Densho Digital Archive
Oregon Nikkei Endowment Collection
Title: Henry Ueno Interview
Narrator: Henry Ueno
Interviewer: Stephan Gilchrist
Date: May 1, 2003
Densho ID: denshovh-uhenry-01-0001

<Begin Segment 1>

SG: Today we're here with Mr. Henry Ueno on May 1, 2003, so I'm going to go ahead and begin. Can you tell me how old you are, Mr. Ueno?

HU: Seventy-four.

SG: Seventy-four. And what year were you born in?

HU: 1928, December 29th.

SG: And where were you born?

HU: Pendleton, Oregon.

SG: And how long were you in Pendleton?

HU: About two years.

SG: Two years. Do you remember much of Pendleton?

HU: No. I don't have any memory from the Pendleton except when I went back there for, oh, maybe when I was ages thirty-one or two.

SG: Do you know what your parents were, why they were living in Pendleton?

HU: My father was a farmer.

SG: And he had come from Japan?

HU: Yes, from Wakayama Prefecture.

SG: And do you know why he chose, why he decided to live in Pendleton?

HU: I really don't know. I never had opportunity to talk to my father because when he died, I was only year old. And I suppose my hometown was a fishing village, and probably he didn't like the fishing business, so he decided to come over to the United States. And a lot of people those days, railroad camp, a lot of Japanese, the railroad, what do you call, camp was located in the Pendleton, Oregon, so I guess he moved to the Pendleton, Oregon, do the farming.

SG: And when you were two years old and you left Pendleton, where did you go?

HU: We went to a town, small town called Wakayama, I mean Katsuura, Wakayama, and that's where my father originally came from, and my mother's, nearby town.

SG: And did you have brothers and sisters also?

HU: Yes. I'm the fifth one, child, of the Ueno families, and I just say this time my mother married to Ueno. My father was her second marriage. The reason I'm saying this is that I have two half brothers in Japan, my mother left in Japan before she came over to marry to my father. Those are two brothers coming to part of my conversation today, so I'm just mentioning this about two half brothers in Japan.

SG: And so are you the youngest one?

HU: Yes. I was the youngest out of five.

SG: And you were born in Pendleton?

HU: Yes.

SG: And do you remember, did your mom ever talk about how her and your father met?

HU: It's the picture marriage, and especially her second marriage, and my mother was a really beautiful woman. And Mother was basically, after having two sons, husband died in boat accident. His family owns fleet of fishing boat, and husband died. And after that, family start treating her badly, and I assume that that's fear that someday her two sons and her taking over the family business. So she was told that they'll keep number one son, then you take number two son and go back home. Those days, probably there isn't too much say about it, so my mother left the family, went back to the mother's home. Later, the number one son grew up with the family. The number two son grew up with my mother's mother, grandmother.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 2003 Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Densho. All Rights Reserved.