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-01-0007

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TI: And so after Pearl Harbor, did you go back to Huancayo or did you stay in Lima?

AO: I went to Huancayo, yeah, because I was staying in... my sister got married to, she was married to (the son of Mr. and) Mrs. Hoshi that used to own the school. So I stayed there, because she had a few students staying in the school. And since she was sent to Japan, I went back to Huancayo.

TI: Okay. So Mrs. Hoshi went back to Japan, she was in Lima?

AO: She was in Lima. She used to own the school.

TI: And so when she left, then you went back to Huancayo.

AO: Yeah.

TI: And when you went back to Huancayo, was there anything different?

AO: Yeah, and my dad, I think he knew that he was on the black list, so he knew that someday they're gonna come after him. And they ordered to sell the business, but luckily my dad, he had a friend, Gomez, he was from Spain, I think, he bought the business. And then we were staying home, we didn't even want to go out because we were so afraid. But at the time, my mom was expecting a baby. So my dad and another, two other Japanese fellows, Mr. Ikenaga and Mr. Nakamura, they went to hide. I don't even know where it was because I think they never wanted to tell us where they were gonna go to hide. So he didn't say, and I don't even know where he was hiding. So...

TI: So let me ask a couple questions. So you mentioned that your dad found out that he was on the "black list." So describe what the black list was. What was, who were the people on this black list?

AO: Oh, the Japanese businessmen, the big ones. I think from Huancayo there was about four, I think, four Japanese that were in the black list.

TI: And the sense was they were gonna be picked up by the authorities?

AO: Yeah, uh-huh. Yes. But I don't know, my dad, before that, I guess (he knew he was going to be picked up by the detective so) he must have went to hide.

TI: And then you also mentioned that there was an order that the businessmen had to sell their stores?

AO: Yes.

TI: And then, so a friend bought it from your father?

AO: Yes.

TI: Do you know if your father got a good price for the store?

AO: Gee, that I don't know.

TI: Okay, so your father and two of his friends go into hiding, and then what happens next? Earlier you mentioned your godfather, the mayor. So tell me that story.

AO: Oh, through him, my dad used to send us a letter, so I used to go to see him. I said there was two policemen to guard the place, but I guess they knew maybe my godfather must have told to let me in. So I went and he used to give me the letter to give it to my mom.

TI: And so your godfather, the mayor, maybe that was a little dangerous for him because he was helping your father?

AO: Gee, I don't know if it was dangerous. But he did it. I don't know. I think my father probably give 'em gift or something.

TI: And then do you know what the letter said to your mother?

AO: I don't know what it says, but maybe he probably was telling where he was and then when he's gonna come home or something like that.

TI: And then what happened next? So your father's in hiding, your mother gets this letter, then what happened?

AO: And my mother was expecting a baby at that time, so when... I don't know how long they were hiding, but when he came back to Huancayo, right away the FBI came and took my dad and took him to Lima and put into jail.

TI: Okay, you said FBI, so these were American FBI?

AO: No, Peruvian.

TI: Peruvian, okay. So their police picked him up. Do they call that FBI in Peru or something else?

AO: Yeah, detective or...

TI: Okay. And do you remember when that happened? Did you see that?

AO: No, I didn't see, I don't know. I didn't see, I don't remember.

TI: And so where were you when they picked up your father? Do you remember where you were?

AO: I think I was in Huancayo, but I don't remember how that happened. I don't know, but I know he was in Lima in jail.

TI: Now, did they pick up very many other Japanese in Huancayo besides your father and some of these...

AO: Yeah, there was four Japanese from Huancayo.

TI: And these were like the top businesspeople in Huancayo?

AO: Yes, uh-huh. I heard that in some cases, if the husband wasn't there, so they took the wife. I mean, they went after the husband, but he was hiding or he wasn't there, they took the wife instead of the husband, so the husband have to come out.

TI: Okay.

<End Segment 7> - Copyright © 2011 Densho. All Rights Reserved.