Densho Digital Archive
Topaz Museum Collection
Title: Grace F. Oshita Interview
Narrator: Grace F. Oshita
Interviewer: Megan Asaka
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Date: June 4, 2008
Densho ID: denshovh-ograce-01-0002

<Begin Segment 2>

MA: So I'd like to talk about your childhood, and if you could describe the neighborhood that you grew up in, in San Francisco.

GO: It was a so-called Japantown, there were many Japanese families living on my street and around my street. Couple of blocks down, there was a Japantown where they had restaurants, a pharmacy, a regular drugstore, all Japanese-speaking. And it spread quite a few blocks where many Japanese... a few blocks away, there was a Catholic, Japanese Catholic church, and another old church was sold to a Zen Buddhist church. There was a Nichiren church, which was just in a home. But the Buddhist temple was quite well-established.

MA: Was your family Buddhist?

GO: Yes, uh-huh.

MA: Can you describe the house or the building that you, that you grew up in?

GO: Uh-huh. It was the usual three-story flat, and the first story was the owner, and then the second story was our... and we never associated with anybody unless it happened to be a friend from church. Even if we lived next door or across the street, we weren't friends, period. Too busy for that.

MA: So at that point, you had mentioned earlier the factory. Your family had started a miso factory, is that right?

GO: Yes. And they also had a grocery store in Japantown. In other words, it would have been located across the street from Japan Center, I don't know whether you know San Francisco.

MA: No, what's Japan Center?

GO: That's the hub of the Japanese cultural area, this one block, maybe it's half a block, had restaurants and theater. I don't remember too much about... bookstore, Kinokuniya is always where Japanese bookstores are. So we always went there to have Japanese food. I tell my son, "We'll meet you," because the Lane Hospital that he worked at is only a couple blocks up the street.

<End Segment 2> - Copyright ©2008 Densho and the Topaz Museum. All Rights Reserved.