Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Atsumi Ozawa Interview
Narrator: Atsumi Ozawa
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Skokie, Illinois
Date: June 17, 2011
Densho ID: denshovh-oatsumi-01-0001

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TI: Okay, so Atsumi, we're going to start your interview.

AO: Okay.

TI: And so I start this with the date and everything, so today is Friday, June 17, 2011. We're in the Chicago area at the home of Jean Mishima. And in the room we have your sister Chieko, and Jean's in the room. On camera is Dana Hoshide, I'm the interviewer, Tom Ikeda, and we have Atsumi Ozawa. So Atsumi, I'm going to start, and can you tell me when you born?

AO: When? May 25, 1928, in Huancayo, Peru.

TI: Okay, and tell me where Huancayo is. How close is that to, like, the closest city?

AO: The closest city was Jauja. I think it was, by train it was one hour. That was the closest.

TI: And so how big was Huancayo? Like how many people lived there?

AO: Oh, I think I wrote it someplace in here... excuse me.

TI: Oh, that 64,000?

AO: Yeah, uh-huh.

TI: Okay, 64,000.

AO: I copied from somewhere, I don't know if it's correct.

TI: So it's a pretty big town, it's 64,000. And in Huancayo, how many Japanese, about, do you think were living there?

AO: Gee...

TI: Maybe hundreds?

AO: Well, in school there were like a hundred children, so yeah, probably...

TI: Probably several hundred then.

AO: Yeah, not too many. There wasn't too many.

TI: And what was the name, when you were born, what was the name given to you?

AO: Atsumi Angelica Suzuki.

TI: And you told me earlier that when you were born, baptized, you were Catholic, so you have a godfather. Who was your godfather.

AO: I forgot his name. [Laughs] It's a Peruvian, and at the time after the World War II, my godfather become a mayor of Huancayo.

TI: So he became a very important person.

AO: Yes, uh-huh.

TI: And he was your godfather. Now, after he was mayor, did you ever see him or talk with him?

AO: Yes, I did. I went to get a letter from my dad, because my dad was hiding, and he used to send a letter through my (godfather), so I remember going to his place and there was two policemen at the entrance, but they let me in. And he used to give me the letter that my (father) used to send him.

TI: And this is when he was hiding, this is during the war? Or when was your father hiding?

AO: During the war.

TI: Okay, so we'll get to that later, that's interesting.

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