Interview with Yamauchi Family

Dublin Core

Title

Interview with Yamauchi Family

Subject

Japan
Emigration
Hawai’i
Pasco (Wash.)
Spokane (Wash.)
Kennewick (Wash.)
Richland (Wash.)
Entrepreneurship
Restaurateurs
Grocery trade
Japanese Americans--Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945
Internment of Japanese Americans, 1942-1945
Discrimination


Description

An interview with Brenda Kupfer, Roy Satoh, Linda Reiko Adkinson and Bruce Yamauchi .

An interview conducted as part of the Hanford Oral History Project. The Hanford Oral History Project was sponsored by Mission Support Alliance on behalf of the United States Department of Energy.

Publisher

Hanford Oral History Project at Washington State University Tri-Cities

Date

09/18/2018

Rights

Those interested in reproducing part or all of this oral history should contact the Hanford History Project at ourhanfordhistory@tricity.wsu.edu, who can provide specific rights information for this item.

Relation

Yamauchi Family, Oral History Metada

Format

video/mp4

Provenance

The Hanford Oral History Project operates under a sub-contract from Mission Support Alliance (MSA), who are the primary contractors for the US Department of Energy's curatorial services relating to the Hanford site. This oral history project became a part of the Hanford History Project in 2015, and continues to add to the US Department of Energy collection.

Oral History Item Type Metadata

Interviewer

Robert Franklin

Interviewee

Brenda Kupfer, Roy Satoh, Linda Reiko Adkinson and Bruce Yamauchi

Location

Washington State University - Tri Cities

Transcription

Robert Franklin: My name is Robert Franklin. I am conducting an oral history interview with Bob Bauman and Brenda Kupfer, Roy Satoh, Linda Reiko Adkinson and Bruce Yamauchi on September 18, 2018. The interview is being conducted on the campus of Washington State University Tri-Cities. I will be talking with Brenda, Roy, Linda and Bruce about their family’s history in Pasco and the Tri-Cities. For the record, can you state and spell your full names for us, starting to my left with Brenda?

Brenda [Bea] Kupfer: Brenda Joyce Kupfer. [LAUGHTER] B-R-E-N-D-A. J-O-Y-C-E. K-U-P-F-E-R.

Franklin: Great.

Roy Satoh: Roy Masashi Satoh. R-O-Y. M-A-S-A-S-H-I. S-A-T-O-H.

Linda Adkinson: Linda Reiko Adkinson. L-I-N-D-A. R-E-I-K-O. A-D-K-I-N-S-O-N.

Bruce Yamauchi: Charles Bruce Yamauchi. C-H-A-R-L-E-S. B-R-U-C-E. Y-A-M-A-U-C-H-I.

Franklin: Great, thank you.

Robert Bauman: All right, got the formalities out of the way now.

Franklin: Yes. [LAUGHTER]

Bauman: I wonder if we could start with having you talk about your grandparents, Harry and Cheka Yamauchi. What brought them to the United States, what brought them to Pasco, as much as their, sort of, history that you know about based on talking to them or stories from their parents, et cetera. And whoever wants to start that.

Adkinson: Well, Grandpa and Grandma arrived from Hawai’i in 1906. I can’t remember the date, but I do remember what happened on that date in San Francisco, great earthquake.

Bauman: That same date, wow.

Adkinson: Uh-huh. And Grandma thought that the world was coming to an end, and she was fated to a great tragedy. Because all she could see what fire and smoke. So from there, they went to, I think it was Cashmere first, with the railroad. He got the job from the railroad—in Hawai’i, they have a dispatch sort of a center, a labor ready center. If your name came up to what they had pegged you for that you might do a good job, that’s how you were allowed to come. So they were there for a short time, and then moved to Pasco.

Franklin: Do you know what island they emigrated from?

Adkinson: What islands? Gosh. Well, I think the original Yamauchi family was from O’ahu?

Kupfer: O’ahu? Maybe?

Adkinson: I think. Although Hawai’i is considered agricultural, so I’m not sure.

Yamauchi: That was agricultural back then.

Adkinson: It was agricultural back then. Yeah, probably so.

Yamauchi: Not a tourist trap.

Bauman: So they had gone to Hawai’i for plantation labor?

Adkinson: Yes, yes. Grandpa was the third son, I believe. And of course, as in Europe, if you’re not the first son, you’re sort of out of it. And you need to find your own way in life.

Bauman: Were your grandparents married, did they leave Japan as a married couple, or did they meet in Hawai’i? Do you know how--?

Adkinson: I think they got married in Japan, did they not?

Satoh: I think. Yes.

Adkinson: I think so.

Bauman: Okay.

Franklin: So it was the railroad that brought them to Pasco?

