Densho Digital Archive
Oregon Nikkei Endowment Collection
Title: Yoichi "Cannon" Kitayama Interview
Narrator: Yoichi "Cannon" Kitayama
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Portland, Oregon
Date: April 27, 2013
Densho ID: denshovh-kyoichi-01-0001

<Begin Segment 1>

TI: So today is Saturday, April 27, 2013. We're in Portland in the Holladay retirement center? I'm not sure... Holladay Park. And we're in a room kind of called the Solarium doing the interview. In the room observing we have Lynn Fuchigami Longfellow, the executive director of O.N.E., and then Chad Williams, who will be helping out with their oral history project. On camera we have Dana Hoshide, and then I'm the interviewer, Tom Ikeda. This interview is being done as part of a project with O.N.E., and Densho is helping out with this. So that gives you some background, Cannon. And so Cannon, I'm going to start with, I guess, the beginning. Can you tell me when you were born?

YK: It's 11/24/28.

TI: Okay, so November 24, 1928.

YK: Uh-huh.

TI: So that makes you... I'm trying to do my math, eighty-four?

YK: Eighty-four.

TI: Eighty-four years old. And where were you born?

YK: Right here.

TI: So right here in Portland. So where in Portland were you born?

YK: Well, not sure, but I guess the midwife was near here. So I think about Sixth and Burnside, Heath and Burnside.

TI: And so you said midwife, and so you were born in, was it your house, your home?

YK: I don't know. Never asked.

TI: And do you know, was it pretty common for midwives to be used during this time? Do you know anything about the midwife? Was she Japanese?

YK: No, I don't know anything about her. I think the name's on the birth certificate.

TI: And what was the name given to you at birth?

YK: Yoichi.

TI: And do you know how you got that name? Did it mean anything or was there a significance to it?

YK: I guess it's just follow on down the line because my father was Yosakichi. He was the third, and Yoichi is the first. So that's how I got the name I guess.

TI: Okay. And during the interview, I'm using the name Cannon as we talk because that's what people call you in Portland. Can you tell me how you got that name, Cannon?

YK: That's a good question. I can't tell you anymore, I don't know.

TI: Well, I heard a story, it had to do with, they said with your baseball playing. That when you played baseball, what position did you play?

YK: I was a pitcher.

TI: Okay, so do you think it was because of your arm, that you had a really good arm?

YK: I had that name before I played ball. I guess somewhere along, playing basketball... I can't remember how the name started.

TI: But it was probably through some of your friends, and they gave you that name.

YK: Everybody had a nickname.

TI: Yeah, it's funny, I've interviewed lots of Niseis, and everyone, you're right, almost all the guys, even the women, had nicknames. It was fun.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 2013 Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Densho. All Rights Reserved.