Densho Digital Archive
Manzanar National Historic Site Collection
Title: Sumiye Takeno Interview
Narrator: Sumiye Takeno
Interviewer: Richard Potashin
Location: Denver, Colorado
Date: July 5, 2008
Densho ID: denshovh-tsumiye-01-0001

<Begin Segment 1>

RP: This is an oral history for the Manzanar National Historic Site. Today we're talking with Sumi Takeno. And the interview is taking place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Denver, Colorado. We are here as part of the Japanese American National Museum Convention, Enduring Communities. And today we'll be talking with Sumi about her experiences as a former internee at Manzanar War Relocation Center. And also we'll be discussing her resettlement to Denver, Colorado, with her husband, Roy Takeno. The interviewer is Richard Potashin, our videographer today is Kirk Peterson. The interview is taking... the date of the interview is July 5, 2008. And our interview will be archived at the library at the Manzanar National Historic Site. Sumi, do I have your official permission to record our interview today?

ST: Well, I don't care to, but I guess I should. [Laughs]

RP: Okay. We think you should. We're gonna start a little... our, a little discussion about your family history. First of all, can you give us your birth date and where you were born?

ST: November 17, 1922. And I was born in Florin, California.

RP: Which is located near Sacramento?

ST: That's, you know, about 10 miles north, south -- no, north of Sacramento.

RP: And what was your given name at birth, Sumi?

ST: Sumiye, S-U-M-I-Y-E.

RP: Okay. And you don't mind if I refer to you as Sumi today?

ST: Yes.

RP: Okay. Let's talk about your parents as well. Can you give us your father's name?

ST: Masaichi.

RP: Okay. And what do you recall about your father in Japan? Where was he from?

ST: He's from Hiroshima, and he came to United States when he was about sixteen. And there was nothing to do for him back there, really. He was a little adventuresome. So he came and then somehow he had two stores. And then he decided after he had two stores, worked on it, he wanted to buy a farm. So that's why we were on the farm. And we had about 80 acres, something like that.

RP: Now did he come from a village near Hiroshima or from the city?

ST: I think it was from, let's see... you know, I'm not positive on that. I thought it was just Hiroshima city. I'm not positive.

RP: And do you recall how many brothers and sisters your father had in Japan?

ST: Let's see... you know, I really don't know. But I know he had a few brothers. I don't... and one sister.

RP: Did, did any of his siblings come to the United States, too?

ST: His younger brother, I think. Older brother was here first. And so, but he subsequently died here.

RP: Can you give us the name of the older brother, if you remember?

ST: I don't...

RP: No? But he passed away in the United States?

ST: Uh-huh. I wasn't even...

RP: Born.

ST: ...born, I don't think.

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