Adkinson: Mm-hmm, yeah. Yup.

Bauman: So when they first came to Pasco, your grandfather was working for the railroad?

Adkinson: Yes.

Bauman: How long did he do that, do you know? And at some point, they started some businesses, is that correct? If you could talk about some of that.

Adkinson: Yes, they did. I’m surprised at how fast that went, because he became—I have pictures showing him with a grocery store. I know he had a fish market. There was a pool hall, and there was a hotel. And then back to the M. & M. restaurant, which most Pasco natives became real familiar with, and that was prior to—that would be the last thing before Pearl Harbor. So it was in the ‘30s that they had acquired this restaurant that people would go to in crowds. They would stand in line to get in.

Bauman: Yeah, that’s a lot of businesses.

Adkinson: That’s a lot of businesses.

Franklin: Yeah.

Bauman: Right. So, I assume, then, he was no longer working for the railroad at that point if he was operating businesses.

Adkinson: Yeah, he—I don’t know when the last Yamauchi son was born. Uncle Bob was the youngest. But by then, pretty much it worked like machinery. I know my dad had to start the fire in the morning, do all that kinds of stuff from the time he was about seven or eight years old. So he had his own labor crew working to help with that, along with his wife, who did all the housekeeping when they had the hotel, and a lot of some interesting stories came out of that. But anyway, he was an entrepreneur. I think you might have read in the historical society, he would take Aunt Mary, who was only ten, as an interpreter—much as the immigrants do today; you see them in the grocery stores or the doctors’ offices and so forth—to the city council meeting. At the time, he brought gifts, like candy. And they told him, no, Harry, you can’t do that. [LAUGHTER]

Bauman: But you said, it was Mary? He would bring his daughter, Mary, to the meetings to kind of—

Adkinson: Yeah, to interpret for him, uh-huh.

Bauman: Interesting. Maybe you could talk a little bit, then, about their children, your parents. Maybe if you could each talk and say which of their children were your parents and a little bit about them, each of them as well, maybe? So again with Brenda, if you want to—

Kupfer: My mother was the second-born. Cashmere, Washington, she was born. [LAUGHTER]

Bauman: Do you know what year that was? What year she was born?

Kupfer: She was born in 1906. No, 1907. Sorry.

Adkinson: Yeah. 1907.

Kupfer: Yeah, she can’t be born the same year as--

Satoh: No, Mom was ’05.

Kupfer: ’05? Okay. She was born in 1907 in Cashmere.

Bauman: And her name was?

Kupfer: Cheoko.

Bauman: Cheoko.

Kupfer: Yamauchi.

Bauman: Okay. And Roy?

Satoh: My mother was the first-born. In Hawai’i, in Honolulu. That was partially the reason that they were there, because she was pregnant and ready to deliver. Her Japanese name is Harue. When she started school, they had a hard time, the Americans, the Caucasians, had a hard time pronouncing that. They called her everything from hallelujah, eventually watered that down to just Lou, L-O-U.

Franklin: Could you spell that Japanese?

Satoh: Uh.

Franklin: If you can.

Satoh: [LAUGHTER] I would butcher it up. It’s H-A-R-U-A-Y-A, I believe.

Franklin: Okay. But she was kind of colloquially known as Lou.

Satoh: Lou, yes.

Kupfer: Do you want me to look it up?

Satoh: Huh?

Kupfer: I got it on that paper.

Satoh: Oh. [LAUGHTER] Anyway, one of—being the firstborn, she took on a lot of the responsibilities as many firstborn children do, you know. One of the goals in her life was to go to college. She was the first Asian American to graduate from the Pasco school system. She was the class valedictorian, graduated with honors. But being she was the oldest and had the responsibility of the younger children, in those days, girls didn’t go to school. They worked. So she eventually became a bookkeeper. But she helped in the restaurants and the different businesses. She particularly enjoyed the pool hall. She was quite the pool player. In my youth, I remember her buying a miniature pool table, setting it up on the card table or whatever it was. We would play pool on this miniature table. But in her day, I guess she was quite the pool shark.

Bauman: I think I’ve seen a photo in a restaurant, possibly, or maybe the store, of two of the daughters, and I’m guessing maybe it’s the two oldest. Lou and Cheoko, possibly? I don’t remember. But it’s the grandparents, Harry and Cheka, and then two of the daughters, I think, and must’ve been, I’m guessing—

Kupfer: Probably the oldest, yeah.

Bauman: Yeah. All right, Linda, your parents?

