Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Frank S. Fujii Interview
Narrator: Frank S. Fujii
Interviewers: Larry Hashima (primary), Beth Kawahara (secondary)
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: September 3 and 5, 1997
Densho ID: denshovh-ffrank-01-0002

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LH: So your father first came to the United States in what year?

FF: Turn of the century, so I think maybe in the late 18... 'cause if he was -- he passed away in '66 at eighty-four. So he had to be turn of the century, or right before the turn of the century. He's probably one of the older Isseis that came.

LH: So how old was he when he first came over?

FF: Maybe in his -- I can't do the math -- but say he was in his late teens, I think.

LH: Late teens?

FF: And then my mother came later, of course. I don't think she was a picture bride, I think they knew each other somehow, some way. She was an educator. She went to teach a normal school in Osaka and then she got married and came over here. I don't know how Dad did it, but to have, to make a wife come over here, especially when she had the education and Dad didn't, so to speak. But it all worked out.

LH: So you're the youngest of nine children. So, how old are your brothers and sisters, in comparison to you?

FF: Well, we're all about two years apart. So from myself, being sixty-seven now and it goes on up to -- the two oldest are passed away. So right now June is eighty, so there's -- probably eighty-two, so you figure if I'm sixty-seven, that's what, 'bout fifteen years interval? Mom raised nine of us, I don't know how she did it, but she did.

LH: So how did that work with the family in terms of, your father was running the tavern and your mother was just at home raising the children?

FF: Yeah. Well, the oldest daughter being from Japan, too -- she was actually born in Japan 'cause when Mom went back to Japan, she had the child and brought her back here -- and she was a helper, so to speak. You know the old system of helping the parents raise the rest of us. And she was, she was the oldest, Rinko. She was the saint of the family in that she really helped Mother in cooking, washing... and even raising me. Because Mom didn't have that much time with nine of us, and I'm the baby and spoiled me, but I enjoyed that.

<End Segment 2> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.