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

[Ed. note: Correct spelling of certain names, words and terms used in this interview have not been verified.]

<Begin Segment 1>

CN: I'd like to welcome Judy Murakami, and my name is Carolyn Nayematsu on behalf of the Twin Cities Japanese American Citizens League Oral History Project. We are here to interview Judy Murakami. Judy, where and when were you born?

JM: I was born in Portland, Oregon, in 1940, June 18, 1940.

CN: And what was your name that was given at birth?

JM: Judith Emiko Nomura.

CN: Now your family is one of the early descendants to Portland, and so let's talk about your, on your mother's side. I'm holding up a picture of your grandparents on your mother's side, and we are going to explain...


JM: On my mother's side, her father was named Gensaku Somekawa. He was born in Japan in 1875. And the interesting thing about my grandfather was that he was not originally a Somekawa. He was actually born into the Tawaru family. In their family they did not have, they had four sons. They had some friends or relatives who did not have a son so he was given in adoption to this Somekawa family.

CN: Your father, your grandfather, I should say, had an interesting courtship. He came to United States and then he went back, right, to Japan?

JM: Yes, he was born in 1875, then he was about twenty in 1895 he came to the United States and he began to work for a short time. And around 1911 he went back to Japan and at that point he met my grandmother, his future wife and asked her to marry him. And she refused a couple of times, but eventually they did get married and they came to the United States about 1911, 1912.

CN: And what did they do in the United States? They went to Portland right?

JM: They went to Portland. My grandmother, Yone Somekawa, was actually a fairly well-educated person back in Japan. When she was in Japan she had gone to school, quite a bit of schooling, and became a registered nurse. She graduated from a place called Kyoto Imperial University, which is now the University of Kyoto, in nursing. And she wanted to become a nurse, and I think at one point she was actually working as a surgical nurse in the Kyoto University Hospital. She did not want to marry my grandfather because she wanted to pursue her own career, and she wanted to take care of her widowed mother. But they did get married, and they came to the United States in 1912. They settled in Portland, Oregon, and my grandfather Gensaku Somekawa began a mercantile store where they sold goods that were imported from Japan. Eventually it was called Nichibei Store in Japantown in Portland, Oregon.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright ©2009 Densho and the Twin Cities JACL. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 2>

CN: And we have a mockup of what Japantown looked like around 1940 Portland, and I think the Somekawa Mercantile Store is right there? It was on what street?

JM: It was on... it's on Third Avenue. [Reading] "The Somekawa Store, which was first called the George Somekawa Store and later was called Nichibei, was on Third Avenue between Northwest Everett and Northwest Davis in Japantown."

CN: And there's what looks like a fairly thriving Japantown in the 1940s.

JM: Yes, it was. There were a lot of different businesses in that area.

CN: Okay, and then on your father's side is Nomura.

JM: On my father's side.

CN: I mean your father's. You want to talk about your father's side?

JM: Okay, on my father's side, my father's parents were his father Frank Jiro Nomura and his wife's name was Kiyo... let's see, what was her name? Her name was actually... on my father's side, her father was named Frank Jiro Nomura, and his mother was named Kiyo Takeda Nomura. They also have an interesting background. My grandfather, Frank Jiro Nomura, actually had learned English in Tokyo, they were from Tokyo. And when they got married, he and his wife, my grandmother, came to the United States on their honeymoon. They came partly because the economy wasn't doing very well in Japan, and when they were sitting, the story that has been passed down is that when they were sitting on the wharf in Portland, they thought that this would be a great place for them to settle down and start a new life and have a family. And so they ended up staying in Portland right after their honeymoon.

CN: And what did they do in Portland?

JM: They had actually several different jobs. At some point, because my grandfather did know English, he was able to work as an assistant to a chef in a restaurant, in a hotel restaurant, and my grandmother worked in some Caucasian lady's homes and tried to learn American customs and also help take care of the American lady's household goods.

CN: And they had how many children?

JM: On my father's side, Frank and Kiyo Nomura, they had four children. The oldest one was Ruth... excuse me, the oldest one was name Paul, and then Ruth, and then my father Howard and then the younger sister Elsie. They were all named American names partly because, I think, of their connection with the Caucasian community. I've heard that they were given biblical names, or American names, because of that.

CN: Now your mother's... so on the other side of the family, how many children?

JM: On my mother's side, the Somekawa's side, there were six children. The oldest one was George... excuse me, the oldest one was Arthur and then my mother Emi and then a brother George and then two daughters Aya and Aida, and then my uncle, Carl Somekawa.

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

<Begin Segment 3>

CN: Okay, so your father and your mother both grew up in Portland?

JM: Yes.

CN: Attended elementary, high school, right? And college as I understand it?

JM: The schooling that my parents had, my mother went through high school. I think she graduated from Grant High School in Portland, Oregon. My father, who was four years older than my mother, actually went through Oregon State College, which is now Oregon State University, and he became a pharmacist. He was the first Japanese American registered pharmacist in Oregon.

CN: And his pharmacy was also in Japantown, the Nomura Drug Store, right?

JM: It was the pharmacy right toward the top, on Northwest Sixth, I think.

CN: Sixth Avenue?

JM: Between...

CN: Riverside and was it Ankeny?

JN: Ankeny Avenue, right. His, at the time... my parents got married in 1935, and at that point my father was working for another person as a pharmacist and then soon after began his own pharmacy which was kind of on the edge of Japantown. It was more on Burnside between... or it was on Northwest Sixth Street... Northwest Sixth Avenue, between Burnside and Ankeny. So he had this pharmacy for a couple years.

CN: So he was a pharmacist at least a few years before the war started?

JM: Yes.

CN: Where did you live? Were you able to purchase homes?

