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-01-0017

<Begin Segment 17>

TI: So explain how you went from Seabrook, New Jersey, to Chicago. How did that happen?

AO: Oh, okay. When we were in Seabrook, there was a friend of my mom, I think, Mr. Goto, and he came to our place, with the kindness of him, he took my younger sister and came to Chicago. And she stayed at Mr. Goto's sister's, Mrs. Omura's place. Then after a few months, I followed her and I came to Chicago. And then we worked for a while and then we called out the rest of the family.

TI: And so did all the rest of the family come to Chicago? So your mother, your grandmother and then your brothers and sisters?

AO: Yes.

TI: Okay. And, but what did you think about Chicago?

AO: Oh, a big city.

TI: Yeah, because it's very different than Huancayo.

AO: Oh, yes, uh-huh.

TI: Very different than Seabrook, very different than Crystal City.

AO: Lot of work, there's all kind of work.

TI: And so this was probably the biggest... I mean, Lima might be big.

AO: Yeah, uh-huh. I don't know what is the population, but yeah.

TI: Yeah, and Chicago was a big American city.

AO: Yeah, oh, yes.

TI: And so were you frightened by Chicago?

AO: No. It wasn't frightening. Probably the place where I lived wasn't really, if I go downtown, yes, those big buildings and all that, yeah, I know it was so big and different, much different.

TI: And so you talked about, so you took English classes in Chicago, you did the sewing job for twenty years?

AO: Uh-huh.

TI: You also got married in Chicago?

AO: Yeah. Well, you know, I went to learn English, probably, I don't know, not too long because I was working night shift, and I thought it was, I was afraid to wait for the bus. So maybe couple months, and then I changed to the first shift. And then after that, let's see. Yeah, then I met my husband and I got married.

TI: Now, where did you meet your husband?

AO: In Chicago. We were living in the same building. I was living in the second floor, he was living in the first floor.

TI: And what's his background? Where did he come from?

AO: He was born in Pasadena, but he was a Kibei. He went to Japan to get his education.

TI: Okay, so your, the common language is Japanese.

AO: Yeah, uh-huh.

TI: Because you were Japanese and Spanish, and he spoke Japanese and a little English, or English.

AO: Yeah. I think we were able to communicate in Japanese. Because in camp, when I was staying in camp for two and a half years, I learned Japanese, more Japanese.

TI: Okay, that's interesting.

<End Segment 17> - Copyright © 2011 Densho. All Rights Reserved.