Densho Digital Repository
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Hatsuko Mary Higuchi Interview
Narrator: Hatsuko Mary Higuchi
Interviewer: Virginia Yamada
Location: Los Angeles, California
Date: February 4, 2019
Densho ID: ddr-densho-1000-456-11

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VY: How many years did you teach?

HH: Forty-two years, forty-two years.

VY: Were you in the same area the whole time?

HH: Uh-huh, same area in Torrance. It has changed a lot, the population, the demographics.

VY: Well, talk about that a little bit. So you've been in Torrance for almost your whole life. So what kind of changes have you seen there?

HH: Oh, my goodness. When we moved there, we were, like in my high school class, there were just probably, I can count the families on one hand out of my class of a couple hundred. But now, I wouldn't be surprised if almost three quarters of them are of some Asian extraction.

VY: And how about, have you seen changes geographically in the area? Like going from less farm to more city?

HH: Yeah. Because where we lived on Hawthorne Boulevard is now a major highway that cuts across all the cities or thoroughfare, Hawthorne. It's just all commercial buildings all along Hawthorne, lot of tract home, beautiful homes. Even where we farmed, very upper middle class, foothills of Palos Verdes, it's just a very, very nice area. And that's where I live right now, and I love it. The facilities are great, the recreation, what they offer to the citizens, lots of wonderful things, classes and a lot of good things for the kids as well.

VY: Yeah, the area's really transformed. How do you think that affected people at the time, for instance, maybe the farm owners? Do you think they did okay then? Do you think people were ready to kind of transition out of farming?

HH: Well, the people that lived, there were a lot of big farmers, and they continued farming. They bought lots of acreage in Ventura and Camarillo. And yeah, a lot of them...

VY: Kept going.

HH: ...have continued and a lot of them have gotten out of it and have a very successful life now.

VY: Okay, so you think the smaller farmers maybe sold their farms, and the bigger farmers maybe bought some of the smaller farms?

HH: No, they bought new farms.

VY: New farms.

HH: And then the smaller ones sold to developers, because it's all commercial and tract homes now. Torrance has no farmland now.

<End Segment 11> - Copyright © 2019 Densho. All Rights Reserved.