Aileen H. Clyde 20th Century Women's Legacy Archive: Japanese American oral histories

The Topaz oral history project collection interviews (1987-1993) were conducted by Sandra Taylor, of the University of Utah's Department of History. The interviews were part of her research for Jewel of the desert: Japanese American internment at Topaz (1993). Also included are correspondence, news clippings, published and unpublished articles, and research files.

Japanese oral histories, ACCN 0806

The Japanese oral histories (1964-1969) consist of transcripts of a number of interviews conducted between 1964 and 1969 by members of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) in Los Angeles, California, as part of the Japanese American Research Project.

Mrs. Aramaki (b. 1896) discusses the family's immigration from Japan in 1916, picture bride marriages in Seattle, a visit to Japan in 1924, the deaths of her father and husband, her seven children, and other Japanese families in Utah.

  • Mrs. Masa Aramaki 

Mrs. Aramaki discusses the immigration of her family from Japan in 1920, life in Ogden, Utah, and Japanese family and social customs.

Mrs Hayashi (b. 1899) reminisces about her arranged marriage and subsequent immigration to the United States, farm life in North Platte, and raising children. Mrs. Kushihashi (b. 1897) recalls her marriage and farm life in Nebraska. She also talks about politics and interracial marriage.

  •  Esther Hatsuye Hirasawa and Hiro Yasukochi  

Mrs. Hirasawa (b. 1893) discusses her life in Japan, immigration to the United States, and marriage in Denver. She also recalls life and work in Oregon, Nevada and Utah. Mr. Yasukochi (b. 1909) recalls his early life in Carbon County, labor and mining camps in the 1920s, family businesses, prohibition, discrimination, the formation of the JACL, and sports activities.

Mrs. Kaneko reminisces about World War II, her husband's job in North China, marriages and divorce, her livelihood, and raising her son.

  •  Alice Kasai

Mrs. Kasai (b. 1916) recalls life in the mining camp of Latuda, Utah, Boishakunin (arranged) marriage, and the circumstances of her marriage to Henry Kasai. She discusses the early years of the JACL, as well as her personal experience of discrimination prior to World War II, reaction to the war in Utah, and the formation of the 442nd. Mrs. Kasai also talks about Mike Masaoka, civil rights, the Asian-American movement, the Japanese Peace Garden, and various projects of Henry Kasai.

  •   Mary Kasai 

Mary Kasai was born in Buhl, Idaho, and moved to Pocatello with her parents in the mid-1930s. She discusses the Mary Kasai School of Dancing in Pocatello, famous pupils, attributes of a dancer, her first dance studio, national dance organization, family, Japanese dance styles, Odori, her relationship with her students, ballet council examinations, and her work with beauty pageant contestants.

  •  Yukiko Kimura and Elna Miya

Miss Kimura discusses her father's immigration to and employment in America, her birth in Rexburg, Idaho, and childhood memories. Miss Miya talks about her father's immigration, her schooling in Ogden, and her children. There is also some talk about Nisei and Issei, Commodore Perry, and Japanese immigration to Hawaii. 

  •  Ada Iseko Koseki 

Mrs. Koseki (b. 1908) talks about her birth in Hawaii, her childhood in Hawaii and Japan, conversion to Christianity, citizenship, life in Los Angeles, discrimination at school, relocation, World War II, internment camp life, and loyalty to America.


Interviews with Japanese Americans, ACCN 1209

The interviews with Japanese Americans in Utah (1984-1988) consists of transcripts of a series of interviews conducted with members of the Japanese community between 1984 and 1988. Common themes within the interviews are family life, work, religion, immigration experiences, discrimination, and relations with the Mormon establishment in Utah.

Kaneko (b. 1916) recalls her childhood in Salt Creek, going to school in Tremonton, the Depression, attending Keister Tailoring School in Salt Lake City, Japanese Town, her marriage, and child raising.

Kasai (b. 1916) describes the arranged marriage of her parents in Japan, their life together in Seattle, Washington, and the decision to send Alice and her sister to Japan to be cared for by relatives. She also talks about her childhood in Japan with her grandmother, returning with her mother and younger brother to Utah, and life in mining communities. Other topics covered include going to school, her courtship and marriage to Henry Kasai, life in Salt Lake during World War II and the period of Henry's internment, the issue of redress for Japanese internees, the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), religion, the Bahai faith, the NAACP, and civil rights.

