Densho Digital Archive
Twin Cities JACL Collection
Title: Ed Yoshikawa Interview
Narrator: Ed Yoshikawa
Interviewer: Steve Ozone
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Date: October 12, 2009
Densho ID: denshovh-yed-01-0002

<Begin Segment 2>

SO: Did you have any siblings?

EY: Oh, yes. I had one brother and then...

SO: And what was his name?

EY: Luther. And I had three sisters, Sue, Edith, May and another brother Richard who passed away when he was only three years old. Then Judy and Tule, I believe she was the first girl born in Tule Lake so they named her Tule. And then the last one was Laura. So that's the family.

SO: And where are you in order, in the birth order?

EY: Pardon?

SO: Where are you in the birth order?

EY: Oh, I'm the number one son.

SO: Ah.

EY: Chonan.

SO: Which means?

EY: The eldest son.

SO: Okay. What was your father like when you were growing up?

EY: Well, typical father I would say, Japanese father, he didn't have much to say as far as our upbringing is concerned. It was my mother who disciplined us more than either, more than my dad.

SO: Was he working most of the time? Was he around a lot?

EY: Oh, yes, being a grocery store. However, I might add that to supplement the income, he distributed a Japanese newspaper that was being published in San Francisco and I helped him deliver the newspaper every evening. My dad and I would go out the railroad station, pick up the newspaper, and I'd get my bundle and I'd ride a bicycle and go around delivering the paper. Got to point where I was pretty efficient and the Japanese paper was very thin and I could ride and then flip the newspaper, downtown, and the paper would go down right under the door. Once in a while I'd miss but quite often it goes right through so I don't even have to stop. And then there was an area where I had to go out, and a wholesale dealer, a food wholesale dealer out in the edge of the town. And man, I was only about, what, fifteen, sixteen, those were very scary places to go so I'd go zip, zip, zip out. [Laughs]

SO: What was the Japanese community like in Sacramento?

EY: Well, the Japanese community consisted of the Buddhists, which is the largest group. And there's the Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church and the Baptist Church. Of course, there was a JACL and there were also the kenjinkai. Kenjinkai is a group of people who came from a certain district in Japan. For instance, my parents belonged to Kumamoto Kenjinkai. And there were groups such as Hiroshima Kenjinkai and what have you. Those are the groups that I'm aware of.

SO: Did they tend to stick together?

EY: Oh yes, every so often they would get together and have picnics, and I don't know what else my parents were involved with but...

<End Segment 2> - Copyright ©2009 Densho and the Twin Cities JACL. All Rights Reserved.