Densho Digital Repository
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Yoshiko Kanazawa Interview
Narrator: Yoshiko Kanazawa
Interviewer: Diana Emiko Tsuchida
Location: San Jose, California
Date: January 3, 2019
Densho ID: ddr-jamsj-2-15-1

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YK: All right, so I am Yoshiko Kanazawa. I was Yoshiko Nakahiro until I got married and then I became a Kanazawa. I was born on October 9, 1935, and my parents had, they already had four children, two girls and two boys. And my sisters don't always like me to tell their ages, so I won't tell their ages, but I was the youngest of five.

DT: Okay, and where were you born?

YK: In Pasadena and I was born at home.

DT: And what was a typical day for you before the war?

YK: You asked me that question, I knew you would be asking me that. I don't remember a single day, but I remember some of the things we did. School was very important to me. I went to the same school that my brothers and sisters had gone to, so all the teachers knew me. And an activity I really enjoyed was going to the library. And in fact, when I was reading my first grade teacher's comments, she commented that I had helped the classroom a lot with my library books. So that was very important to me. On the weekends, in the summer, we had a tent and we would go to the beach, set up this big tent. And there were only certain beaches we could go to, and one of them was Redondo Beach, and then another one was at the bay in San Pedro. And then we had several uncles, we would visit them on the weekends, too. My father was a gardener and my mother was a stay-at-home-mom. She did a lot of sewing for us, and we didn't have a lot of money but they made everything stretch. They were very frugal. I remember my father just had one pair of good shoes and he kept them shiny all the time.

DT: So they were Issei?

YK: They were. And they were both from Ehime-ken on the island of Shikoku.

DT: And then when did they both come to the U.S.?

YK: Okay. My father came first in 1919, and he went to Spokane. He worked on the railroads and he made enough money that he could go back to Japan and -- I think the marriage was arranged -- but he married my mother who lived in a nearby village. And they both lived in seaside towns, very charming places, I have visited them, or visited their grave there.

DT: Oh, I see. That's nice.

YK: Yes, they wanted to be buried in Japan, so we did that for them.

DT: And so you kind of had a typical upbringing, and you were just going to school...

YK: That's right, and I had just started Japanese school. And we would go to the Zen temple in Los Angeles, in Little Tokyo, there, yes.

DT: Interesting.

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