ways?

TM: Well, he pointed out what most students were doing and the way to cut short your expense staying at the graduate school.

TI: So you first get your master's but then you continue and get your PhD?

TM: Yes.

TI: And what year did you graduate with your PhD?

TM: I got my PhD degree in 1954, June.

TI: Okay, and so that took you, looks like about, five years?

TM: That's right.

TI: Which for most PhDs, chemistry, it takes about five or six years, doesn't it?

TM: That's right.

TI: For most people. So it really didn't take you much longer than anyone else?

TM: (...) Some of (the) graduate students were saying, "You're an eager beaver, you're getting out much earlier than most of us." I said, "Well, I have a very important reason to do that, that I'm needed at home eventually."

<End Segment 24> - Copyright © 2011 Densho. All Rights Reserved.