JM: My grandparents on my mother's side had not ever lived much of their lives in a Japanese community, even though they some Japanese friends. They had pretty much lived in a Caucasian neighborhood, and in fact, my mother used to say that she really didn't have any Japanese friends until she was about fifteen years old. So they grew up in kind of an integrated, non-Japanese environment. So when my parents got married they also were going to live in a Caucasian neighborhood. And I think at first they rented a home and then soon after that they were going to purchase a home. I came across an old photo of this house with my mother's note on it that said, "This is a house that we purchased," first. I'm not sure if they actually moved into it, but they had already bought the home, and the neighbors circulated a petition saying that they did not want any Japanese people living in that home or that neighborhood. This was probably about 1938, I would say, or '37. And so my, I think my father may have felt that he wanted to move into it anyway, but my mother refused to move into it, and so this little note, this post-it note that my mother has on this picture of the house says, "We had to sell the house at a loss because we wouldn't move in there." And I remember that at one point my parents said that my mother was still upset with my father because after this petition had gone around, my father went to the neighbors and gave each of them a Japanese doll as kind of a token of goodwill. It was kind of also ironic because he found out that when some of the people had signed this petition, they didn't realize that the family that was moving in was the Nomura family, and one of them was a colleague of my father's before he had a pharmacy, and so he was surprised. And another one told my father that he really didn't want to sign the petition but he himself was Jewish, and he was afraid that if he didn't sign it, he would be the target of some prejudice and discrimination himself. So it was kind of ironic. And the other reason I think why my father wanted to move in there was because he was at that point the president of the Portland JACL, the Japanese American Citizens League, and he felt that it was kind of his duty to be an example and to move in, but my mother didn't want to do that. And so they ended up buying another house, also in a Caucasian neighborhood which ended up being kind of a real blessing because it had wonderful neighbors, and those neighbors were the ones who kind of helped my family when they were forced to relocate, because they helped them with some of the moving and the furniture storing and so forth.

<End Segment 3> - Copyright ©2009 Densho and the Twin Cities JACL. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 4>

CN: Your parents, it sounds like, were very active, I mean, your father was president of the JACL. How about your mother?

JM: I think my mother was... at that point there were two children. I had an older brother at that point who has since passed away. And I was just... when Pearl Harbor happened I was just a baby. I know that in looking through old albums, they had a lot of friends, and they were always doing activities with both Japanese friends and family and with their Caucasian friends. But I think my father was mainly the one who was very active. My mother did a lot of things through the years. She did a lot of Japanese dancing and her family was fairly active in the Japanese community. Even though they didn't live in the neighborhood at that point, they were still involved with many Japanese friends.

CN: So were both sets of grandparents pretty active?

JM: To be honest I don't know very much about the Nomura side, although I know that my aunt, my Aunt Ruth, in looking through her albums and her old photos, she was very active and she was quite well-known in the Japanese community. She had traveled to Japan, and her father had gone back to Japan in 1924 and come back to the United States with a lot of kimonos and different things like that. So they were still tied to the culture back in Japan. And my aunt won a contest actually that was, it was actually a contest sponsored by a newspaper on the West Coast called the Nichi Bei Newspaper. I don't know what the rules were, but my aunt was one of the winners, and the prize was to go to Japan and study for a month or whatever. And so they took the steamship, and that was a big impact on her and her future direction.

CN: And this was Ruth Tanbara, who was one of the first Japanese Americans to the Twin Cities.

JM: Right.

CN: So your father had a fairly thriving drugstore, I can imagine, because it looked like there was maybe one other drugstore there? At least when you look at the mockup.

JM: There may have been another one but I believe that my father's, my father only had the one store.

CN: And he was the first registered pharmacist?

JM: My father was the first registered, Japanese American pharmacist in Oregon.

CN: What was it like, were there, do you know if he ever talked to you about other Japanese that were attending the university? Was he one of the first? He must have been.

JM: On my father's side, three of them went to Oregon State. And I think my father must have done fairly well in school, because in looking through their old albums, I found a picture of the dean of one of the colleges. I don't know if it was the college of pharmacy, but his name was Dean Dubach. And several years later, my parents, on a trip back to Oregon, went to visit him, Dean Dubach and his wife. So that kind of tells me that they did have a very close relationship with at least some of the people at Oregon State.

<End Segment 4> - Copyright ©2009 Densho and the Twin Cities JACL. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 5>

CN: And then evacuation, I mean, December 7, 1941. You were just a baby at that point. Your father was active in the Japanese American Citizens League, so they were going to be sent to camp, but your family was separated from the rest of the Portland group, as I understand, because of his activities, is that correct?

JM: My father was the president of the JACL from 1938 to 1940, so he was just a recent past president. And when Pearl Harbor happened, of course there was all sorts of turmoil and speculation and fear going on. And I believe that when the Tolan Committee began to have hearings and talk with the Japanese Americans, there really weren't a lot of organizations or organized people to talk with, so they ended up having contact with the JACL, Japanese American Citizens League, and my father as one of the still leaders, even though he was no longer president, was one of the people that they talked with. I have no idea exactly what happened at that point, but they... I think my father, even though he didn't speak about it very much in later life, I gather that he was of the opinion, or he shared the opinion of those who felt that the way that the Japanese Americans could show their patriotism and loyalty was to cooperate with the government and more or less just cooperate with the government and go into the camps at that point. I don't know if he felt that... I don't know if he really knew what was going to happen or how it was going to happen but that's kind of the stand that he probably supported.

And we found out that most of the people in Portland, Oregon, went to Minidoka, Idaho, and all of their family and friends went to Minidoka. My father and our family, our immediate family, went to Heart Mountain, Wyoming, and he was told that the reason why he was being sent to Heart Mountain was because they needed registered pharmacists there. When they got there we found that there were several, many registered pharmacists already there, and my father ended up working as a carpenter there. And they found out later that the reason why our family was separated was because there were some Japanese Americans, Niseis, who were blaming other Japanese Americans, such as people who were from the JACL, because they felt that they were maybe almost being a traitor to the cause of the freedom of the Japanese Americans. And they said things like, they accused people such as my father of turning in or naming people who may be questionable, and some of those people were maybe sent to Tule Lake, and so then the other Japanese Americans would beat up on the JACL people. So, supposedly we were sent to Heart Mountain to protect our family from other Japanese Americans, which was really kind of ironic. My mother said that -- she had written some things years later -- that one time she when we were in the barracks, she was in the barracks by herself, and someone threw in a note and called my father "Howard DeWitt." He was more or less the head of the internment, the whole internment effort on the side of the government. So in other words they were labeling my father as a part of that. And I think that another time something was tossed through the window, a burning newspaper, and my mother had to stamp it out, and she wrote down she didn't know how she stamped it out all by herself. It was those sorts of terrorist things that happened to her that made my mother very bitter about the whole experience and she never spoke about it. In fact, years later, if anyone even mentioned something, it just kind of got my mother all riled up about it. It was because, not just of the experience itself, but because of all the other memories and difficulties that they had from both sides.