Adkinson: My dad was the first son born, so that made him more or less responsible, as he went through his growing up years, when it came time for the two next brothers down. They wanted to go to college. And they were enrolled at the University of Washington. One of them was already, I think, was still there when Pearl Harbor hit. I’m pretty sure that was the way it went. Anyway, he was responsible for putting them through. So his wishes were dashed, because he had the family responsibility. So his growing up years was a little disappointing. He wanted to get into construction, like all of his friends were in Pasco. There were so many of them that didn’t go to school or weren’t able to go to school. The first thing they would head for would be some kind of construction work. His wish was that, until Pearl Harbor. So that was dashed also. My grandparents lived with us since I was born. So we were more of a family unit with a matriarch and a patriarch. Yeah, which he deferred to.

Bauman: And what was his first name?

Adkinson: Charles.

Bauman: Charles, okay. I believe I’ve seen some photos of you with your grandparents when you were a beauty pageant winner, or some sort of pageant?

Adkinson: Oh, the Water Follies. Pasco was the one that had the Water Follies, locally. And then after 1959, Kennewick and Richland’s weren’t doing so well; they decided to combine into the Tri-Cities Water Follies. So, yeah.

Bauman: Okay. And you grew up with your grandparents there, so [inaudible].

Adkinson: I did, I did, from the time I was little. So the time in Spokane was pretty idyllic. One thing I want to say about Spokane, I was baptized in the United Methodist Church there at four. This lady, her name was Mrs. Black. When Pearl Harbor came, she stood up with a lot of the women in those days, and I guess they stood up against the internment. The church that we’d gone to, we weren’t able to go to. Instead, she single-handedly turned that deserted church, then, into a church that welcomed Japanese Americans and Asians of any kind that were not allowed to be going to the other church. So we were raised there, and I have to give her kudos. She must’ve been some lady.

Bauman: And this was United Methodist Church in Spokane, you said?

Adkinson: Yeah. United Methodist, uh-huh.

Bauman: Great. And definitely want to get back to World War II experiences, family experiences, but I want to get to Bruce first and then go back.

Yamauchi: My father was Charles. So, same as—she’s my sister. But I can make mention of the other brothers and sisters, or uncles and aunts for us. There’s Lou was the first, Cheoko was the second. Mary was the third. Charles was the fourth. Now I’m going to need help. George? Then Frances.

Adkinson: Yeah.

Yamauchi: Then Jimmy, then Bob.

Adkinson: Is that eight?

Yamauchi: I don’t know.

Adkinson: No, you missed Hannah.

[ALL]: Hannah.

Bauman: Where would Hannah have been in the—

Adkinson: They actually—

Kupfer: She was after Aunt Mary.

Adkinson: Her gravestone says 1911. Dad was born in December of 1911, and apparently she was born in January.

Bauman: Okay.

Adkinson: I don’t know how that worked out. I still don’t know. So they were very close. [LAUGHTER]

Bauman: Okay. So, I guess, I don’t know, maybe if we could talk about your parents’ experiences, parents’, grandparents’ experiences during World War II. What that meant for your grandparents, for your parents, how they experienced it? Whoever wants to jump in, we’ll have all four of you at some point talk about that.

Yamauchi: They didn’t really talk about it that much. It was kind of in the past. I came along much later. But it was in the past, and they didn’t want to dwell on it.

Adkinson: But, Roy, you should tell about your mom in Japan.

Satoh: Yeah, well, as a lot of the Japanese residents and Japanese American were rounded it up and interned in many, many camps across the west coast. My dad was a businessman. He worked for an import/export company in Portland and Seattle; they had branches in both cities. He had a lot of business contacts with other Japanese businessmen, companies. So when they interned him, he was shipped to Montana, which was a little bit more than a typical internment camp. The government was more concerned about him, because of his business contacts. Of course, my mom, with an infant son, followed him to Montana.

At that time, it wasn’t the best time of year. So when they eventually released him, he was given the choice to go to a regular internment camp or go back to Japan. He was kind of disgruntled with the way that he and his family had been treated, so he chose to go back to Japan. They crossed the country from Washington to New York, got on a steamer, and sailed to South Africa. There, they got off the American line ship and boarded a Japanese liner. The American officials and ambassadors that were in Japan at that time then were coming back to the states on that particular ship, and then returned to the United States.

So anyway, they ended up back in a small farming community in Japan. The people there thought enough of my dad that eventually they elected him mayor of that small community. But my mother, being an American, she was looked down upon. Got kind of ostracized. She was the foreigner, she was the American, the enemy. So after—well, my dad died there of cancer, but the war was still going on. My brother had passed—infant brother had passed away from diphtheria. So she was there pretty much alone with me, an infant son. Again, she was ostracized for being American, so there wasn’t much help from the local community. I remember hearing stories later about the family here in the United States sending care packages to her in Japan, which oftentimes, she didn’t receive.

She struggled for a couple years until the war ended. When the people there realized that they were not going to win the war, then they came to my mother and asked her to teach them English. So she had some income and some support in that sense. Finally, in 1950 then, she brought me back to the States after the war had settled.

