Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Richard Murakami Interview
Narrator: Richard Murakami
Interviewer: Dee Goto
Location: South Bend, Washington
Date: May 12, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-mrichard-01-0006

<Begin Segment 6>

DG: And then do you know why your father came over to the United States?

RM: Well, look for opportunities and look for fortune.

DG: And I think that was in 19...

RM: 1912?

DG: '07 or something like that, 1907 that he first came.

RM: When he first came was in 1907, and then he went back after he made some money here.

DG: But what did he do to make that money?

RM: Oh, he just worked for different...

DG: Railroad?

RM: I don't know what he worked at.

DG: Sawmill kind of things or...

RM: Probably railroad, I think he mentioned railroad, yeah.

DG: Then he went back?

RM: Then he went back and brought his wife.

DG: And then you said he caught, he had emphysema or something. He had a problem.

RM: No. He had pleurisy.

DG: Pleurisy.

RM: Yeah, and so my mother wanted him to go to the country.

DG: So now he had the pleurisy, and he met his wife then in the hospital?

RM: Yeah, in Japan, yeah.

DG: Right. And her name was?

RM: Shinayo Yanagi

DG: So then in about 1912, they came back here to Seattle.

RM: Yeah, uh-huh.

DG: And then he didn't come out here immediately. He did something in Seattle.

RM: Yeah, they had a hotel business, but with his health condition my mother wanted to move to the country where the air was more fresher, which they did. And how he ever got this area, I don't know.

DG: Except that he had a brother or cousin or...

RM: Yeah. He had a distant cousin that -- yeah, that's right -- that suggested he come.

DG: So he came here then and what did he do?

RM: He came -- you mean from Japan?

DG: No, from Seattle.

RM: Oh, from Seattle. He came and worked in the oyster company. And then he had an eye on a cranberry business, and he thought that was a good business to get into so he did that.

DG: So did he both of those?

RM: Yeah.

DG: Now, we're talking about 1912?

RM: Yeah, 19...

DG: Before you were born.

RM: Yeah, I was born in 1914.

DG: So where were you born?

RM: I was born in...

DG: No, but you have an older sister.

RM: Yeah.

RM: Where was she born?

RM: She was born in Seattle.

DG: She was born in Seattle, and then you were born out here?

RM: Yeah, yeah.

<End Segment 6> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.