CN: Did your father ever mention the difficulties at Heart Mountain? Did he ever feel threatened?

JM: I think... well, you know, my father ended up... our family was not in the camp as long as many of the other people because we were able to come to Minnesota. So we were in the camps for roughly... my father was in camp for about a year. And during that time, he became the chairperson of all the different blocks. The way they were organized they had so many blocks and units and he was head of our block. Then he was also kind of, they jokingly said he was the "chairman of all the block heads." And, in fact, I think I brought a picture of him as... I'm not sure if brought it or not, but I did bring a picture of them in camp with...

CN: I don't have that one.

JM: Okay, but yeah, I will show it to you because it has 'em all line up, and he was, at that point, the chairman of all the blocks. So I think that even in a new environment where he didn't really know any people. People recognized he had leadership skills and respected him for that.

CN: It sounds like they must have trusted him, even if people were afraid of JACL leaders, I guess. It sounds like he earned their trust.

JM: I think so, yes.

<End Segment 5> - Copyright ©2009 Densho and the Twin Cities JACL. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 6>

CN: Now, I know you have a couple of mementos from the Heart Mountain time that you donated. Can you describe some of the items that your father made for you?

JM: Okay, well, father was a carpenter, and I don't actually know that he made this particular thing or not, because even though my father was kind of handy, I don't know that he was... I don't know if at that point in his life he was that qualified as a carpenter. But there was a doll bed that someone made for me, because I was maybe a year and a half old at that point. It was about two feet by... two feet long by maybe a foot and a half wide by a foot tall. And it was just made out of pieces of lumber, and on the edge of this bed was painted an outline of Heart Mountain. And anyone who has seen a picture of Heart Mountain camp would recognize a very distinct look -- it's not like a Valentine heart, it looks more like a human heart -- and they painted that on the side and then above that they put my name "Judy" on it, and then they actually had some little decals of little bears and bunny rabbits. Not that long ago I actually sent it to Heart Mountain because they are doing an educational, interpretive center there, and they were looking for mementos, so I boxed it all up and sent it to them so they would have it for safekeeping, but I do have a photo of what I sent.

CN: I should have asked, Heart Mountain is in Wyoming, where is it?

JM: Heart Mountain, the nearest large town is Powell, P-O-W-E-L-L, and I think that the nearest recognizable town is Cody, Wyoming. And it's interesting because the people who are heading up this interpretive center are some of the Caucasians who have lived there. One of them is a woman that we met when my husband and I went out to visit the camp about five years ago. Her name is LaDonna Zall. She was telling me how back in 1945 or '46 when they closed that camp, she was a little girl living in Powell, and her father took her out of elementary school and took her down to the train station because he wanted her to understand what had happened to all these people. The memory stuck with her, so as a woman who is probably in her eighties, she's been spearheading and been very active in trying to preserve the history of that camp.

CN: Because that turned out to be one of the largest towns in Wyoming.

JM: Right, yeah, it was.

<End Segment 6> - Copyright ©2009 Densho and the Twin Cities JACL. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 7>

CN: So your Aunt Ruth, and Ruth is your father's sister, was living in the Twin Cities, then you were able to go there.

JM: Right. My Aunt Ruth, this is my father's older sister, she went from Portland to Berkeley, California, and married Earl Tanbara, so she was Ruth Tanbara. At the time of Pearl Harbor, she and earl were in their early thirties and they had no children, and they were both working. They were getting ready to register for evacuation, and somehow somebody who was doing some of the paperwork recognized my aunt from school. And one thing led to another and he actually offered my uncle and aunt a position in the Midwest if they would come out to the Midwest and help relocate the Japanese Americans from the various camps around the country. And so I think they had a chance to go to a couple different places, but they chose Minnesota to come to. And that's why they moved out here during the war, and their main objective was to help build goodwill within the community for Japanese Americans, because Minnesota didn't have very many and very few people knew anything about Japanese people. And also there was Camp Savage at Fort Snelling, which was also in the Twin Cities, and there were a lot of Japanese American young men who were working with the language school and trying to learn Japanese for the Military Intelligence School. And they wanted to provide them with some kind of, some Japanese Americans who could kind of help them in adjusting to being in Minnesota and vice versa for community to accept the Japanese Americans.

CN: And before I forget, when you said your immediate family ended up in Heart Mountain, does that include both sets of grandparents?

JM: No.

CN: Okay, so where did they go?

JM: well, my grandparents on my mother's side ended up going to Minidoka with all the rest of her siblings, except for... my mother had, in my mother's family there were six, and one of her brothers who was just below her in age had gone to Oregon State and had graduated in law. He had not passed the bar exam for Oregon on his first try in 1938 or '39, so he went to Japan for a trip, and he more or less got caught over there in Japan by the atomic bomb. And because of this dual citizenship law which meant that children of Japanese-born parents, regardless of where the Japanese-born parents were living, were still considered Japanese citizens. So he was considered a Japanese citizen and also an American citizen. But because the Japanese considered him a Japanese citizen, they drafted him into the Japanese army. And we're not really quite sure whatever happened to him. I don't know if he was in prison camp, or I know he went to China and maybe to Burma, but he, again, never wanted to talk about it because it was so unpleasant for him. But eventually he ended up staying over in Japan. He married someone in 1945 or '46, and he did very well. Because he knew English and Japanese he ended up being on cable news. He ended up being friends with the crown prince and playing tennis with him and working for the Asahi Evening News on the English side. And they still, my uncle has passed away but his daughter and his wife still live in Tokyo. But on my father's side, his parents... I'm not, to be honest, I don't remember if they, I believe that they went to, they probably went to Minidoka also with the other Japanese from Portland because they were from Portland also. And then I think that they were able to come camps because Ruth Tanbara, Ruth and Earl Tanbara were located here in Minnesota. And they actually went to, when they came out of the camp they actually went to Chicago and to Wisconsin first.

