Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Dorothy Michiko Ishimatsu Interview
Narrator: Dorothy Michiko Ishimatsu
Interviewers: Tom Izu, Tom Ikeda
Location: San Jose, California
Date: March 19, 2012
Densho ID: denshovh-idorothy_2-01-0001

<Begin Segment 1>

TI: Okay, it's March 19, 2012, and we're in San Jose, California, at the Japanese American Museum of San Jose. And we're interviewing Dorothy Michiko Ishimatsu. So you were born where, can you tell us?

DI: June 17, 1927, Mayfield, California, which is now South Palo Alto. I think that's where it is.

TI: And what was your name at birth?

DI: Pardon?

TI: What was your name at birth?

DI: Dorothy Michiko Kobayashi.

TI: What was your mother's name?

DI: Ikuko Taketa Kobayashi.

TI: And where was she from in Japan?

DI: Iwate-ken, Japan, that's northern part of Japan.

TI: And what kind of work did your family do in Japan?

DI: Oh, they've always been farmers.

TI: And how did she meet your father?

DI: Oh, my father went to Japan, it was the picture type of thing, I think. Then they met, and it was agreeable on both sides, so they got married. And I think he brought her back to Mountain View.

TI: About how old was she went she got married?

DI: Oh, my gosh. About nineteen or twenty I think.

TI: Can you tell us what your mother was like, personality, and how she treated you?

DI: Oh, she was the disciplinarian in the family, Tom. My father would tell her, and she would transmit instructions to us. So my father was always a good guy.

TI: What kind of expectations did she have of you? What did she tell you she wanted?

DI: Oh, I had to go to college because I had to find a husband in college. And it worked. [Laughs]

TI: Was that a little bit unusual, do you think, for your peers at the time?

DI: I think it was unusual because I really don't know who among my friends my age in Mountain View even went to college. They were all daughters of farmers and they worked hard, and after high school instead of going to college, most of them went to work doing domestic work.

TI: So why do you think your mom had that expectation of you to go to college, do you know? Why do you think your mom expected, or wanted you to go to college?

DI: I think she didn't want me to marry another farmer. She was wrong. [Laughs] I married a farmer.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright &copy; 2012 Densho. All Rights Reserved.