Densho Digital Archive
Oregon Nikkei Endowment Collection
Title: Lury Sato Interview
Narrator: Lury Sato
Interviewer: Masako Hinatsu
Location: Portland, Oregon
Date: February 18, 2003
Densho ID: denshovh-slury-01-0001

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MH: This is an interview with Lury Shiogi Sato, a Nisei woman, eighty-eight years old, in home at Portland, Oregon, on February 18, 2003. The interviewer is Misako Hinatsu of the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center Oral History Project 2003. Lury, where were you born and what was the date?

LS: I was born in Montavilla, Oregon. It's a suburb of Portland. I was born on January 25, 1915.

MH: And who were your parents?

LS: My mother, Chiyo, Koji, her maiden name, Shiogi, and my father Hood Sadaji Shiogi.

MH: And where did they meet and where were they married?

LS: Well, this is a different story. She had been corresponding... no. She had been, he had been corresponding with a very good friend of hers, and her parents didn't want her to leave the country. So my mother took all correspondence letter and said, "I'll go in your place," and that was 1911 when she came and met my dad in Seattle. They were married then and came back to, came together to Montavilla. It was a small farm, place, and this was all new to her. She had never seen farms before, but she learned to milk the cow and work in the field, and she made a lot of mistakes because she didn't know much about farming.

MH: How many brothers and sisters did you have?

LS: I have an older brother, Woodrow, and born in 1913. My... and I was the second offspring. Then my sister, Mary, born February 15, 1916. My brother, Hood, Jr., was born in 1917. We went to Japan when I was about five years old, and Mother was already pregnant then, and my youngest sister was born in Sapporo, name was Sachiko. Not having a citizenship, being born in Japan, was not able to come and join the family. She was raised by relatives and grandmother in Sapporo.

MH: What did your father do? What did your father do?

LS: He was a farmer, and he raised potatoes during the First World War. Then after the war, he travelled to look for opportunities. He would travel all the way to New York and also to Japan. And later he organized an association of farmers, Japanese farmers, which contracted to big factories. And then when the Depression came, he wasn't paid. Produce was sent to areas in the east and on commission, and he was not paid. So eventually he decided to start a grocery store.

MH: And where was this grocery store?

LS: Grocery store is on Killingsworth, was on Killingsworth, and this house is caddy corner from the store. The lady who lived in this house became a widow and wanted to sell the house. She couldn't manage to live here, so she moved away, and it was purchased in my name because he was not a citizen yet. And when the war broke out, she got kind of frantic and wanted to, was afraid that it'd be complicated to get monthly payment, so she sold it, and we paid it up.

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