CN: Oh, they did?

JM: Uh-huh.

CN: No wonder your mother and father felt isolated, I mean, they had no friends. I mean, their friends that they thought they would end up in camp with, they ended up in a different camp with other families?

JM: That's right, they didn't, that's true.

<End Segment 7> - Copyright ©2009 Densho and the Twin Cities JACL. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 8>

CN: So your father came out to Minnesota with Ruth. So it was just your mother and your father?

JM: No. In camp, so our family was in camp for about a year or so, and Ruth was never in camp. So my father, after about a year, you could apply to leave the camps, so my father went and applied to leave the camp because he had a place to go, which was to the Twin Cities. So he left, and my mother and my older brother and I remained in camp for about five or six more months while my father came out here to look for employment. When my father came to the Twin Cities he tried to find a job as a pharmacist, and no one would hire him. So he was about to take a job filling oil drums in the Twin Cities. And then he went to a man named Sam Grais, G-R-A-I-S, who owned a small chain of drugstores in the Twin Cities named Grais Drugstores. At that time I think there were five drugstores. And Mr. Grais was Jewish. So my father applied to be a pharmacist at one of the drugstores. Mr. Grais went to the pharmacists or the managers at each one of his drugstores and asked if any of them had an objection to having my father, who was Japanese, being employed there. One of them objected and my father never found out who it was. He didn't find out exactly what the objection was or how it was worded, but Mr. Grais could not then hire my father as a pharmacist, so he hired him to be to work in the warehouse. And I don't know if he was the foreman of the warehouse or he became the foreman, but eventually my father worked his way up from that, and he became the buyer for the whole chain of drugstores, which became, eventually there were six drugstores. Probably the most well-known one was over on the campus, the University of Minnesota campus over on Fourteenth and Fourth. And my father also worked as a registered pharmacist, part-time, but his main job was to be the buyer for the whole chain. But that was kind of ironic because Mr. Grais wanted to help him out partly because of the own Jewish background that they had and the difficulties that the Jewish people were feeling or experiencing during World War II. And yet he was not able to do exactly what he wanted to.

CN: So your mother had to stay. Did she mention what it was like not having your father in camp?

JM: No, I don't think so. So we were sent for then shortly after that and came. My Uncle Earl --this is Ruth's husband -- was very helpful in helping our family to find a home. They found a home on the corner of Goodrich and Fairview, which is near Macalester College in St. Paul. We found out later that the realtor told the next-door neighbors that a very nice Swedish couple and their children were moving into this house, but it was actually my family that moved in, and we actually lived in that house for about thirty-nine years, with the same neighbors for there practically the whole time, and we became really good friends with them.

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

<Begin Segment 9>

CN: Your father left the camp early. But tell me some things about why he was able to leave early.

JM: My father left the camp after about fourteen months, and that was because his older sister Ruth and her husband Earl Tanbara were living in St. Paul, Minnesota. As I understand it, you were allowed to apply for permission to leave a camp if you could prove that you had someplace to go. I'm not sure if you had to prove that you had an income or something, but you had to be able to prove that you would be able to make it in a new community, and it had to of course be away from the West Coast. So that's why my family never went back to Oregon or to the West Coast at all, was because they needed to, when they left the camp they knew that they were moving inland. And my father, in going through some of my mother's things, I found this book called the Evacuation of 1942. And in it -- my mother was very organized as was my father -- and there were all sorts of papers of letters that my father had requested be written for him. They are letters of reference and they're from all over. They're from Oregon State College, he's got a bunch of them from there, from the School of Science, and someone from the YWCA and the church. These were all from late December, 1942, and January and February or so of 1943. And the interesting thing with these letters is that they were, they have a kind of a theme through them, not only attesting to his character and the kind of person he was or his qualifications, but there always seems to be something about his loyalty. And there was always some reference to the fact that he was a person of Japanese ancestry. So for example, there is this one from the Dean of Science who was probably my father's professor of pharmacy from Oregon State, of December 30, 1942, in which he said, "I have known Mr. Howard Nomura very well since the fall of 1928. I had him in my classes for four years and since that time have kept in close contact with him while he was in business in Portland. I have always found him able, dependable and trustworthy. Moreover, from personal knowledge, I have no question concerning his loyalty to this country. On the basis of my intimate knowledge with him I do not hesitate to recommend him for any position in prescription work," which is in pharmacy. But it just seems kind of odd because nowadays when you ask for a letter of reference, you don't usually talk about a person's loyalty or what kind of a citizen they will have. And there are... another one just says, a sentence says, "He is a home-loving man with pride in his family and in his community. He has long been active in civic affairs." And he talks about being well-respected within the community.

And there's one that actually was very official looking, it comes from the state of Oregon, County of Multnomah which is where Portland is. And it's got number one, two, three four, all attesting to Howard Nomura has done all these different things. And it mentions the fact that my father was a troop leader, a Boy Scout troop leader, and that he is "quite proud of being a citizen of the United States and he has told me that subsequent to the date of his birth, his father and mother refused to enroll him with the Japanese consul in Oregon as a citizen of the Empire of Japan, and that he has always considered himself to be a citizen of the United States of America." Because at that time, people who were children of Issei, or children of Japanese-born citizens, were also considered Japanese citizens, but here he's kind attesting to the fact that he was never registered as such and that, "while he resided in the City of Portland his home was the typical, average American home and that his actions, demeanor and attitude have been typically American." This is an interesting comment, I think. That this person says that, "Subsequent to Pearl Harbor, he told me that he believed the Japanese would be moved from the state of Oregon and that while it was a shame, it was probably necessary under the circumstances." And, "of my own knowledge, I know that he has invested in United States Defense Savings Bonds and has purchased life insurance and was an asset to the community. I believe that he is a responsible individual and will do no act contrary to the best interests of the United States of America."