Konishi (b. 1920) was born in Salt Lake City, but spent most of her childhood in the mining town of Tintic. She talks about her parents, schooling, the ethnic makeup of the neighborhood, encountering discrimination in California, and her brother being in a shooting accident. Other topics covered include Scarlet Fever, working for the department of public welfare, Pearl Harbor and its aftermath, the Buddhist temple, and the lives of her children.

Matsumiya (b. 1899) recalls life as the daughter of a rice farmer in Japan. She was sent to Kyoto to work as a maid. In this way she was trained in the art of housekeeping and had the opportunity to learn English. Her family arranged her marriage to a man from America who returned to Japan to find a wife. She recalls their journey to San Francisco, then on to Salt Lake City. Other topics covered include the Hashimoto family, picture brides, the influenza epidemic of 1919, the Mori family, life in Tintic, life in the United States during World War II, and working to support the family after her husband was injured in an automobile accident.

Nakashima (b. 1895) recalls family stories of her father's life as a seaman in Japan. She discusses family life in rural Japan, the wedding of her sister, being sent for by her future husband in America, her voyage on the Sado Maru to Seattle, and moving to Ogden, Utah. She also talks about life in the Japanese section of Salt Lake, raising children, supporting her family after her husband became ill, and her children's lives.

Mrs. Oshita (b. 1925) speaks of her early life in San Francisco, her father's business ventures, and the Japanese relocations of World War II. Her family was interned at the Topaz, Utah, relocation center.

Sachi Seko (b. 1927) talks about her parents and grandparents, her childhood in Southern California, and bringing up her children. Other topics include being sent to the Gila River Relocation Center, the differing experiences of the Issei and Nisei, the FBI, attending the University of Minnesota, Japanese organizations, various jobs she worked in Salt Lake City, writing, and the redress movement.

Sandra Fuller interviewed Mrs. Sudoko with Grace Oshita translating. Topics covered inlude coming to America as a picture bride, her marriage in Seattle, and living on a farm near Idaho Falls with her first husband. She describes the death of her husband, returning to Japan, and coming back to America, where she met her second husband in Stockton, California. She also discusses being interned at Amache during World War II and postwar life.

Mrs. Sugaya (b. 1929) describes her childhood in Butlerville, Utah, which is now known as Cottonwood Heights. She relates the story of her parents' marriage and emigration to America. Her father, who she talks about at length, worked on the railroad, farmed, and was a partner in a restaurant at Soldier Summit. Other topics covered include the Japanese experince in America during World War II, family life, childrearing, and taking care of her mother after the death of her father.

Grace Tasake (b. 1914) begins by describing the death of her uncle in a robbery. She talks about her parents marriage, being a Japanese Christian, and her childhood in Salt Lake City. Other topics covered include living in California and Idaho, family trips, and stories of various friends and acquaintances.

Hisaye Tsutsui (b. 1898) describes village life in Japan, her arranged marriage, and emigration to Utah. She talks about picture brides, childbirth, farming, making paper, and family life in Sunnyside and Salt Lake City, Utah.

Take Yamamoto Uchida (b. 1890) reminisces about her childhood in Japan, where she was educated in Methodist schools. She recalls her marriage and subsequent life in the United States, a brief period of living in Mexico, and farm life in Utah and Idaho. She also discusses her experience of being detained by the FBI during World War II and sent to the Seagoville camp, where there were also Germans and Italians. She was also in the Crystal City relocation camp.

Osako Teraoka Uno (b. 1894) discusses her childhood in a Japanese village, her education at Tokyo Women's University, teaching school, and her experiences in the Hart Mountain relocation camp, where her husband died shortly after their arrival. Mrs. Uno also talks about education in Japan and her life in Ogden, Utah.

Ruby Akita Ushio (b. 1916) discusses her childhood on a farm in what is now South Salt Lake, her father's immigration experience, and her arranged marriage.

Mrs. Yasuda (b. 1894) recalls her childhood in Japan, her arranged marriage and subsequent move to Idaho with her husband. She also talks about the experiences of "picture brides" met on the boat from Japan and Japanese migrant workers, as well as raising her family on farms in Eureka and Orem, Utah. Included are Mrs. Yasuda's memories of living peacefully in Orem during World War II.


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