Densho Digital Archive
Twin Cities JACL Collection
Title: Sally Sudo Interview
Narrator: Sally Sudo
Interviewer: Steve Ozone
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Date: October 12, 2009
Densho ID: denshovh-ssally-01-0008

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SO: So you graduated from high school and what did you do from there?

SS: I went to the University of Minnesota.

SO: Your major?

SS: I majored in education, elementary education.

SO: So there must have been more of an international flavor at college.

SS: Yes, although, the fact that, because of our family resources, I always had to live at home so I really never experienced that kind of college life. And besides that I worked my way through school, so I worked like twenty-five hours a week and took a full course of classes. In fact, I went through the four year course at the university in three years. So I was taking twenty, twenty-one credits a quarter, which is a lot. So as far as campus life and experiencing those kinds of things, very little. The only good thing that came out of it was that's where I met my future husband, was at the University of Minnesota.

SO: How did you get to school?

SS: I used to take the bus, or my brother Tom who was teaching in a Minneapolis school at that time used to drop us off on the way to school. There was another girlfriend of mine from high school that lived a block away, and the two us used to ride together to go to the university.

SO: So you met your husband at the university. How did that happen?

SS: Well, he was actually there as an exchange student. Now my husband was born and raised in Tokyo and so he had this whole other experience of living the war as a Japanese while I was living the war as a Japanese American. And his family lived right in Tokyo. His father was a butcher and owned his own meat shop, and so they had property and everything, which they lost during the war because they couldn't pay the taxes on it. But when World War II started he was in junior high school and he tells me stories about, for instance, being at a baseball game, in the stadium, during Jimmy Doolittle's raid on Tokyo. He said the sky just blackened with the number of planes that came overhead. He said it was like watching the 4th of July fireworks. I mean, just bombs dropping here and there, and all these explosions and actually his house was also hit and they had these bucket brigades where they would pass the bucket of water to the next person until it got to the point of the fire and kept doing that and put the fire out. During the worst of the bombings in Japan, the rest of his family moved into the country. But because my husband had just gotten, had passed the test to enter one of the better high schools in Tokyo, he stayed behind and they had him live with a neighbor so that he could go on to this high school that he had passed the entrance examination for. And so he lived in Tokyo during the worst of it, and he not only finished high school... and there they actually used high school students for military drills and things and made them work in the factories that were making products to use in the war, so he did that as well and actually went on to the university there as well, majored in economics. But after graduating from university, he couldn't get a job in his field, so he ended up working as an ambulance driver for the U.S. military. And he said that it was quite an experience. As they would pick up people that were injured and if it was a Japanese person they had to go to a different hospital than the U.S. military personnel who go the better hospitals to go to. And it was through meeting one of these soldiers that befriended him, the soldier asked him if he was interested in coming to the States, and would he interested in coming to school here. Now he already had his university degree from Japan but he jumped on that opportunity. And came here to the States and he earned another degree in Business Administration here.

<End Segment 8> - Copyright ©2009 Densho and the Twin Cities JACL. All Rights Reserved.