Densho Digital Archive
Frank Abe Collection
Title: Mits Koshiyama Interview
Narrator: Mits Koshiyama
Interviewer: Frank Abe
Location: Los Angeles, California
Date: August 15 & 16, 1993
Densho ID: denshovh-kmits-03-0002

<Begin Segment 2>

FC: You grew up on a farm.

MK: Yes.

FC: Tell us about Kose, and what it was like when Kose would come by.

MK: Kose was a well-respected businessman, being an older Nisei, one of the older Niseis in the Mountain View area. And his family had a small grocery store in the heart of Mountain View. You might call it Japantown, but it was only about half a block. And he had many friends, and a very respected, like I said, a very respected businessman. And a lot of his, people his age, even though they were older, were resisters, in the Mountain View area, so he had a keen interest, and he went to the trial from the Heart Mountain camp and aided us the best he could and brought back messages to our families in camp. And to this, to this day he really supports us, that we were right, and we really respect him for the help he gave us.

FC: Did he come by your farm, do you remember his truck?

MK: He didn't come to our farm because we lived in an area called Sunnyvale. But I heard from other people that he would go to the farms and bring his groceries and stuff like that. And he had a lot of respect from the Isseis and Niseis. That's why when he went to the Cheyenne trial and everything, he was one person that had the trust of the Issei because the Issei really lost faith in the older Nisei, who informed on them and turned them in and did everything possible to ruin the Issei life.

FC: So you weren't on Kose's route.

MK: No.

FC: Did another truck come by on your route? Were you on a route?

MK: Yeah, there was some come around once in a while. All the farmers had people coming around.

FC: Was that a big event when these trucks come around?

MK: Oh, yeah. These food salesmen used to come over and they didn't make much sales because of conditions of the time, but they came in and drank tea and spent a half a day talking to our Issei parents. In that way, I think our Issei parents enjoyed life that way, they didn't have money or anything but they had friendship.

FC: So these grocery trucks came, the drivers, salesmen came by and they spread gossip and news.

MK: Yeah, that's what it was, and Kose happened to be one of them.

FC: Could you say that?

MK: Yeah. I would say that Kose was a good salesman, good businessman, and he got along with all the Issei, and in his own way, really helped the community.

FC: Give candy to the kids?

MK: Yeah, I heard all kind of story. I said, "Gee, why didn't Kose come to my place?" because I heard that Kose gave out candies to these little kids and stuff like that. [Laughs]

<End Segment 2> - Copyright © 1993, 2005 Frank Abe and Densho. All Rights Reserved.