Densho Digital Archive
Oregon Nikkei Endowment Collection
Title: Amy Tsugawa Interview
Narrator: Amy Tsugawa
Interviewer: Dane Fujimoto
Location: Portland, Oregon
Date: September 3, 2004
Densho ID: denshovh-tamy-01-0001

<Begin Segment 1>

DF: We're here this morning with Amy Tsugawa. We're doing an oral history interview here on September 3, 2004, Portland, Oregon, and I'd like to start the interview by asking Amy to talk about her family growing up in Hawaii.

AT: Well, I was very young when the war started, but we lived in a, my father was a Japanese school teacher. He was a principal of a school, and my mother taught also. They had a grocery store and a barbershop that they ran. We were never allowed to go to their school, so we never learned to speak Japanese because my dad didn't feel that we were ready to go to school, and so... all right. I suppose we need to do that one out. Okay. But they both taught school. And my brother and I, he's two years older than I am, and they both had families there. Dad's father and mother had come to Hawaii from Japan, and after three years, they had had my father who was then three years old. He was born in Hawaii, but they took him back to Hawaii, to Japan to live with family there, with my dad's father in Shikoku. And when they had another son in Japan, they left both boys in Japan with their grandfather to be raised and to be educated in Japan. His mother and father then came back to Hawaii and had three more children, and Hawaii was their home. My grandfather was killed in an accident at the, it must have been the sugarcane plantation in Punene, and then my grandmother raised the children alone. My father, after he graduated from high school in Japan came back to Hawaii on his own, and he was eighteen then, and so he spoke Japanese very well, so he had to learn to speak English again. But that was why he could become a Japanese school teacher. They continued to do that until the war. He was almost forty when the war started.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 2004 Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Densho. All Rights Reserved.