Densho Digital Repository
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Floyd Shimomura Interview
Narrator: Floyd Shimomura
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Emeryville, California
Date: March 11, 2019
Densho ID: ddr-densho-1000-466-8

<Begin Segment 8>

TI: Okay. So how long were they in Denver, or when did they move from Denver to, I guess, Winters, or back to Winters?

FS: Well, as soon as the camps closed, they moved back.

TI: So 1945?

FS: Yeah, 1945, because I think the camp closed, like, in September, in the fall there. And they came back on a train, and they stopped in, they got let off in Sacramento at the train station there. And they walked about five blocks to where the Buddhist church was at that time, and they slept on the gym floor with all the other people who'd come in. So the church gave people blankets and things like that. And you weren't supposed to stay there real long, but you could stay there for maybe a few days or a week until you could find something more permanent. So they got there, and then my dad and my grandfather and grandmother on his side, they were all together. But my mother, okay, her family came from Livingston, and they had a little farm, and they had a car, too. So when they went to the train station, she was pregnant with my older brother, and so they swooped in and picked her up and brought her back to Livingston, and she stayed there until she had the baby, my brother. So she always lived this little charmed life here. [Laughs]

TI: She was taken care of by her...

FS: She was taken care of. I don't know, she must have been, she was always the baby of the family, and her mother took good care of her. And the mother, she was like the matriarch of that family, so she could get, if you needed a car, she could get one of her boys to do it, because she had three boys and three daughters.

TI: So these are your uncles and aunts.

FS: Yeah, all my uncles and aunts on my mom's side.

TI: Boy, when I'm thinking about that, it must have, just like a massive clan for you on that whole side.

FS: Yeah, it was.

TI: The Morimoto, there's not only the direct uncles and aunts, but then that extended family in Livingston.

FS: Yeah, one of her family, members of her, one of her cousins who was a Morimoto, I believe, married a Koda, and her name was Jean Koda, or Jean Morimoto and then she became Jean Koda. So she was part of that whole rice outfit, and actually became very wealthy.

TI: This is, I'm sorry, your aunt?

FS: No, she wasn't my aunt, she was my mom's cousin. You were talking about the big clan out there, well, she was part of that, and of the girls, the one who really did the best. So my mom was really proud of her and talked about her all the time.

TI: So you mentioned your mom was pregnant with your older brother. Let's just talk about your siblings now, so tell me, you had one brother and two sisters?

FS: I had one brother and two sisters, that's right.

TI: So why don't you give me their names? So your brother's name?

FS: My brother's name is Sam Shimomura. Well, they were all Shimomura at that time. And then I was the next one, and then my next sister was Susan, and the next one was Linda.

<End Segment 8> - Copyright © 2019 Densho. All Rights Reserved.