Densho Digital Archive
Raechel Donahue and Garrett Lindemann Collection
Title: Kazuo Shiroyama Interview
Narrator: Kazuo Shiroyama
Interviewer: Raechel Donahue
Date: 2010
Densho ID: denshovh-skazuo-01-0001

<Begin Segment 1>

KS: My name is Kazuo Shiroyama, spelled K-A-Z-U-O, last name is S-H-I-R-O-Y-A-M-A.

RD: And, Kaz, where were you born?


KS: I was born in Monterey, California, 1930.

RD: And your parents?

KS: My parents were born in Japan. My father was born in Shizuoka-ken, my mother was born in... I'm sorry, retake that, I got the place mixed up. My father was born in Aichi-ken and my mother was born in Shizuoka-ken.

RD: And do you know when they came here?

KS: I believe it was 1924.

RD: Where did you go to school?

KS: I went to school at Avalon Boulevard elementary school in Wilmington, California.

RD: And what was your life like before camp? What I'm looking here for is an "all-American story."

KS: Oh, we played football, Kick the Can... oh, we went swimming a lot because we lived right next to the Los Angeles Harbor. Our neighborhood was a bunch of Japanese families that was composed of the fishing industry, and all our parents worked either in the fishing cannery or on the fishing boats. And the fishing boats were docked right at the end of our little neighborhood on a dock there in Los Angeles Harbor, Wilmington, that is. And also did a lot of swimming, diving off the fishing boat into the harbor, and spent all summer long in our bathing suits. And next door to our little Japanese fishing village was a little ship repair shop, and they were contracting with all the Hollywood movie studios and they were refurbishing and building, fixing up sailing ships and all these types of interesting seacrafts for the movie industry.

RD: Was your father involved in that at all?

KS: No, that was all separate from our fishing industry of our Japanese neighborhood.

RD: Yeah, so they were doing, and they even had the tanks and everything that they were using in those days to put boats in.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 2010 Raechel Donahue and Garrett Lindemann and Densho. All Rights Reserved.