Densho Digital Archive
Manzanar National Historic Site Collection
Title: Kay Endo Interview
Narrator: Kay Endo
Interviewer: Richard Potashin
Location: Portland, Oregon
Date: July 24, 2010
Densho ID: denshovh-ekay-01-0002

<Begin Segment 2>

RP: Want to kind of travel around your family background a little bit and then we'll move on.

KE: Okay.

RP: You're father's first name was Kanichi?

KE: Yeah.

RP: And your mom, Chiyo?

KE: Chiyo, right.

RP: Maiden name Nakamura.

KE: Correct.

RP: And they were... your father was from Sendai?

KE: Yes.

RP: And your mom from Fukushima?

KE: Yes.

RP: Now have you traveled back to those locations?

KE: Yes, I've been there three times. In Fukushima on my mom's side, met quite a bit of the family and Sendai, since my dad was one of nine, we only met one branch of the family instead of all the... otherwise it would have been, you have to rent a auditorium. [Laughs]

RP: Were you able to discover some information about your mom and dad, something about their life in Japan before they came over here?

KE: Only thing I know is that they were very well educated in terms back in those days, most of them were high school graduates which is not a common occurrence back in the early 1900s.

RP: I also noticed your father was nearly twenty years older than your mom.

KE: Yes, he was.

RP: Did he go back to marry her or bring her to America?

KE: No, she came over here. I don't think he did ever return to Japan.

RP: Okay.

KE: But I don't know all the history.

RP: Did any of their family, other members of either one of their family come to America?

KE: Yeah, on my mother's side the grandparents, her mother and dad and then her brother, Kytaro Nakamura. Eventually the grandparents went back to Japan.

RP: Where did they settle in the United States?

KE: In Gladstone. And then my uncle went back after World War II.

RP: And what were... were the grandparents involved with farming?

KE: Yeah, they were originally silk farmers. And then the silk business went... was very rough so they tried to come to the United States and make their pot of gold. And now the farm is... when we went back it's all orchard.

RP: Did your parents ever talk to you or share stories about what their early life was like in America?

KE: My mom did to a certain extent but not that much. One of her comments was when they moved to Gladstone when she got married, they didn't have electricity. And she said in Japan they already had electricity so that was opposite of what a lot of other people had. That's, you know, that's not too much, about the only stories that we heard about.

RP: They were married in Gladstone?

KE: That I don't know where the exact marriage was but it was in the Portland area.

<End Segment 2> - Copyright © 2010 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.