Densho Digital Archive
Twin Cities JACL Collection
Title: Pearl Yoshikawa Interview
Narrator: Pearl Yoshikawa
Interviewer: Carolyn Nayematsu
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Date: October 12, 2009
Densho ID: denshovh-ypearl-01-0011

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CN: Okay, you and Ed met in New York City and he went with the 442nd over to Europe, came back and finally you got married and came to Minnesota because your parents were here and Ed decided to go finish his school here because you were here.

PY: That's right, and it made it very difficult. He probably wanted to go to California, settle over there, but I was the only daughter and my mother and father relied on me a lot, and so my sister got married but she married a fellow from California, Sacramento, so she was living in Sacramento.

CN: When did your sister, when was she able to leave Japan to come back?

PY: I don't know what year that was, but I was still in New York at the time. So she came out to New York and lived with me for about three months and then she decided to go to Sacramento where my uncle, they had a noodle factory down there and so she, they summoned her to come out, go out there, and I guess they introduced her to a fellow and so she was married over there and settled over there. So I more or less was sticking with my mother quite a bit at the time all during the evacuation and everything so I just couldn't leave her, my mother and father.

CN: What were they doing here in Minnesota?

PY: Well, my uncle found a place for them, and so they lived in a real dingy little apartment at first.

CN: What section of Minnesota, Minneapolis?

PY: It was right off Lindell near Munsingwear, but then that was a real low area, you know, section of town, but she had, they got jobs at factories. There were a lot of factories here in Minneapolis at that time, and so she worked at a candy factory. She would take on two jobs. My mother was a very ambitious person so she went from one job to the next and she also worked at a baby clothes factory, Knickerbocker or someplace like that. And eventually all the factories closed down because of international, you know. And so, she kept herself busy and eventually she went to Abbot hospital and was a nurse's aide over there. And then my father, St. Mary's was always open to the minorities and so they hired my father as a cleaning...

CN: Did they ever miss their farm?

PY: There was a lot of headache that's, you know, farming is not that easy because of everything on the weather and everything so I don't think they really missed that because they were getting enough when they both worked to afford an apartment. So it wasn't a fancy apartment but it was very nice.

CN: And so Ed started working at Munsingwear, he said?

PY: Uh-huh.

CN: Okay.

PY: Well, he graduated from college as a teaching major but they required first time teachers to establish themselves two years out in a rural area, and we didn't have a car, we couldn't get -- so he walked the streets and found a job outside, that's how we ended up at Strutwear and then eventually over to Munsingwear. He did other odd jobs, too.

CN: And you raised how many children?

PY: Three children.

<End Segment 11> - Copyright ©2009 Densho and the Twin Cities JACL. All Rights Reserved.