Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Henry Miyatake Interview I
Narrator: Henry Miyatake
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: March 26, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-mhenry-01-0003

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TI: But it's just so interesting to me how, something that happened before you were born could have made such a difference. Here you have two men, one who stayed with it, found oil, and got money and then went back to Japan. Whereas your father, sold his rights and at that point what happened to him, what did he do?

HM: He went to work on the railroad. So he had a lot of memories about all the railroad work they performed and one of the projects that he was involved in was this tunnel they have in the Cascades there, that eight mile long tunnel. They were working on that for years, he said. He was familiar with a lot of the railroad work that was done, Columbia Gorge area, lot of it in Eastern Washington. In fact when I took him on a trip one time, he recognized a lot of the areas that he had worked as road gang member. Then he decided well, railroad work wasn't that complementary in terms of salaries. And as he was getting older I guess he decided he'd resort back to farming again. So he bought a large piece of property in what is now the Kent Space Center. He used to own that piece of property.

TI: That's ironic.

HM: That's where I worked too, in years to come.

TI: And was he able to buy it or did he lease this land?

HM: Well, at that time, they were leasing through a trust organization because they couldn't own property because of the alien property laws.

TI: What was your father like?

HM: Well, when I was born he was fifty years old so, fifty-one years old I guess. So there's a lot of difference in age functions. Lot of the things that, in my upbringing, my brother had a lot to do with it rather than my father. My father was the breadwinner and you know, he was working all the time. But my brother had a very large influence on my education process, the informal education process.

<End Segment 3> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.