Densho Digital Archive
Oregon Nikkei Endowment Collection
Title: George Azumano Interview
Narrator: George Azumano
Interviewer: Stephan Gilchrist
Date: September 20, 2004
Densho ID: denshovh-ageorge-01-0001

<Begin Segment 1>

SG: Okay. I'll go ahead and start by asking what your name is.

GA: George Azumano.

SG: And Mr. Azumano, where and when were you born?

GA: I was born in Portland, Oregon, on June 9, 1918.

SG: And where were your parents from?

GA: From Japan, Tokushima-ken.

SG: Both your parents were from --

GA: Both of them, yes.

SG: When did your parents come over to...

GA: My father came over in 1906, and my mother came over in 1917.

SG: And do you know the reasons for your father to come to Oregon?

GA: I'm sure he wanted to make money and go back to Japan. Stories of getting rich quick in the U.S. was prevalent in those days.

SG: Did he ever talk about his experience coming to the United States?

GA: Yes. Gosh, I don't remember those now. I don't remember the details of his coming over.

SG: Do you know what kind of work he did?

GA: He didn't do much railroad work like most of the Japanese did in those days. I know he used to be a cook on these freight ships that plied between Astoria and San Francisco. He's done that kind of work, and he also did some farming.

SG: And he came straight to Portland from Japan?

GA: I think so. I think so. It could have been Seattle, but I'm sure it's Portland.

SG: Did he ever talk about why he chose Portland?

GA: No, no. My mother came through I think it was Tacoma. The ship landed in Tacoma first, and then she came by land to Portland.

SG: And what was her reasons coming over?

GA: Well, she had already been married. They were married in Japan, and then he came first and she later.

SG: So it was eleven years after they had married, that your father came?

GA: Yes, yes.

SG: That's quite a long time.

GA: Well, no. He came first before he was married. He went back to Japan to get married. And then after he got married, he came back first again to U.S. and then called his wife to, over, my mother over.

SG: Did your mom ever talk about how, what it was like for her to come to the United States from Japan?

GA: I think she, I don't think she wanted to come. She had a nice family in Japan; but of course, marriage forced her to come and she came. That's about what I know about her coming over, 1917 is the year.

SG: And how many children did your parents have?

GA: Two, my sister and me.

SG: Are you the youngest or the --

GA: I was older.

SG: So, and when was your sister born?

GA: She was born in July of 1920, July 14, I think it was.

SG: She's a little bit, quite a bit younger?

GA: Two years younger than I.

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