Densho Digital Archive
Manzanar National Historic Site Collection
Title: Toshiro Izumi Interview
Narrator: Toshiro Izumi
Interviewer: Richard Potashin
Location: Los Angeles, California
Date: March 2, 2010
Densho ID: denshovh-ftakayo-01-0010

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RP: You just mentioned Girl's Day. Well, how about Boy's Day? Did you...

TI: Yeah, we had Boy's Day too.

RP: What was that like?

TI: Well Boy's Day they had -- well, these were all different classes you know -- they had a so-called track meet like, running events, and they eat, they had a kendo group there and judo group. Not to, not as a tournament but to show their, you know, ability or what they're doing. Yeah.

RP: Do you remember the carp being flown?

TI: Oh, yes. That came with the Boys Day, the carp, uh-huh.

RP: Was there any, you didn't get any special treatment from your mom or dad during that day?

TI: No, no. I don't know if you saw some of these old Japanese pictures of Terminal Island. Some family had a high post and they had carps you know. Carps only came with, like I say, boys. If they had boys they displayed this carp.

RP: So would there be, say if there was four boys in your family, you'd be flying four carps?

TI: Well, no, it didn't end with one for each kid. Maybe they'd have eight or ten carps up there.

RP: So it must have been quite a scene to see...

TI: Well, yes, uh-huh. Of course we all couldn't all have that, see. It was just certain families. If the family, if the father was, had the initiative to get the post.

RP: Tell us about where you lived on Terminal Island and what, how was the housing situation based upon... was it based upon the canneries, you know, where you lived?

TI: Yeah. The different canneries owned the blocks and blocks of houses. And if your father was on a boat fishing for this certain cannery, you were provided housing there. But, like I told you earlier, if your father went to a boat fishing for another cannery, why, you were asked to move out.

RP: Did that happen to your family?

TI: No, we never had that trouble.

RP: You stayed in the same house?

TI: My father and the group fished for Del Monte... I forgot what the original name of the cannery was. But they changed hands so many times that they just stayed put.


RP: This is a continuing interview with Tosh Izumi and this is tape two. And, Tosh, we were just discussing some of your experiences growing up on Terminal Island. You were involved with a lot of Japanese traditions. It was very kind of much like it might have been in Japan for you --

TI: Yes.

RP: -- if you had lived there. Did you celebrate Christmas or Thanksgiving or any of those kind of more Americanized holidays?

TI: Yes, yes. We went to elementary school and we had some of that. We went to a Christian church, a Baptist church, and they had some of that so, uh-huh.

RP: And were, were your parents originally Buddhist?

TI: Yes. They were originally in... they died a Buddhist. Whereas religion didn't mean too much to them. When we had this Baptist church, why, they sent them self to the Baptist church and so I believe myself, I'm more Christian than I am a Buddhist. But I go to both if I'm invited to some doing in a Buddhist temple, I'd go.

<End Segment 10> - Copyright © 2010 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.