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Title: Miyoko Tsuboi Nakagawa Interview
Narrator: Miyoko Tsuboi Nakagawa
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: South Bend, Washington
Date: April 30, 2014
Densho ID: denshovh-nmiyoko_2-01-0001

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TI: So today is Wednesday, April 30, 2014, and we are in South Bend, Washington. And we are here this morning with Miyo Nakagawa. And so, Miyo, the first question is, can you tell me where and when you were born?

MN: I was born in Portland, Oregon, on March 8, 1925.

TI: So that means you're now eighty-nine years old?

MN: That's correct.

TI: Okay, good. And what was the name given to you at birth?

MN: Miyoko Tsuboi.

TI: How about, did you have a middle name?

MN: No, no middle name.

TI: And did you have any brothers or sisters?

MN: I have one younger sister.

TI: And what's her name?

MN: Her name is Setsuko Tsuboi... you mean right now?

TI: Yeah, and Tanemura?

MN: Tanemura.

TI: And she's, I think, five years younger?

MN: That's correct.

TI: Good. And then how about your father? What was your father's name?

MN: My father's name is Kumajiro Tsuboi.

TI: And where in Japan did he come from?

MN: Kurashiki, Kibi-gun.

TI: And do you know what kind of work his family did in Japan?

MN: Well, not exactly. My father didn't talk about things too much. But I know that he, they owned land, and he used to talk about the hill and the back of their place, which had kaki, persimmons. So we used to get dried kaki from Japan in the '30s.

TI: Oh, so they would send it to you from Japan?

MN: Pardon?

TI: So the family would send you kaki?

MN: Well, they have... well, I think maybe it was just, you know, like you have apples in your backyard type of thing. And I think they had persimmons growing in the hills, so I don't know how big of a place or what, I do not know. But I know that they always sent kaki in the fall, I guess, when it was... but anyway, it was very good. I looked forward to it.

TI: And do you know why your father came to America?

MN: No, I don't, but I think since he was the second son, he had, he could travel around more because he wasn't tied down to the land and everything. So that's what I... or maybe he heard of opportunities over here in the States.

TI: And so when he came to America, do you know what kind of work he did?

MN: Well, he worked for the Tsuboi brothers in Portland. The Tsuboi brothers had a jewelry store, and I think my dad, my father probably did watch repairing and that sort of thing. But later on, they had a men's furnishing store adjoining the jewelry store, and so my father worked there and they sold Stetson hats and ties, all men's furnishings.

TI: Now, the name of the store was Tsuboi Brothers. Was he related to the brothers?

MN: No, he wasn't. There were two brothers, but Dad was not related, but perhaps they came from the same village or something like that. But no, we didn't really have any relatives, that is, I mean, he didn't have any brothers or sisters living over here at all. So people would ask whether we were related, but no.

TI: Now, did your father ever have any stories about working at the store? Like with a customer or anything that you can remember?

MN: No. You know, the thing is, we spoke Japanese all the time. In fact, I didn't know any English until I went to school, grade school. But no, he never did discuss anything about customers or anything, incidents that happened.

TI: Now, how did your father meet your mother?

MN: Well, I really... I really don't know as a fact, but I do know that he came over here, and then he went back to Japan and then brought my mother back, I mean, married her and brought her back. And I don't have too many details.

TI: So what was your mother's name?

MN: My mother's name is... on my birth certificate it says Hatsuko Moriya, I mean, she was a Moriya, but then Hatsuko Tsuboi.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 2014 Densho. All Rights Reserved.