Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Lloyd K. Wake Interview
Narrator: Lloyd K. Wake
Interviewer: Martha Nakagawa
Location: San Francisco, California
Date: April 7, 2011
Densho ID: denshovh-wlloyd-01-0002

<Begin Segment 2>

MN: Now you were also talking about your father, after he got married he was no longer in Fresno. Where did he go after that?

LW: He went to the town of Reedley, which is about twenty-four miles from Fresno. It was still in the Central Valley, a farming area.

MN: And what did he do in Reedley?

LW: He was able to get a piece of land, even, I believe his, his decision to purchase that land began while he was still in Fresno so that when his wife came they were able to go to Reedley directly and began farming that piece of, that forty acre piece.

MN: Now this was very unusual, what you were sharing about there were other Nikkei neighbors, and who were they and how many acres of property was it together?

LW: Yes, it, Reedley seemed to be very attractive to immigrant families from Japan, and my father had a piece of land that was forty acres of a, I don't know what they called it, but it was a hundred and sixty acres and they were all contiguous to each other. Every one of his neighbors in that had a forty piece of land contiguous to each other, so they were all neighbors. They were all Japanese immigrant farming laborers.

MN: And were they all from Okayama prefecture?

LW: No, they came from various places. I don't know which province, but I don't know, I know that they were immigrant, they came about the same time from Japan.

MN: Now, what did everybody farm?

LW: They, my father farmed grapes and figs. The Nakamura family had grapes. Actually, the other three families, Kitahara, Nakamura, and Okamura, all started out farming grapes.

MN: But your father was the only one who also had figs in addition to grapes.

LW: Yes, he seemed to be pretty innovative when it came to farming. He tried different things, and along with the grapes he grew figs.

MN: Now, your parents, how many children did they have?

LW: My parents had eight children.

MN: And where are you in that hierarchy?

LW: I was number five.

MN: And what year were you born?

LW: 1922.

MN: And where were all the children born?

LW: They were all born in a little farmhouse in Reedley that my mother and father built as soon as they were able to start building, so they were all born there in that little farmhouse.

MN: And who delivered the children?

LW: This is a very interesting, I'm very proud of my father and I'm proud of my birth certificate because my birth certificate says, the question, where the question is placed "delivered by" it's my father's signature. And I found out that he delivered every one of us, all eight of us children. Recently I checked with my youngest sister and asked her, "What appears on your birth certificate where it says 'delivered by'?" She said, well, it's my dad's name, Yempei Wake.

MN: Now what is your birth name?

LW: Keigo, K-E-I-G-O if you spell it in English.

MN: And were you named after somebody?

LW: I understand that since my dad liked both American and English history he knew about a statesman, I believe, by the name of Lloyd George of England, and he was proud of Lloyd George, so I understand that he, I think he named me after his first name, Lloyd, so that's how I acquired the name of Lloyd.

MN: So on your birth certificate you also have an Anglo, Anglican name on there?

LW: Yes, Lloyd.

MN: Did all the children have Anglican names?

LW: Yeah, every one of us had both English and Japanese names.

<End Segment 2> - Copyright © 2011 Densho. All Rights Reserved.