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-01-0005

<Begin Segment 5>

TI: Let's talk about your father's business. So you mentioned a little bit that he served the hams, the special hams, what were some of the other goods that he served?

AO: Oh, butter. It was very good butter. And, let's see, what else that was a specialty, too? And then there were some, we used to call marja blanco, it's something like, some kind of paste, but it's made with milk and sugar, and they used to use like instead of jam, they used that marja blanco. It was a very special thing from Huancayo.

TI: And you also, I think, mentioned some imported goods? So talk about some of the things that he got from different countries.

AO: Liquor, canned food.

TI: So canned foods, liquor like champagne and wine?

AO: Yeah, from France, yes, wine.

TI: Canned food.

AO: Whiskey.

TI: Whiskey.

AO: Uh-huh.

TI: Do you remember what kind of whiskey?

AO: Johnny Walker. It was red label and black label. [Laughs]

TI: I know that, okay.

AO: I kind of remember a little bit.

TI: And like the canned foods, what kind of canned foods?

AO: Libby's and Del Monte, I remember those two.

TI: I think you mentioned cheeses also?

AO: Yeah, cheese from Switzerland and Holland. Sardines, he used to sell sardines, too, I think from Norway, I think it was sardines from Norway.

TI: You also talked about the barrels?

AO: Oh, it was olives, huge barrels, two barrels.

TI: And these were olives from, like, Italy?

AO: I think they came from Spain.

TI: Spain. Wow, so I'm just jotting this down, so they were from, like, many different countries. The United States, Switzerland, Spain...

AO: Cigarettes, too, from the United States.

TI: Cigarettes, I think you mentioned even one canned good from Japan, also.

AO: I remember just the one thing.

TI: Peaches, okay.


TI: Okay, so Atsumi, during the break, we were having a little candy, and when you opened the wrapper, it reminded you of something in your father's store. So can you tell me about that?

AO: Okay. My dad ordered bags made out of cellophane, heavy cellophane, and one was gold and the other one was royal blue. And he had it printed with gold writing, it says, "Antonio Suzuki Bodega Restaurant and Cafe, 446 and 448 Calle Real," the name of that street, and the telephone number.

TI: So it was a fancy store.

AO: Yes, it was that fancy. And the top, he added the tie, you know, even the tie. And when you fill up, when people used to buy candy, and we used to tie on the top and fold it.

TI: So he had to use special bags and things like that.

AO: Uh-huh.

TI: And who were the customers of your father's store?

AO: Middle class Peruvian, middle class and high class.

TI: And so did people like, earlier you mentioned the mayor, did he come to the store, the shop?

AO: Yes, the wife used to buy things.

TI: And your father could speak Spanish so he could get along with the customers and help them?

AO: My father, yeah. He had many Spanish friends, Peruvian friends.

TI: And in Huancayo, where was the store located?

AO: Oh, in the main street. In the main street where they had all the fairs, yeah, that was the main street.

TI: And so what was nearby your father's store? What were the other...

AO: Oh, it was the other small stores, like next was the restaurant, and the next was another Japanese, Araki-san, Mr. Araki, much smaller store than my dad. And yeah, there was many stores around there.

TI: And were very many of them run by Japanese or by Peruvians?

AO: A few Japanese and Peruvian.

<End Segment 5> - Copyright © 2011 Densho. All Rights Reserved.