Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Sue Takimoto Okabe Interview
Narrator: Sue Takimoto Okabe
Interviewer: Alice Ito
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: December 3, 1999
Densho ID: denshovh-osue-01

<Begin Segment 1>

AI: Today is December 3, 1999, and I'm here at the Densho offices with Sue Takimoto Okabe. And my name is Alice Ito. I'm the interviewer. And our videographer is Dana Hoshide. Sue, I'd like to start off just by asking you about your family background. Maybe you could tell us about your father, his name, a little bit about his family background in Japan?

SO: I don't know much about his family background. His name is William Komaichi Takimoto. And he's from Hiroshima, I believe Asa-gun, Kuchi Tamura, I believe. He came here when he was fourteen. So gee, had he lived, he would have been about a hundred and -- it's over a hundred years ago. He would have been 114, something like that.

AI: Do you happen to know why he came over or about when that was?

SO: Well, he's the eldest of the family. And it was mostly adventure and wanting to know about the new country. But he came, I believe, with Reverend Okazaki...

AI: Oh, is that right?

SO: ...who was a Christian minister.

AI: Yes, very well-known.

SO: And I -- oh, his son, he had a son named Bob Okazaki --

AI: Right.

SO: -- I met in Los Angeles.

AI: Oh. And, and what -- do you happen to know what your family's, father's family, did in Japan?

SO: I really don't recall exactly. They had a kaki farm, but they were not farmers. They owned property. Later on, I don't think it was during his time that they did have, they manufactured furniture. But I don't remember exactly what they did at the time he left. He was the eldest. They weren't too happy about it.

AI: Well, I -- and at the age of fourteen, that's relatively young.

SO: Uh-huh, he had finished school in some level. And that's when he decided to venture out. But he was told to return back to Japan to, to marry the eldest daughter of a relative, who happens to be my mother.

AI: And what's, what was her name?

SO: Tagawa, Masuko Tagawa.

AI: Do you happen to know about when that was, when they married?

SO: She -- after she finished jogakkou so that would make it around, what? Eighteen? Seventeen? I think she finished jogakkou around that time.

AI: She was about that age?

SO: Uh-huh.

AI: And, about when was, was that? Would that have been in the 1920s that they got married or --

SO: Yeah, that would be right around 1921 maybe, '20.

AI: And then did she come to the U.S...

SO: Yes.

AI: ...soon after that?

SO: Yes. Immediately.

AI: Right after that with your dad. Happen to know where they settled when they came over?

SO: Yakima.

AI: Yakima.

SO: Just briefly. My eldest sister was born there. And then they moved to Tacoma.

AI: And speaking of your sisters, did you have any other sisters or brothers?

SO: I have another sister below her. Kay is my oldest sister. And then a year and a half later Michi was born in Tacoma.

AI: And what about with you, when were you born?

SO: I was born in Tacoma in 1928.

AI: And then what -- did you grow up there in Tacoma?

SO: Until I was four, I believe, and then we moved to Seattle.

AI: I see.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 1999 Densho. All Rights Reserved.