Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Ruth Sasaki Interview
Narrator: Ruth Sasaki
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Ontario, Oregon
Date: April 22, 2014
Densho ID: denshovh-sruth-01-0001

<Begin Segment 1>

TI: So today is Tuesday, April 22, 2014, and we are in Ontario, Oregon, with Ruth Sasaki. So, Ruth, the way I start with this is just, can you tell me when you were born?

RS: When?

TI: Yeah, when. The date?

RS: April 6th.

TI: And the year?

RS: 1929.

TI: And where were you born?

RS: In the Dalles, Oregon. D-A-L-L-E-S.

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

RS: It was just Ruth. And then later on, this minister said, "You should have a middle name," and that's where Ruriko came in, R-U-R-I-K-O, but that's not on my birth certificate.

TI: So he thought, this minister thought you should have a middle name and also Japanese?

RS: No, this minister... yeah. This Japanese minister said, "You should have a Japanese name."

TI: Okay. And do you know why he thought that, or he just thought that was appropriate?

RS: Yeah, more or less appropriate. I don't use it.

TI: Did you ever use it?

RS: Well, I know it's on my driver's license, but that's about it.

TI: And did you have any siblings?

RS: I had a sister, older sister, and five, I think... trying to think. I had an older brother and sister, where they died, they passed away before the war. And then I had, there was a lot of age difference, and then I had myself and three brothers. So that's, what, six?

TI: Yeah, six, you and three brothers. And then your sister and brother who died before the war, what happened to them?

RS: They had tuberculosis.

TI: And do you recall their names?

RS: I think my sister's name was Fuji, Fujie, and my brother... you know, offhand I can't think of that.

TI: Okay. And how about your three younger brothers?

RS: Jim, Roy, and Tad. So only... Tad is my youngest brother. He's the only one, him and I are the only ones surviving.

TI: And so in some ways, you were the oldest sister then.

RS: Yeah, well, with the four, but Jim was the oldest. He was older than me.

TI: Okay, got it.

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