CN: Those are interesting aren't they?

JM: Yeah. He's always been a loyal citizen. It's kind of sad, actually, to realize that people have to have all these letters just because people are questioning you because you look different because you look Japanese.

<End Segment 9> - Copyright ©2009 Densho and the Twin Cities JACL. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 10>

CN: And in your father's case, he had a thriving business. You also have documented, it sounds like he was really trying to get insurance or something, but it indicates what a loss he took on his pharmacy business. Would you like to read some of the...

JM: I just have to find it. Do you have 'em?

CN: No, you have them. It talks about how just before he left, I remember one of the things you said, he had sent out some bills to people and we was never... he was never able to collect on them. And he left a lot of prescriptions and drugs to...

JM: My father, at the time of, when the evacuation order finally came, it came so suddenly. And my father, because he was he owned this pharmacy business, he, of course, felt very responsible for the prescriptions of all these customers. And I found out later that he must have filed some kind of a claim, probably in, towards the late '40s, I would think, trying to regain some of the loss that he had acquired. And I think that in some ways he was fortunate that he was able to recreate some of the records from his business, because I'm sure there were a lot of people who had no paperwork to be able to do this. But he says that his losses, this is called a Statement of Claim of Howard Nomura: "The following losses and expenses incurred by me due to my evacuation are explained in detail in the following schedules." And he's tended to underestimate rather than overestimate. And he lists everything from furniture and supplies and furniture that was damaged either in the course of being moved from wherever it was stored to St. Paul, Minnesota, or being stored, and just his business loss which was substantial in those times. He had bought a new car and the amount of money that was lost for that.

So they are all tallied here, and a couple of things are kind of interesting with this. For example, he's even able to label where he bought some of the things and how much the value was at the time it was disposed. And then if he was able to sell it, how much he got, and what the loss was. And usually the loss was the same as the original value because they were not able to sell it. But one of the things here, he had a car that... he'd bought a 1941 Oldsmobile, and he's got even the place he bought it, from Logan Oldsmobile Company in Portland for $1600. It was seven months old and he left it with a friend in Portland who was going to sell it, and he did sell it for $1100 for my father. And this gentleman then came to the assembly center, the Portland Assembly Center, to give my father some money for it, and I don't know if, I think that maybe he was only going to give him part of the money at that point. And I'm not sure, later give him the rest of it, but he had an envelope with fifty dollars in it, and he left the envelope at the guardhouse of the assembly center because they would not let this gentleman, this Caucasian gentleman come in, and they wouldn't let my father go out to meet him. So he left the envelope with the guard and asked him to give it to Howard Nomura. And years later my father found out that this had happened because he never got the envelope and the guard had just taken the $50 that he had. It's just another example, I guess, of some of the things that probably happened to lots of the people.

CN: What did he say about the prescriptions? What happened to all the prescriptions that he had?

JM: Well, he had a, he had a prescription file containing over 25,000 prescriptions at that time, and so what he did was he gave it to another drugstore that was nearby so that the patients could continue to have their prescriptions filled and still get service. And then he had some prescriptions that were given on credit, and there were about a hundred of those. Either people didn't have the cash at the time, and they didn't have Visa charges, but he gave them credit. And so what my father had done was he mailed a statement just before the evacuation, but he couldn't get any of the people to pay. Not one of them paid. And some of them may have been because they were Japanese Americans and they were probably also in the process of being evacuated, and they didn't have any means to pay or whatever, but some of them were Caucasians, and he never received an answer to any one of his statements, so he lost all of that. I think that he figured that... I'm not sure how much that was. Probably accounts receivable, I think he had about three hundred dollars on that, and back in those days that was quite a bit. The amount that he lost in his inventory was probably close to five thousand dollars.

CN: So yeah, he made quite a sacrifice, gave up his, had to give up his business and start over. You have so much nice information. Here's the Heart Mountain Sentinel, this is a rather nice, I think, newspaper that they printed up and it announces in here, your family, "Relocation in Review." It just talks about how Howard Nomura has asked to bring his family out to St. Paul. There are some other Minnesota people, too, who you didn't think you knew, right? This is a boxer we see here, "Boxer Ted Tsuboi joined brother Bud in Minneapolis where both are occupied as mechanics," it says. And then there are some others that were coming out. So this was a nice memento that...

JM: And that's from, what date was that?

CN: This is October, 1943. So your mother and all were just about... and Ted just left, right?

JM: Yes.

CN: So your immediate family came out to Minneapolis...

JM: St. Paul.

CN: ...St. Paul and joined your Aunt Ruth Tanbara. Did your grandparents, any of your grandparents come out at that time?

JM: On my father's side, his parents Frank and Kiyo Nomura,. I think that they went eventually to a place called Delavan, Wisconsin. There was a resort there called Lake Lawn, by Delavan, Wisconsin, and they worked there as, I think my grandfather helped cook or they did some type of work like that, as a cook. And he may also have gone to Chicago, where their oldest son Paul and his youngest daughter Elsie and her family were living, and he may have stayed there for a while. Eventually my grandfather ended up with cancer, so that he came to Minnesota and he stayed with my Aunt Ruth until he passed away. On my mother's side, her parents went to Minidoka which is where all the people from Portland went. And so her... my mother's mother, Yone Somekawa and her husband Gensaku Somekawa were there. My grandfather ended up with a stroke and he died in camp about 1944 I think it was, maybe '43. Then after the war, my grandfather had had a home in Portland, Oregon, and I don't know quite how they owned it or what that was, but as I understand it, they had a home in Portland, Oregon, which had been their family home for a while. And they went back to Portland, and the oldest son Arthur and his wife Emi stayed in that home along with the grandmother, Yone Somekawa. And she stayed there for a few years until she moved up to Seattle to be with two of her daughters, Aya and Aida Kozu and their families, and she passed away at the age of ninety-four there.

