Densho Digital Archive
Twin Cities JACL Collection
Title: Judy Murakami Interview
Narrator: Judy Murakami
Interviewer: Carolyn Nayamatsu
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Date: October 13, 2009
Densho ID: denshovh-mjudy-01-0011

<Begin Segment 11>

CN: So you are... your parents are in St. Paul. Did you know what address where they lived?

JM: We all lived at 1821 Goodrich Ave., which is on the corner of Goodrich and Fairview near Macalester College in St. Paul.

CN: And you went to, started elementary school, correct?

JM: Right, uh-huh.

CN: Which elementary school did you attend?

JM: I went to Ramsey Elementary School, which is now Ramsey Junior High. And that was over on Grand Avenue, near Macalester College. We pretty much settled into that neighborhood. We went to Macalester Presbyterian Church, which was, again also near Macalester College. And family really settled in and had a lot of friends and grew up in that whole neighborhood.

CN: I noticed you brought some nice photos of your father and mother, it looks like, continued to be very active in the community.

JM: Yes.

CN: And your father continued to be active with the JACL. I see here he's receiving a pin, silver pin for his service?

JM: Yes. When... I don't really know the history of the JACL in the Twin Cities, but I do know that when we, in the early years, it seemed to me that they called the organization the UCL, United Citizens League, rather than the JACL. The JACL was still in existence, but I always remember hearing about the UCL. And again, I don't know quite how that all changed over. But even in the early days, my father, through my Uncle Earl and some of the other Japanese Americans in the Twin Cities, became involved with the credit union that was part of the JACL, but they called it, again, the TC-UCL Credit Union.

CN: You gave us a picture of the Twin Cities Independent Church. Is that... now, you did not attend this church, but it looks like your aunt did.

JM: My Aunt Ruth actually attended the Unity Unitarian Church over on Summit Avenue in St. Paul. But her mother, my grandmother on my father's side, Kiyo Nomura, was Christian, and they attended the Twin Cities Independent Church.

CN: Was that mainly Japanese?

JM: It was mainly Japanese. And I don't really know... I believe that the reason that kind of it existed was because the services were in Japanese. But our family was all Christian. I mean, it wasn't... I don't remember any of our roots ever being anything but Christian. I was baptized Methodist, my parents were married in Christian churches so we weren't affiliated with, for example, Buddhism at all.

CN: I'm just going to show you another picture of the JACL. It says it's the Midwest convention. It's kind of interesting because I see some Caucasians sitting there so they must have been honoring other people who were active?

JM: Right, by this time it was 1961 and that's taken at the same time that my father receives his silver pin for twenty-five years of service for that. But I think that at that point they were hosting, the Twin Cities was hosting the convention for the Midwest chapter, or the Midwest District, probably.

CN: And here's a picture of picnics at the, you said the UCL...

JM: Right. On the back of that one, I believe that it was labeled 1954 or so, and at that point my mom had written "UCL" on the back, so it showed that they were doing things with the Japanese community and that it was a thriving Japanese American community.

CN: Yeah, it looks like there are quite a few of them.

JM: Right.

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