Densho Digital Archive
Manzanar National Historic Site Collection
Title: Bob Fuchigami Interview
Narrator: Bob Fuchigami
Interviewer: Richard Potashin
Location: Denver, Colorado
Date: May 14, 2008
Densho ID: denshovh-fbob-01-0001

<Begin Segment 1>

RP: This is an oral history for the Manzanar National Historic site as well as the Densho Legacy Project. Today we're talking with Bob Fuchigami, and Bob was a former internee at the Merced Assembly Center as well as the Amache War Relocation Center and we'll be talking about his personal and camp history today. Our interview's taking place at the Marriott Residence Inn in Denver, Colorado. The date of the interview is Wednesday, May 14th. Our interviewer today is Richard Potashin. Our videographer is Kirk Peterson and our interview will eventually be archived in the Manzanar park site library. Bob, thank you so much. It's a real honor to have you today sharing your stories with us.

BF: Okay.

RP: And want to... give us a little background on, first of all, yourself. Your full name at birth.

BF: Pardon?

RP: Your full name at birth?

BF: Oh, Yoshimitsu Fuchigami. Robert came about later.

RP: Later? Was it after the war, or...

BF: No, no. When kids started school, the teachers had difficulty in, in pronouncing names, I guess, and so they, they just assigned names. And so most of us received, oh, names like "George" and "Bill" and "Robert" and "Walter" and so forth. So they gave me "Robert." It was... I think it was a kindergarten teacher. So after a while we could always shorten our names from William to Bill or Robert to Bob. So that's how I ended up with Robert, or Bob.

RP: Your Japanese name, Yoshimitsu, do you have an idea of what that means?

BF: Not really. I think it was... I went to Kyoto one time and there was a big pavilion and there was... the Golden Pavilion was named for... oh, it was built by a guy name Yoshimitsu. It was a shogun, probably. Other than that, I don't have any relations to, to that name, or...

RP: We'll refer to you as Bob today.

BF: Okay.

RP: Bob, where were you born and what year? Give us your exact birth date.

BF: May 15, 1930. And for a long time I thought it was May 20th, May 20th. Then I found out later that it wasn't registered 'til May 20th, but I was actually born on May 15th. My mom was a, was a midwife, sort of a professional midwife. I mean, she went to school and got training in Japan. My dad was a, came from a family in, near a little village, little village near Yamaga. That's near the larger city of Kumamoto in Kumamoto prefecture. My mom was also from there.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 2008 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.