Densho Digital Archive
Preserving California's Japantowns Collection
Title: Eddie M. Inaba Interview
Narrator: Eddie M. Inaba
Interviewers: Tom Ikeda (primary); Jill Shiraki (secondary)
Location: Sacramento, California
Date: December 11, 2009
Densho ID: denshovh-ieddie-01-0002

<Begin Segment 2>

TI: Let's talk about your father first. Can you tell me your father's name and where he was from? So your father's name was... what was your father's name?

EI: Hikotaro Inaba.

TI: And where was he from?

EI: One?

TI: Where? Where did he grow up?

EI: In Japan?

TI: Yeah, in Japan, where?

EI: Kumamoto-ken, Japan, just like Sam Sakata.

JS: Same as Sam, yeah.

TI: And do you know, in Kumamoto-ken, what your father's family did? What kind of work did he do?

EI: Oh, farmwork, in the farm.

TI: Now, why did your father come to America?

EI: Well, he was working at the Miyazaki-ken in the farmwork. He had a friend there, "Let's go to America." I think they came very young, too.

TI: And do you know about what year your father came?

EI: I don't know.

JS: 1885.

TI: Yeah, so my notes say 1885. Do you know what he did? When he first came America, do you know where he went?

EI: He went to the, Courtland, California.

JS: Courtland?

EI: Yeah. Where my older, my brother, older brother was there. No, no, my father's older brother was there.

JS: Oh, your uncle.

EI: Uncle, yeah.

TI: And what kind of work did he do?

EI: Farm work, making the Sacramento River levee and those things.

TI: And how did your father meet your mother?

EI: I think after ten, fifteen years, little older, I thought they... put together in Japan, I guess, and she came to Seattle and come to Courtland.

JS: Was your mother from Kumamoto-ken also?

EI: Yeah, same place.

JS: Same place.

TI: And when you think of your father, describe what kind of man he was. How would you describe your father? Like what did your father, was he a big man?

EI: No, no, small.

TI: And how about his personality? Was he...

EI: Yeah, he was good.

TI: So when you say "good," what does that mean? Was he a happy man?

EI: Yeah, happy man, drink, make own sake.

TI: So he liked to drink sake, did he like to have lots of friends come by?

EI: Yeah, come by, especially New Year's.

TI: How about your mother? What was your mother like?

EI: Same thing, but not, not as happy like my father.

TI: When, say, for instance, when you got into trouble, say you did something bad. Who would get mad at you, your father or your mother?

EI: Oh, my mother, but they're too old. My mother's too old. That's why we do ourselves.

TI: Oh, so you took care of yourself, you mean?

EI: Yeah.

TI: Okay.

<End Segment 2> - Copyright © 2009 Densho and Preserving California's Japantowns. All Rights Reserved.