Densho Digital Archive
Manzanar National Historic Site Collection
Title: Roy Murakami Interview
Narrator: Roy Murakami
Interviewer: Richard Potashin
Location: North Hollywood, California
Date: January 8, 2009
Densho ID: denshovh-mroy_3-01-0001

<Begin Segment 1>

RP: This is an oral history for the Manzanar National Historic Site. This morning we're talking with Roy Murakami. Roy lives at 11607 Arminta Street.

RM: Arminta, yeah.

RP: Arminta. I want to, I want to pronounce it like Japanese.

RM: I'm English. [Laughs]

RP: North Hollywood, California. The date, the date of our interview is January 8, 2009. Kirk Peterson is manning the video controls and I'm Richard Potashin conducting the interview. And we'll be talking with Roy today about his father's experiences in judo as well as nursery work here in southern California. And also of course Roy's stories about being an internee at the Manzanar Relocation Center during World War II. Our interview will be archived in the site library. And Roy, do I have permission to go ahead and continue?

RM: Yeah.

RP: All right. Thank you so much. It's a pleasure and honor and always entertaining to talk to you so... tell us, first of all, your birth date.

RM: My birthday is January 15, 1931.

RP: And you were born in Los Angeles?

RM: Yeah, it was a Japanese hospital, old Japanese hospital there.

RP: Where was that located?

RM: It's on First Street. I don't remember that. I born there so I don't... then I left, lived, took me back home, which was North Hollywood.

RP: So you were living in...

RM: So I stayed in North Hollywood. Yeah, it's Universal Studios now, below the Universal Studios line on Cahuenga. And our nursery was across the street on Cahuenga.

RP: Just across the street?

RM: Uh-huh.

RP: Tell us what was your given name at birth?

RM: Shuichi Murakami.

RP: I'm gonna ask you to spell that again.

RM: S-H-I, I mean, S-H-U-I-C-H-I.

RP: Okay, I was just checking to see that you did that right.

RM: [Laughs]

RP: And did you have other brothers and sisters, Roy?

RM: I had one brother. I still have one brother, name is George.

RP: George?

RM: Yeah.

RP: Does he have a Japanese name, too?

RM: Kiyoshi.

RP: Kiyoshi? K...

RM: I-Y-O-S-H-I.

RP: Okay.

RM: Okay.

RP: Does he live in the valley here, too?

RM: Right next door.

RP: Right next door?

RM: [Nods]

RP: Oh. That's neat. Is he older or younger than you?

RM: Younger.

RP: Younger. By how many years?

RM: Not quite two. Eighteen months, I would think.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.