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Title: Jane Hidaka Interview
Narrator: Jane Hidaka
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Skokie, Illinois
Date: June 16, 2011
Densho ID: denshovh-hjane-01-0001

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TI: Okay, so today's Thursday, June 16, 2011. We're in the Chicago area at the Hampton Inn in Skokie, and in the room we have Dana Hoshide, who's on the camera, and I'm interviewing, Tom Ikeda, and also in the room we have Jean Mishima from the Chicago Japanese American Historical Society. And today we're interviewing Jane Hidaka, so Jane, I'm just gonna start with a question. Can you tell me when and where you were born?

JH: August 18, 1933, in La Jolla, California.

TI: Okay, and what was the name given to you at birth?

JH: [Laughs] Well, it's kind of funny, I went for a passport a few years ago and I didn't know that Shizuko was the first name on my, on my birth certificate. So it's Shizuko Jane Sumida, and so when I filled out the form I made it Jane S. Hidaka, of course, but I thought, oh, when I saw the birth certificate I thought, are they gonna give me a hard time about this? And so I didn't say anything, and she says, "I see your first name is, was your middle name, really." And I said, "Yeah," I says, "I just realized that myself." But Mother always told me that Jane was my first name, and she just wanted an initial that was the same as my father.

TI: Which was S or...

JH: The J. S.

TI: Oh, J. S. Okay.

JH: Yes.

TI: And do you know where Shizuko came from?

JH: No.

TI: And how about Jane? Was there --

JH: Jane was just, a nurse suggested it because my father's name was Jack. So they said, "Well, if you want a J name," she says, "how about Jane?" [Laughs]

TI: Okay, good. So let's talk about your father's family first, and so how did your father's family come to the United States?

JH: Well, he was from Hawaii, and I know nothing about my father because my mother, I think they got divorced maybe two years, two, three years after I was born. And she never talked about him, and we had never met any of his family either.

TI: And so all you know, it's Jack Sumida pretty much.

JH: Right.

TI: And so you have no idea why he came to...

JH: They came, he came with who, he came with a good friend from, they both were from Hawaii and they came to work. Now, I think they were, like, in the produce market or something like that, and as it turns out his friend's son is my brother-in-law, married my sister. But they were good friends always, and Mother was still friends with his friend's family. Not with his. I don't know that he had any family in the States.

TI: And so your father, Jack, was, I guess, a Nisei. He was born in Hawaii?

JH: Uh-huh.

TI: And do you know anything about his father?

JH: No.

TI: Okay. So let's talk about your mother then. So is your mother a Nisei also?

JH: Yes.

TI: Okay, so let's talk about her parents.

JH: Her parents? Okay, her father was from Japan, Hiroshima, and her mother was from Hawaii. So I'm not quite sure how they, they met, but then they came to California and they started their own business, produce.

TI: What was your grandfather's name?

JH: Yamagata, and it was an N. Noburo.

TI: And then your grandmother?

JH: Was a, she was Asako. I don't know her maiden name.

TI: So your grandmother was Nisei.

JH: Yes, really.

TI: And so your mother was, was in some ways part Sansei, part Nisei.

JH: Right.

TI: And that'd make you --

JH: She spoke, she spoke very fluent Japanese, but she rarely used it.

TI: This is your mother?

JH: My mother, yes.

TI: Okay.

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