Densho Digital Archive
gayle k. yamada Collection
Title: Frank Fukuhara Interview
Narrator: Frank Fukuhara
Interviewer: gayle k. yamada
Location: Hawaii
Date: February 9, 2000
Densho ID: denshovh-ffrank_2-01-0001

<Begin Segment 1>

gky: The date is February 9th, the year 2000, and we're interviewing Frank Fukuhara. Frank, can you give me your spelling of your name and the date of your birth?

FF: Frank Fukuhara, F-U-K-U-H-A-R-A, born 25th of August 1924.

gky: Okay. When you were little you went to Japan. You're a Kibei. What were the circumstances under you going to Japan?

FF: Well, our father died in April 1933, and November the same year, I was nine years old, and my mother took the whole family back to Japan. And I lived in Japan ever since, so I'm in Japan now sixty-six years right now.

gky: Who, who was everybody else, brothers and sisters?

FF: Well, at that time, my oldest brother was Victor. He's ten years older than I am. Then next was my sister, Mary, then Harry and Pierce, and I was the youngest in the family.

gky: What part of Japan did you live in?

FF: We lived in Hiroshima city, Japan all the time, until the war ended.

gky: Can you tell me a little bit about, can you describe the place where you lived?

FF: In Japan?

gky: Uh-huh.

FF: In Japan, at first we lived in a town named Hakushima, Hiroshima city was right close, the center of the Hiroshima city. And then in 1937 we built a house a little, still in the city, but sort of west part of Hiroshima city, and we moved there in 1937.

gky: Okay, in '37 your, your sister Mary went back to United States.

FF: Yes. She did not see the house completed, but she left for the States. And Harry left the year after that, in '38.

gky: What were the circumstances that Harry left? You know, he had to finish high school, he didn't want to come there?

FF: Yes, he, well, after my father died my mother wanted all of us to be able to speak Japanese because she never did learn English. So Harry and Mary, Harry was thirteen there and Mary was seventeen, but they, the two of 'em didn't want to go to Japan, but my mother said, "No, you all have to go and if you graduate high school in Japan you're on your own. You can go back to the States or stay in Japan, but regardless, I want you all to graduate college."

gky: College, whether in the United States or --

FF: In the United States, if you go back to the States, after high school, if you're going back to the States you have to finish college in the States, and if you're staying in Japan you still have to finish college in Japan.

gky: So you were, when Harry went back you were fifteen years old? Fourteen years old, fourteen?

FF: I was fourteen, yes. I was fourteen when Harry went back.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 2000 Bridge Media and Densho. All Rights Reserved.