Densho Digital Archive
Twin Cities JACL Collection
Title: Yoshimi Matsuura Interview
Narrator: Yoshimi Matsuura
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Bloomington, Minnesota
Date: June 17, 2009
Densho ID: denshovh-myoshimi-01-0001

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TI: So today is Wednesday, June 17, 2009, and we're in Minneapolis conducting interviews with Yosh Matsuura. And in the room we have Dana Hoshide doing the camera, I'm the interviewer, Tom Ikeda, and we also have observing Steve Ozone from the JACL Twin Cities. And so, Yosh, thank you so much for agreeing to be interviewed. And so I'm going to start from the beginning and ask you, can you tell me when you were born?

YM: May the 3rd, 1918.

TI: So that would make you ninety-one years old?

YM: Ninety-one years old. I just celebrated my ninety-first birthday.

TI: That's tremendous. And can you tell me where you were born?

YM: Fowler, California, which is about ten miles south of Fresno, a little town on a farm.

TI: And so were you born on the farm or in like a healthcare facility?

YM: No, I was born in Fresno hospital, Okanogee Hospital, which was a Japanese hospital there.

TI: So what that pretty common for a Japanese at that time to go to the hospital?

YM: No, no. Many of the births were right in the, at home, and not even a midwife there. [Laughs] It was very primitive.

TI: And so why was it that you were born in a hospital?

YM: I really don't know, I don't know. I never found out. But they did tell me that when I was about three years old, I spent about three weeks in a hospital with pneumonia, and I was in pretty bad shape, I guess, but the same hospital.

TI: Okay. And then when you were born, what was the name given to you at birth?

YM: Yoshimi.

TI: And, like, any middle names or anything like that?

YM: No, no middle name.

TI: Good.

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