<End Segment 10> - Copyright ©2009 Densho and the Twin Cities JACL. All Rights Reserved.

<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.

<Begin Segment 12>

CN: Now another organization that your family belonged to was something called the Rainbow Club.

JM: Right.

CN: And that was composed mostly of Japanese? It looks like some of these pictures, like this one, it was kind of an intercultural, multicultural group?

JM: I would call it more internationality...

CN: Okay.

JM: opposed to just "cultural." They, in the early days... somebody else probably knows the dates and the history better than I do, but the Episcopalian Diocese had this building at 2200 Blaisdell in Minneapolis, and they either gave the building to the Japanese American community or they allowed them to use the building. And so there were many functions there. We had bazaars there, we had meetings there...

CN: Now what that also called the Japanese American Center?

JM: It was the Japanese American Center.

CN: Okay, because you have a couple of photos like the "Japanese American Center bazaar" and...

JM: And that one had my brother, my little brother, who was born in 1949, Philip.

CN: And then this is a...

JM: This one I think is Miyeko Uyejima and Kimi Hara, and my mother Emi Nomura. And that was again at a bazaar for that. So at these centers --

CN: And this is at Halloween it says?

JM: That one, is that the Rainbow Club or is that the...

CN: It says "JA Center."

JM: That's the Japanese American Center. So what they would do is they would have, they would use the center for multiple things. And they would have, it was mainly a place to meet. And then they also had this Rainbow Club which was this multi-nationality, mainly Caucasians, there were some blacks or African Americans and a lot of Japanese Americans there.

CN: Here it shows sort of a mixture of... it looks like there's an African American.

JM: Right. And they became friends for many, many years. So it was... the Japanese American Community Center was a place for people to meet. It was kind of a place where they would have like young people's groups organized from there. But as I understand it, as the families got bigger, as the Japanese American families got bigger, and they moved into the suburbs or they moved away, they became more involved with their local communities and their children's activities, and it became more difficult to go into Minneapolis for occasions, and they were also supposed to help keep up and maintain this building. And so they would take turns, the Japanese people, families would take turns taking care of it. Well, again, as you became busier and moved farther away, eventually they wanted to give the building back to the Episcopalian diocese and so they no longer owned that building.

CN: And the Episcopal, there was a Japanese American father, right? A minister?

JM: Right. His name was, we called him Father Dai Kitagawa. Right, and he was followed by Father, Reverend Otani. But again, I don't remember if Reverend Otani actually was, if by that time the community center was starting to be less active, and the Twin Cities Independent Christian Church that you were looking at earlier, they no longer had the meeting place on Blaisdell, so they tended to meet, I think, in, they may have met in some high rise, in the party room in some high rise.

<End Segment 12> - Copyright ©2009 Densho and the Twin Cities JACL. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 13>

CN: Now during this time you're going through elementary school, you went to... was Ramsey also a junior high school?

JM: No, Ramsey was grades kindergarten through eighth grade. It was a neighborhood school, and I remember that we still maintain friendships with people that went to elementary school. I went then from there to Central High School for grades 9 through 12. And sometimes we've had class reunions for high school but then we have kind of a sub-class reunion for Ramsey. And those are almost more fun because we were a closer-knit group.

CN: Were there very many Japanese students?

JM: There were no other Japanese students at Ramsey. And I believe that there was maybe one or two at... I know there was at least one in my class, but there may have been another one or two at Central High School.

CN: And how do you think you were received at Central High School?

JM: Well, I think that of the things about growing up in Minnesota back in that time is that I don't think I ever really felt the discrimination, and I think that it's partly owed to my parents. The other thing I think that maybe helped it at that time was there was kind of a rising interest in things that were Japanese. So people in the Midwest, because there weren't that many Japanese, they tended to be very interested in Japanese culture. I know that there was probably some barriers for us, but it wasn't that evident. What tells me that there were probably some barriers is the fact that -- as I told you earlier -- when my parents went to buy the house, the realtor didn't want to tell the next door neighbor that Japanese Americans were moving in there, so there must've been some fear that we would not be accepted.

CN: And you found plenty of friends, you felt accepted at Central High School.

JM: Yes.

CN: Okay. And after that... and during that time you participated in activities at the Japanese Center?

JM: Participated in... there were some young people. The other thing that, around that time, in the '30s, 1930, the Twin Cities in St. Paul had this festival that was, I don't know if it was called the Festival of Nations, but it was the precursor of the Festival of Nations sponsored by the International Institute in St. Paul. It's still in existence in St. Paul. And they... the Japanese at that time, I don't believe were participating in there because there wasn't much of a Japanese community in the '30s. But around 1945, '47, the Japanese did begin participating in there. And my Aunt Ruth, who was working for the YWCA and was also involved with the International Institute, helped to put together a food booth and a demonstration booth, and they also had a grand parade, a procession.

CN: I'm going to hold up a photo of your Aunt Ruth at the Festival of Nations.

JM: And that's me.

CN: And that's you? Okay.

JM: That's me when I was about six years old.

CN: So you participated as a dancer?

JM: At that point I didn't do the dancing, I think I was part of the processional.

CN: Oh, okay.

JM: And I believe that my aunt felt that we really needed to kind of go overboard in going all out in showing the kimonos and all the culture and the food. So it was quite successful, and we've been in the Festival of Nations ever since that time.

CN: So at Central High School you participated in the usual things like homecoming? You were probably in the academic, were there academic....

