Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: George Yano Interview
Narrator: George Yano
Interviewers: Tom Ikeda, Steve Fugita
Location: San Jose, California
Date: December 1, 2010
Densho ID: denshovh-ygeorge_4-01-0007

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TI: At this point, let's go to your mother's family. And in the same way, talk about how they came to the United States.

GY: Okay. I don't know how he came, but my mother's grandfather...

TI: So this is your great grandfather.

GY: My great grandfather was here at one point. And I think the great grandfather and Kameo Yano did things together, same village. And there was a story about -- and I heard it back in Japan as well -- that they'd go chopping oak trees up toward Mt. Hamilton for wood, and then they'd sell it in the valley here. That was allowed in those days. And they, my grandfather killed a wildcat and sent the fur back to Japan to show them what he had done. And the people in Japan were worried even more, thinking that he's in a very dangerous place. There's wildcats and things roaming around. But yeah, anyway, my mom's grandfather was here, and he, they'd stay for a while and go back to Japan, because they make a lot of money in America. Even if they made less than most Americans, by the time they got back to Japan, it was a lot of money. And he'd stay, and then my grandfather and grandmother came about that time, maybe in the 1913 or whatever. I don't know if I've researched that, I better ask my mom. Keep it, put it down in writing. But my grandfather Kameo and my grandmother's family did a lot of things over here, and they're from the same village. So... yeah. Anyway, I got to write down all these things about my mom, too, because it's pretty interesting. 'Cause they were living in Alviso and there's a name of a lady that lived in Alviso at the time, who had the farm that they worked on. And one time, they were getting nori, seaweed, up in Pescadero, and a lady came up and said, "Are you related to Haruno Ii?" which was my grandmother. And she says, "That's my mother." And the lady said, "You look just exactly like her." And anyway, it was just a coincidence that they were doing nori and the lady was there. It's in one of the stories, I think it's in that one that I wrote. I've got her name down there. But anyway, because they knew each other, they wanted my dad and my mom to get married.

TI: Again, because the familiarity with the family and knowing everything.

GY: Right, right.

TI: Okay. And your great grandfather was Ichisaburo Ii? Ichisaburo? I think that's what I have in my notes.

GY: Oh, okay, yeah.

TI: And then your grandfather was...

GY: Fukutaro.

TI: Fukutaro.

GY: That's right, that's right.

TI: And your grandmother.

GY: Haruno.

TI: Okay.

<End Segment 7> - Copyright © 2010 Densho. All Rights Reserved.