Densho Digital Archive
Manzanar National Historic Site Collection
Title: Art Okuno Interview
Narrator: Art Okuno
Interviewer: Kirk Peterson
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Date: September 1, 2009
Densho ID: denshovh-oart-01-0005

<Begin Segment 5>

Off camera: Art, you said that your, your mother had been married before and had a child. Did that child come and live with your family in the United States, or did he or she stay in Japan?

AO: No, he was a, from what I understand, he was a very sickly child and so they put him into an institution, and he died in Japan.

Off camera: Okay, so he was not part of your family?

AO: No.

Off camera: Okay. Just you and your brother, then?

AO: Yeah.

Off camera: Okay, thank you.

AO: In fact, when my... let's see, what happened? Yeah, my family had some land in Japan, and so I inherited the land.

KP: Being the eldest son?

AO: Yeah.

KP: When did you hear about this? When were you aware of that? How old were you when you were aware that you inherited land in Japan?

AO: Gee. Well, about the end of, after the war, World War II. Yeah.

KP: Well, we'll get back.

AO: Okay.

KP: Do you remember what, whatever became of that land?

AO: I hired a Japanese lawyer to take care of the case and sold most of the land. Fortunately, the Japanese government at that time was investing in roads and buildings there, and so I was able to sell sort of a useless -- in fact, I asked one of the American fellows, Nisei fellow who's going to Japan to look into this, he was sort of into real estate, and he came back and said, "Oh, it's worthless." But it turned out that the Japanese government wanted to put a road right through my property, so the value of the property went real high. [Laughs] There were, like, small pieces.

<End Segment 5> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.