Densho Digital Archive
Manzanar National Historic Site Collection
Title: Sumiko Yamauchi Interview
Narrator: Sumiko Yamauchi
Interviewer: Whitney Peterson
Location: Chula Vista, California
Date: July 23, 2013
Densho ID: denshovh-ysumiko_2-01-0002

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WP: So your parents, did they meet for the first time when he went back to Japan?

SY: No, when he went back to Japan, he knew... he had already written, I think, and they said -- I don't know whether this is true or not, but he could have said, "Find me a wife," and the family was there and found him a wife. And they knew each other, and they grew up together in the same town.

WP: Okay. And do you know what year around they came to the United States?

SY: No. I have a sister that is fifty-eight, and I had... and my mother had a miscarriage before that. So you got to figure out it had to be in the very early 1900s, maybe 1920-something. Because I was born in '27, so my sister was born in '25. So it could be '25 or it could have been somewhere in that area.

WP: And where did they settle down?

SY: They found a job in San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles working for, growing flowers. And they were there for quite a while. I think I must have been about five or six years old when we actually moved from San Fernando Valley to the town of Los Angeles.

WP: And did your father have experience in growing flowers, that sort of work, from his family in Japan, or how he get involved in doing that?

SY: I don't think so. I think he just picked it up. It's a way of making a living, you do what you have to do in those days, you know. And then being a foreigner and not being able to speak English, that hindered their way of finding a job. So farming was the best thing for him and my mother.

WP: And so did your mother do farming as well?

SY: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah, everybody worked.

<End Segment 2> - Copyright © 2013 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.