Densho Digital Archive
Japanese American Museum of San Jose Collection
Title: Mollie Nakasaki Interview
Narrator: Mollie Nakasaki
Interviewer: Jiro Saito
Location: San Jose, California
Date: November 1, 2004
Densho ID: denshovh-nmollie-01-0020

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JS: Okay, so your family decides to move to San Jose because of the restaurant.

MN: Yes, uh-huh. Yes, uh-huh.

JS: And I believe you said that in Salinas, there was nothing there.

MN: There was nothing there, uh-huh, yeah, nothing there.

JS: I've heard that there was a lot of anti-Japanese feelings in Salinas during this time, because a army unit that had a lot of boys from Salinas got wiped out. And so as a result of that, there was a lot of Japanese, anti-Japanese sentiment had developed. Did that play a role, any role at all in your not going back to Salinas?

MN: No, I think we, I think my sister had to sell it, sell the business, because, because of the bankruptcy. That's, I don't think we had any more ties there.

JS: Okay. What was it like for you to live in San Jose during the first year, because now you're in a different city?

MN: Oh, it was nice. Yeah, it was nothing, I mean, we've been moving around so much that it was just, I, we got used to it right away.

JS: Can you make any comparisons between living there in San Jose after the war, then comparing it with living in Salinas before the war?

MN: Age, age difference. You know, I was younger in Salinas, and then got, I'm more aware when I got older. I really enjoyed San Jose.

JS: Did your, did your family get any sort of help from any non-Japanese during that time, to overcome any difficulties or anything like that?

MN: No, no, none whatsoever. None.

JS: You said that your parents, how did they get the financing for the restaurant?

MN: Oh. They, they borrowed money from everyone; everyone that would lend it to them. I know for a fact my uncle Shig, my uncle Shig had to, had to, had some say-so in this, because, 'cause I know he's, he's always the one that's very influential in my mother's, her thoughts. And I think he took her to the bank, and then he just did whatever he wants. But then I know, I remember about, a couple years later, we were, I was bringing envelope to this Mr. Daitan, and bringing this to Mr. Fujimura, and then I was taking all kinds of money to all these people to, to pay back the loan.

JS: Okay.

MN: My mother says, "You have to pay back the..." she didn't drive and then she was still at the restaurant, so...

JS: Okay. Did they get any money by way of what they called tanomoshi, which is like a mutual aid society?

MN: I don't, I don't think so.

JS: Okay, they didn't do that.

MN: No, I didn't, they could have, but I didn't, I wasn't aware of it. They could have, but I...

JS: What church did you go to when you came back from --

MN: The Buddhist Church.

JS: Okay. And were you active in these activities, then?

MN: No, not at that time. Although not, not during the 1950s and the '60s, no. I was too busy having -- I got married in 1950, and after that I had so many children that I just didn't have... I wasn't, I wasn't active in the church, but I made my children all go to church. They were all going to church every Sunday.

<End Segment 20> - Copyright © 2004 Densho and The Japanese American Museum of San Jose. All Rights Reserved.