Densho Digital Archive
National Japanese American Historical Society Collection
Title: George Koshi Interview
Narrator: George Koshi
Interviewer: Marvin Uratsu
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: December 10, 1997
Densho ID: denshovh-kgeorge-01-0002

<Begin Segment 2>

MU: Okay. Well, we're going to continue with your story. Were there many Japanese people in Greeley at that time?

GK: I don't know. Not too many in Greeley, but in the entire state of Colorado there were about 2,000 Nikkeis, Issei and Nisei, and about 800 (of them) in the city of Denver.

MU: Now, do you have an idea of why your mother and father take the, chose to live in Greeley?

GK: It's a long story, but first my father went to Hawaii, then Hawaii got -- in 1902 or '03, then he decided that he'd rather wanted to see the United States -- he called the mainland United States, and Hawaii something else -- [Laughs] so in 1906, he came to the United States, intending to settle in the state of California. But on the first day in San Francisco he went out to see the sight and he was attacked by three drunkard hakujin, so he got into fisticuffs. And he had a little experience with judo, so he and one other Issei took care of them. And before they knew, all three hakujins were (...) on the street, bleeding. So they were afraid that they may be lynched so they hastened back to the hotel, packed everything and got on the first train as far as their money (could carry). They had money enough to pay for the fare up to Cheyenne, so they got off at Cheyenne. (...)

MU: Trouble.

GK: Trouble. And went to (the) east of the mountain. And in Cheyenne, they didn't have any penny, not even to have dinner or meal. So after the bus station -- no, train station -- they saw a restaurant which said, "Help wanted." So he went right in and applied for a dishwashing job, washing dishes. And that was the first meal he had in Cheyenne or east of the mountain.

MU: Was that owned by a Nikkei or hakujin?

GK: No, hakujin.

MU: Now, where did your father come from?

GK: He came from Kikuchi-gun, Kumamoto Prefecture.

MU: And your mother, too?

GK: Mother came from a different county, Kammashiki-gun, also in Kumamoto.

MU: Oh, yeah.

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