Densho Digital Archive
Oregon Nikkei Endowment Collection
Title: Jessie Hatsue Akiyama Okazaki Harry Interview
Narrator: Jessie Hatsue Akiyama Okazaki Harry
Interviewer: Linda Tamura
Location: Portland, Oregon
Date: February 24, 2014
Densho ID: denshovh-hjessie-01-0001

<Begin Segment 1>

LT: So, Jessie, you were born on October 24, 1925. Where were you born?

JH: In Parkdale.

LT: And where's Parkdale?

JH: In Hood River County.

LT: Okay. And what was your full name when you were born?

JH: You know, I really don't know whether I had "Jessie" or not, but Hatsue is the name my folks always goes by.

LT: So your parents called you Hatsue.

JH: Uh-huh.

LT: And what about your brothers and your sisters and your classmates at school? What did they call you?

JH: Jessie.

LT: Jessie, okay. Which name did you prefer?

JH: Jessie. [Laughs]

LT: Okay, well, it's easier to say. Let's talk about your parents. What was your father's name and where was he born?

JH: I think he was born in Okayama, and his name was Shinsuke.

LT: Shinsuke, okay. And I understand he was born in 1898?

JH: That I don't know.

LT: Okay. So your father was born in Okayama. How did he decide to come to America?

JH: I think his folks were here first, and then he joined them.

LT: Okay. Do you know what kind of work his mother and father did here?

JH: No, I don't.

LT: Do you know what kind of work your father did when he came to the U.S.?

JH: I think he worked for the railroad.

LT: And many Issei did work for the railroad. I understand your father came to America when he was just nineteen years old.

JH: Yeah, I think so.

LT: So he was a young man. Your mother, what was her name and where was she born?

JH: She was in Okayama, and name was Taka Saiki.

LT: Taka Saiki. And I understand that she was born eight years after your father was born.

JH: I believe so.

LT: So they were from the same prefecture in Japan, Okayama. Do you know how your mother and father met?

JH: No, it was one of these marriages that they... gosh, I don't know how. I think it was like a "picture marriage," you know, where they send pictures, 'cause my dad was over here already, and then my mom joined him.

LT: So it's possible that your father was in the United States, your mother was in Okayama. And so in some ways, perhaps their photos were shared?

JH: I think so. And then, of course, and then he went back to Nihon and brought my mom with him then.

LT: Okay. And many of the marriages early in the twentieth century happened that way.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 2014 Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Densho. All Rights Reserved.