Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Margaret Junko Morita Hiratsuka Interview
Narrator: Margaret Junko Morita Hiratsuka
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Skokie, Illinois
Date: June 15, 2011
Densho ID: denshovh-hmargaret-01-0001

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TI: Okay, so I start with date and location, so today's Wednesday, June 15, 2011. We're in the Chicago area, in the Hampton Residence Inn in Skokie, and in the room we have Dana Hoshide, who's running the camera, we have your husband, Frank, who's sitting in, and then my name is Tom Ikeda. I'm the interviewer. And so, Margaret, I'm gonna start, if you just tell me when and where you were born.

MH: I was born July 22, 1928, in Seattle, Washington, in a hospital. The only one of six children, I was the only one born in a hospital.

TI: So birth order, where were you in the birth order?

MH: I was the fifth of sixth children.

TI: So why wasn't number six also in the hospital?

MH: It just so happened that the brother before me was delivered late, and he was about a month late, so my mother had a very difficult delivery, so my grandfather said, "Next time you go to a hospital."

TI: Oh, I see. So they anticipated that you were gonna be a difficult birth.

MH: That I might be, yeah.

TI: But everything was okay?

MH: Yeah.

TI: And so number six, they said, well, no need to... [laughs]

MH: Well, that's okay.

TI: Okay. And why don't you just tell me your siblings' names and the birth order?

MH: Okay. Roy is the oldest, my sister Ayako, there's a William, Jim, then me, Margaret, and George.

TI: Okay, so lots of brothers. So you have...

MH: Four brothers.

TI: Four brothers and one sister.

MH: One sister.

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

MH: Junko.

TI: Junko. So where did Margaret come from?

MH: Well, when I was young my brothers all teased me and they'd say "Junko Punko, Bitty Bitty Unko." [Laughs] So my mother got tired of my crying all the time, so she gave me an American name.

TI: Okay. That's a good story.

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