Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: George Fugami Interview
Narrator: George Fugami
Interviewer: Dee Goto
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: June 15, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-fgeorge-01-0001

<Begin Segment 1>

DG: So today is June the 15th. It's Monday, okay, and we're here with George Fugami and I'm Dee Goto and we're doing this interview for the Densho Project. So we want to hear a little bit about the background from which you, your parents came. Go ahead and tell me about your father.

GF: Yeah. My father, he came from Yamaguchi-ken, Oshima-gun. It's a little island and he was born there and his father was a merchant. They had a store, and also they had... you could not sell tobacco or salt unless the government okays it, and which happened that they were selling. So they must be in a pretty good position to be able to get government's approval to sell salt, and also rice. And he had a business, he had a store, plus he was taking care of a lot of these fishermen's... they bring in fish -- and I don't know if you know what iriko means, small dried fish -- he was the sole distributor of these fishes. He hired lot of the people outside and we had a place out by the water there, and there's a street and then the store's back there. He would get all this iriko and he would take it to Hiroshima, and that's where he would sell it. I don't know anything besides that. Oh, one more thing -- also we were able to sell tobacco, which was very strictly, at that time only certain people could sell tobacco. So my grandfather must have had quite a bit of influence. He was, his mind, as far as I know of, my mother told me that he -- they have soroban. You know what soroban is?

DG: It's a calculator.

GF: Yeah, calculator. He had that in his mind. So they would say any figure, in his mind he would make it, he would come up with the answer. That's where I got little bit of that, I think, but I can't do it that good. But I know when I was in grammar school, the teacher would put up a lot of figures and I would add it as I go along and subtraction, I'd subtract it. At the end, he says, "Now children, I want you to get the answer." I says, "Well, I got the answer." So I think that's one of my grandfather's -- [laughs] -- ability that I obtained.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.