JM: No, they had, we called it Y Teens, and there was a... different groups like the girls' clubs, and so I joined one of the Y Teens groups. And I was involved in the Spanish club and different kinds of clubs like that. One of the memories I have of my academic side was when I was a junior in high school I had a high school history teacher, a social studies teacher who encouraged students to, or required students to write term papers. And I was curious about the relocation, the evacuation, because my parents never talked about it. I wanted to learn more, so I wrote my paper on the relocation and I think I called it, "Americans: First or Second Class?" with question mark after it. And I remember going down to the James J. Hill Library and spending hours and hours writing this paper. It was actually quite involved. And the resources at that time were kind of limited because, of course, this was just a few years after it had happened. And I remember that one of the conclusions that I came to was that in spite of everything, it was really... in spite of all the difficulties and the hardships that the people endured, for many people it was kind of a blessing in disguise. For us it was kind of that way because it helped us to disperse a little bit, quite a bit more. And so in our case of coming to Minnesota, we were able to have more opportunities because there were fewer Japanese Americans at that point, and so we were, even though there were still barriers and there were still hardships, we did succeed, and my father was able to do well as a pharmacist and a buyer for Gray's Drugstores. My mother had both Japanese and Caucasian friends, and we didn't feel that we were... it was almost like when you have a lot of people who are living closely together and you're so distinguishable because of your looks, your nationality. It was a difficult thing right after World War II even, but for us it was more of a... not necessarily a plus, but it certainly allowed us to spread our wings a little bit more and do well.

CN: So you did do well at Central and you went on to the University of Minnesota? Any particular, what was your academic career there?

JM: I went to University of Minnesota from '58 to '62, and then I went on and got a master's degree after that. Both of my degrees are in education. And I ended up teaching in... well, when I graduated, I taught at Mounds View for a year and then got pregnant with our first child, and at that point, the superintendent of the school district did not allow anybody who was pregnant to teach, and you could not teach if you had a child under three. And so I didn't go back to teaching, I went and did part-time teaching through homebound teaching while I had three more children, so we have a total of four children.

<End Segment 13> - Copyright ©2009 Densho and the Twin Cities JACL. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 14>

CN: And backtracking a little, at some point you met your husband, so can you tell us where you met George?

JM: When I was in high school at Central High School, so I was probably fifteen, sixteen years old, and one of the organizations that the local Japanese Americans had was a young people's group, and it was composed of all young people. And I really didn't belong that much because most of them were older than I was. But George was in the Air Force, and he was stationed at Fort Snelling. So I happened to go to one of the picnics or something that they, the group had, and I met him at that function. He was a little older than I am. [Laughs]

CN: And a dashing Air Force.

JM: I know. The funny story was that my mom, of course, thought that... my parents were not too excited about my going out with somebody, because I was only a junior in high school and he was in the Air Force. So we did have him over, and she thought that maybe he was Hawaiian. And so the joke was that she thought she would put a little toy ukulele out, and if he picked it out and strum it, she would know where, that he was from Hawaii, but he wasn't.

CN: Tell us a little bit about George, then. He was from, came from where, California?

JM: My husband George was, his family was, at that time, from Mountain View, California. And he was stationed in the Air Force. He was in his last year of four years in the Air Force. And he had gone to school for a year, college, at San Jose State for a year and then he went into the Air Force for four years, so this was his final year. And he was at Fort Snelling, and he had kind found out about this young people's group through... I'm not sure through who had found out about it, but he had gone bowling with them, and so he belonged to their bowling league and a bunch of things like that, and I met him at this picnic. And so he was about to be discharged, I think I met him in his last four or five months before he was discharged. And then he went back to California, drove back to California when he was discharged, and then I finished my high school year as a senior and started the university in the fall of '58, and George came back in the fall of '58 and came back and started college, he had transferred then to the U.

CN: Oh, okay, so George was very dedicated. So you got married and you have four children. Did you continue on, I know you taught, but then as I recall, you worked at Medtronic. Was this after your children were somewhat grown?

JM: After our children were born, or while we were still having children, I did some part-time teaching through Roseville School System. I did homebound teaching and then I also taught adult high school diploma programs at night. And then when our youngest one Mari -- so we have four children -- Chris is the oldest, and then Steve... Chris is the oldest, and then Lisa and then Steve and then Mari. And Mari was in kindergarten, there was an opportunity to teach at Roseville in social studies. I really was kind of planning to wait until our kids were in third grade, but jobs were hard to come by. They asked if I would just start this class because the regular teacher was not able to start in the fall. I thought I'd just do it for a couple of weeks. And I ended up not coming back so I applied and I got the job. I ended up teaching in English and history for about eight years, seven and a half years or so. And then I got laid off in 1982, came back and taught for another year or so part-time, and then ended up getting a final pink slip because of declining enrollment in Roseville and the budget cuts and so forth. And then I switched careers because I had an English major also. And I went into public relations and marketing communications and worked first for a company called MCT, Micro Component Technology, in public relations. Then I went to ETA Systems, which was a supercomputer subsidiary of Control Data and worked there for three years and they shut down. And then when I got laid off from there I applied at Medtronic, and I got a job at Medtronic in their marketing communications department in the neurological division. I worked there for fifteen years and retired from there in 2004.

CN: And George continued, he was an engineer at...

JM: At Honeywell.

CN: Honeywell.

JM: He started at Control Data and then he went to Honeywell.

<End Segment 14> - Copyright ©2009 Densho and the Twin Cities JACL. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 15>

CN: During all this time, then, your father was in the Twin Cities, correct? And was he active, did he work while he was here?

JM: My father? My father ended up working for Gray's Drugstore his whole entire career, and probably retired when he was either in his late sixties or early seventies when he began to get sick. He was sick for quite a few years and then eventually passed away in 1984.

CN: When I asked that question I was thinking of your grandfather, but anyway, your father, did he feel that he was able to fulfill his career as a pharmacist? I mean, he felt pretty satisfied?

JM: I think my father had a very satisfying life. I think that he ended up being active in things in the Twin Cities, mainly through the Japanese American community.

CN: And he helped start the Japanese American Credit Union, did he?

JM: I don't believe he started it, but I think he came soon after. I think he was one of the early members. He began to become involved with a lot of these organizations through my Uncle Earl Tanbara. But continued through the JACL because of his former experience in Portland, Oregon.

