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-01-0007

<Begin Segment 7>

KL: What about at the Union Church? Do you remember any of the ministers' names or any real leaders?

MY: Yes. I still attend right now, and you mean when I was going there?

KL: Uh-huh, like between 1936 and when you left for Poston.

MY: Reverend Toriumi.

KL: Would you spell his name?

MY: T-O-R-I-U-M-I. I have a book, I have some books I could let you see, the church books. Anyway, Reverend Toriumi, we had two there was a Donald Toriumi and a Howard Toriumi. I think before the war it was Donald and Howard was after the war.

KL: Were they related?

MY: Oh, yes, they were brothers.

KL: What do you recall about their leadership style or their personalities, what was important to them?

MY: Well, they were our ministers. And now, the Japanese congregation has really dwindled, because, see, our children do not have to have a Japanese-speaking church. And so they all moved far away, and so now we have a pastor Tien who is Chinese, and he's trying to build... see, there are so many condominiums going up in J-Town, Japanese Little Tokyo that they're trying to build up a church with all those people who don't go to church down there. And so now we have a Japanese-speaking Congregational, an English-speaking Congregational, and we have a Congregational called the Bridge, and that is, we are trying to get more people to join the church from that. Because the Niseis are dying, most of us are way in their eighties, but the Japanese speaking is growing because they do... see, before it was our parents with the Japanese speaking. And then another thing I think my uncle was there too. Anyway, we moved down here for many reasons, but maybe because my father went broke in Seattle.

<End Segment 7> - Copyright © 2014 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.