Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Frank Hiratsuka Interview
Narrator: Frank Hiratsuka
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Skokie, Illinois
Date: June 15, 2011
Densho ID: denshovh-hfrank_2-01-0002

<Begin Segment 2>

TI: So let's talk about your father now, your father's family. So was he Nisei or Issei?

FH: He was Nisei.

TI: Okay, so let's start with his... or his father.

FH: Well, he's the second oldest. Let's see, there, now I got to remember... Henry was the oldest, my dad, and then Jim, George, Ray, (and Robert), so I guess (six) boys and two girls.

TI: And do you remember the two girls' names?

FH: One was Grace, I think, was the oldest one. She went to Japan with her husband. (Also Tsuneyo)

TI: Okay, but there were two, four, five, (eight) children.

FH: Yeah. Forgot what, what was... Ogino's the first name. I don't remember her first name.

TI: That's okay. Let me ask, what was your dad's name, first of all?

FH: Frank. Yaroku, I think. Yaroku, (Y-A-R-O-K-U) or something like that.

TI: And so your grandfather on your father's side, so what did he do?

FH: I don't remember too much of my grandfather and grandmother on my father's side. Imagine they were farming because Dad was on the farm with them.

TI: And what area were they farming?

FH: San Jose area. That's where they were farming, the same area as my other grandfather and grandmother.

TI: Okay, so it sounds like they were, so your dad grew up more in, as a farmer type?

FH: Yes.

TI: Okay. And how did your father and mother meet?

FH: They never told me. [Laughs] I don't know.

TI: [Laughs] Well, I imagine they would kind of know each other because, just their, kind of the area.

FH: Well, she came from Japan, so I have a feeling that that was something like an arranged marriage.

TI: Interesting.

FH: 'Cause she came back when fifteen, a little young to get married, but last, first, last time I remember is they were working the farm together. That's where I grew up, started anyway.

TI: So let me ask a little bit more about your father, because, so he's Nisei, so he was born in the San Jose area.

FH: Yeah.

TI: And so he would be one of the older Niseis, probably, in the area.

FH: I guess so, yeah.

TI: And so tell me a little bit about him in terms of, was he, like, more American than Japanese, or how would you describe him?

FH: Yes, I would say so.

TI: And what would be some examples of that, when you think of your father being more American?

FH: He used to play, well, can play baseball when they were a little older, I guess, he and his brothers played baseball. The youngest one played football also, but they played in, there was a local Japanese American league, was sort of like in, the teams played different teams and they used to play not semi-pro but amateur baseball. They liked that. And he played tennis a lot with my mother. In Palo Alto they had a court that had lights on it so they could play at night.

TI: Oh, so your mother played tennis together.

FH: Yes.

TI: That's interesting.

FH: But they had, a little while later he gravitated from the farming and he went into working for private families, as a maid, butler, maid, chauffeur.

TI: So kind of domestic help, right?

FH: That was his, that's what he did for the rest of the time he was here.

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