Densho Digital Archive
Manzanar National Historic Site Collection
Title: Shimako "Sally" Kitano Interview
Narrator: Shimako "Sally" Kitano
Interviewer: Alisa Lynch
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Date: October 15, 2008
Densho ID: denshovh-ksally-02-0001

<Begin Segment 1>

AL: All right. Well, today is Wednesday, the 15th of October, 2008. And we are at the Main Street Station Casino in Las Vegas. And Sally, this interview is for Manzanar National Historic Site to preserve the stories and to share them with future generations. So I just want to confirm that we have your permission to use your interview for education and historic purposes.

SK: Yes.

AL: Okay. And, if you could start out by giving us your full name.

SK: Shimako Sally, Nishimori was my maiden name, Kitano.

AL: Okay. And when and where were you born?

SK: I was born in Winslow on Bainbridge Island, 1932. April 6th.

AL: April 6, 1932. Okay. And what are your parents' names?

SK: Kirohachi and Tsue Nishimori. Kirohachi is K-I-R-O-H-A-C-H-I. And Tsue is T-S-U-E.

AL: Okay. And your parents, I assume, are Issei?

SK: They were Isseis.

AL: Okay. Do you know when and where they were born in Japan?

SK: They were born in Kumamoto-ken in Japan down in Arao, I think that's where it was.

AL: Okay. About what year?

SK: My dad was born in 1880... let's see, it was '79 or '80, he was ninety-three when he passed away. Anyway, and my mother was born in 19'... gee, when was Mom born? She was ten years older so, okay. So my dad was born around 1879, my dad, my mother was born in 1889. I think that's the way it went.

AL: And were they both from Kumamato-ken?

SK: [Nods]

AL: Did they marry in Japan or in the U.S.?

SK: My dad came over in the early 1900s and then my mother followed about ten years later or something like that.

AL: Do you know what brought your dad to the United States?

SK: He went into farming. His... they were farming in Japan and there were three sons and my dad was the youngest and there was no place for him there. So he decided to venture off and come to the United States. Then he went, he did go to Alaska and came back to Bainbridge.

AL: That's what I was gonna ask you. When he came to the United States where did he go, come to?

SK: I think he came to Tacoma and ended up on Bainbridge Island. That was because they came through, I think the ship landed in Tacoma. And then he decided, he thought he'd try Alaska.

AL: What did he do in Alaska?

SK: I'm not sure. He just did odds and ends of jobs and then he ended up going into strawberry farming on Bainbridge Island.

AL: Did he know anybody on Bainbridge Island before he went there?

SK: No, I don't think so.

AL: Okay. And do you know what year he immigrated, approximately?

SK: Probably in the, gosh, before 1900, yeah.

AL: And when he went to Bainbridge Island, do you know what year that was?

SK: No, I don't.

AL: Okay.

SK: I used to remember. I should have kept all that information.

AL: That's okay.

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