Densho Digital Archive
Manzanar National Historic Site Collection
Title: Masako Yoshida Interview
Narrator: Masako Yoshida
Interviewer: Kristen Luetkemeier
Location: Monterey Park, California
Date: August 14, 2014
Densho ID: denshovh-ymasako-01-0002

<Begin Segment 2>

KL: What was your father's name?

MY: Koji, K-O-J-I, Yoshida, Y-O-S-H-I-D-A.

KL: And where was he from in Japan?

MY: Saitama, S-A-I-T-A-M-A.

KL: And I should have asked, where was your mother's family from in Japan?

MY: I don't know, but I think they were in Hokkaido before, and then I think in Kyoto at the end. I think that's where his school, where he was a chaplain, I think it was Kyoto. I'm not positive.

KL: Do you know what your father, you said a missionary came to your father's family's door in Saitama? Do you know what kind of work his family did or if it was a rural or an urban setting?

MY: It's a rural place, I'm sure. We had pictures of the home and everything, it was a real nice home.

KL: What took him to the United States?

MY: I guess to learn more about America. He was very adventurous, and he spoke English quite well. I think he wanted to learn more about the United States and to speak English fluently. However, jobs were very difficult for Japanese who just came, so he did a lot of job searches. He was even working as a cook in a fraternity house, so he became a very good cook, and he could speak English very well. He could read and write it, too.

KL: Did he say anything about what it was like to be a cook in the fraternity house or any of those jobs?

MY: No, no, my father was quite a silent man. He did instead of talked, and he was a great, to me he was really a great man.

KL: Why was that, or how so?

MY: Well, because he didn't... he never scolded us or anything, he just did everything for the church, and that wasn't his job, but he did everything, cleaned up the church and everything. In those days they had coal to warm up the church, and he would be the one who stoked the fire and get the church warm enough for... and he did everything for the church. However, that wasn't his job.

KL: He just thought it was important?

MY: Uh-huh, it was very important to him.

<End Segment 2> - Copyright © 2014 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.