CN: It just occurred to me, but was the credit union started because the Japanese Americans had a hard time getting credit elsewhere and this was like a way to make sure, it was like a co-op for the Japanese?

JM: Did you read that in my... it's in my aunt's book.

CN: Maybe that's where it's coming from, okay.

<End Segment 15> - Copyright ©2009 Densho and the Twin Cities JACL. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 16>

CN: Did your family experience any sort of other kind of prejudice that you know of? You mentioned something about housing a little bit, but were there other examples?

JM: Well, I remember... well, I don't remember, but I was told that in the case of my grandfather, when he passed away, at that time he was living with my Aunt Ruth and Uncle Earl. And they were looking for a funeral home in St. Paul where they could have a visitation. And they couldn't find a place that would accept Japanese, and so my uncle talked to his pastor at Unity Unitarian Church, and he searched around and he found one called the Godbout Funeral Home. And they were willing to have the visitation and service for my grandfather. And then they also were trying to find a cemetery where they could have the cremation performed, and they couldn't find one easily, so Lakewood in Minneapolis would accept my grandfather. So our family has a crypt there at Lakewood as does my Aunt Ruth and her family, they have one from there, too.

CN: Were there other Japanese in Lakewood? Isn't Lakewood the famous cemetery where Hubert Humphrey is?

JM: Right, yeah. Yeah, I don't know the background of Lakewood, because my brother passed away in 1947, and he was the first, he was put into the Lakewood crypt, so it could have been that even back then they were having some problems trying to find something for my brother, but he was cremated and his ashes are in the chapel, in the Byzantine chapel over at there, downstairs.

CN: That's interesting because I didn't realize that it was difficult to have a funeral, even though your family was Christian, too. That was interesting. One other thing, too, you talked a lot about your father. Your mother when she was living here, did she, was she a housewife or was she able to work?

JM: My mother was mostly a stay-at-home mom while I was growing up and then my brother, my oldest brother passed away as a child, and my parents then had another child, Philip, who was born in 1949. So when he was in elementary school at Ramsey, my mother went to work part-time. She used to call herself the milk lady, so they would provide milk for the little kids at ten o'clock in the morning. And then later on, when he went to high school, she got a part-time job as a sales clerk in the infant department at Powers, it's a department store in Highland Park. She worked there on and off part-time for quite a few years. And then she even worked part time with Kimi Hara and some of the other Japanese Americans at Fuji Express, kind of a fast food Japanese American food place in the skyway in Minneapolis.

CN: Is that the precursor to the Fujiya restaurant?

JM: I think it's related in that family, I think that... is the daughter or the mother, whoever owned it...

CN: Oh, that was Reiko Weston.

JM: Reiko Weston, I think it was one of her restaurants also, but they worked there for two or three years or so. Quite a few Japanese Americans were working there. They worked there because Kimi Hara was kind of in charge of everything, and they all wanted to work with her.

CN: Okay.

<End Segment 16> - Copyright ©2009 Densho and the Twin Cities JACL. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 17>

CN: Now that you're retired, I know that you are working a lot putting together more of the Japanese history, or your family's history, because you have a lot of good information. Am I correct?

JM: One of the projects I'm having right now is trying to organize a lot of family pictures. My mother is ninety-five, and she is more or less incapacitated. So I've been going through all of her old albums which were pretty well documented. Then of course I had some pictures from my Aunt Ruth and then I have our own pictures, and I realized that if I don't try to organize all of these things and maybe get them put on DVD or get them scanned digitally, they'll just kind of be lost forever, and nobody will be able to understand what they are. The fun part about it is that I'm really learning a lot about our family just by looking at these old pictures. And some of them are professional pictures, and a lot of them are just these small black and whites, and my mom would put in her album with little comments, and you realize what a good life they had in Portland, that they had fun as children. On my mother's side they grew up with these six children and they had a father and mother who were very loving and spent a lot of time with them. And then what a difficult time it must have been for them when the war came, because it kind of changed everything. Because everything at that point was... my parents had, they were a young married couple, they had two children, and my father had a business, and everybody was in good health at that point, and things were going well. And then all of a sudden they had to start all over. My grandfather on my father's side had also come from a fairly well educated family. He had started out and had his own little store in Japantown. Over the years they all had established themselves and were doing well. And I think the best part for all of them was it was obvious that for my grandparents, they worked so hard for their children, and they were, all the children were doing well.

CN: Your family would have had two or three businesses...

JM: Right, and they were, it just must've been very difficult for them. You kind of feel, have a feeling of awe. How did they ever start over again, because I don't know if I could have done that.

CN: Yeah. It is remarkable. Just in summary about you and George and your children, you mentioned four children. You want to just say a little bit about their lives?

JM: Well, George and I got married in June 1962. And we have four children, they're very close in age, we have four children within five and a half years, basically. So they've had a good life. We moved out to Shoreview, Minnesota. I think that they've all done well. Our oldest one Chris is married to Terry and they have three children, Alex, Stephanie and Kylie. Alex is a sophomore at Iowa State, and Stephanie is a sophomore at White Bear High School, and Kylie is a fifth grader. And Lisa was born about two years after that. Lisa and Dave Hintermeister live in Richfield and they have two little girls, Hannah and Madalyn, who are seven and a half and just turned six. And then Steve is a lawyer in Rochester, and he and his wife Jaymee have a little baby, Maxwell George, who is about a year and a half. And then our youngest one Mari and her husband, Mike Sikkink, have two boys, eight and a half and just turned five. So all of our children have actually... none of the children have married Japanese Americans. They've all married, three of them have married Caucasians, and Steve is married to Jaymee, who is an adopted Korean. But we all get together and have a good time. So now George and I have eight grandchildren.

CN: You've expanded your family.

JM: Yeah, we've expanded our family and still have a lot of good memories.

CN: Well, good. I want to thank you for participating in this interview

JM: Thank you.

<End Segment 17> - Copyright ©2009 Densho and the Twin Cities JACL. All Rights Reserved.