Bauman: Yeah, that must’ve been a really difficult time for her. Was she able to communicate at all with letters in any way during the war, do you know, with the family members here?

Satoh: I, again, like most Japanese that were interned, very little oral history. They just didn’t speak about it, you know. I know my mother was a collector. She saved everything. But I have not seen too much of what pertained there. I’ve seen those old, old, I think they’re airmail letters that’s written on that real thin tissue paper type stuff. I’ve seen those, but I didn’t take the opportunity to read them. I’m assuming a lot of them were written in Japanese.

Bauman: So, you said she came back in 1950? You with her, right?

Satoh: Yes, yes.

Bauman: So how old were you at that point?

Satoh: So I was just five.

Bauman: Okay. And do you have any memories of being in Japan at all?

Satoh: [LAUGHTER] Very—especially now, very few. I’ve seen photographs. Again, my father was well-to-do, so they owned a nice home on a hill, rice paddies, and a mountain. The mountain was so they could collect firewood, and then of course, I don’t know how big the rice paddy was, but I’ve heard stories of them going out and getting fish in the rice paddy, and of course harvesting the grain. The few things that I do remember are mostly from photographs, is I had a little dog. Again, photographs of the countryside and things like that. Up to, I don’t know, maybe 20 years ago, I used to be able to remember the flavor of a Japanese popsicle. Of course, having come over to the States at age five, everything that I knew prior to that was basically in Japanese. I could relate to them in Japanese words. So it was—well, our grandparents, even, shunned anyone from speaking Japanese in the home. They knew it was important for them, for their children to succeed in this country, and they knew if they relied on Japanese, that was not going to help them succeed in a country where English was the primary language. So when I learned English, all my recollection being in Japanese just kind of faded.

Adkinson: Except he knew Roy Rogers.

Satoh: Yeah.

Adkinson: That’s how he got his name.

Bauman: Oh, okay. So that’s where the Roy came from.

Satoh: Yeah, that’s where the Roy came from. Her brother, Roger, when they asked me what American name I wanted, because the only—Masashi was my given name, and the only two words I knew were Roy Rogers. Her brother Roger—and my Aunt Mary loved to tell this story—she said, Roger would say, you can’t be Roger, because I’m already Roger! And Aunt Mary loved to tell that story. Hence, Roy was the name I picked.

Bauman: Uh-huh. And so when you and your mother came back in 1950, you came back to Pasco?

Satoh: Yes, yes.

Bauman: Came back here, then, okay. So others of you, if you want to talk about your parents, Brenda, during the war, what happened?

Adkinson: Bea, I think that Jean, probably, if they wanted to know it all from the family, would be her.

Kupfer: Yeah. My sister, Jean Kazawa, was interviewed a few years ago, and she related a lot of the history of what happened in the camp.

Adkinson: And we have copies, right?

Kupfer: I have a copy, yeah. But I think the historical society has one, too.

Bauman: Oh, okay.

Adkinson: And it’s detailed.

Kupfer: Yeah, it’s very detailed. I have no recollection, since I was born after they were released from Heart Mountain.

Bauman: So your parents were sent to Heart Mountain?

Kupfer: My mother and father and four siblings were sent to Heart—well, by way of Portland stockyards or whatever it was called.

Bauman: So they were sent to Portland first, and from there to—

Kupfer: Yeah, and they were sent to Heart Mountain, Wyoming. Which we couldn’t understand why, you know, clear down there. And my dad worked for the railroad also.

Bauman: Okay. Now, did your parents live in Benton County, then?

Kupfer: Well, that’s what I understand, is they lived in Kennewick. I remember them talking about living in Plymouth—or my sister talking about Plymouth, but I don’t know.

Franklin: And where is Plymouth?

Adkinson: About 20 minutes—it’s right at the river where—

Kupfer: Just before you cross over into Umatilla—

Adkinson: On the McNary Dam?

Franklin: Oh.

Bauman: Yeah.

Adkinson: Plymouth is just west—

Bauman: Sort of on the State Route 14 there.

Kupfer: Yeah.

Adkinson: My only recollection of Pearl Harbor—I mean, of those years, was there were four of us cousins born in 1941. So it was a little inauspicious. But Dad, being in the position he was, became very industrious in those years, because he not only was working to get his mother and dad out of Arkansas. It came time, George, my uncle George, when they finally allowed the Japanese Americans to join the service, he was out, but his wife and child, Terry, was another ’41-er, and were also interned someplace. So Dad also worked to get him out. And then there was another situation in which he needed to get some sponsorships. So he was very busy. And I tell you, the Pasco natives that were friends, and a lot of them I think, became friends, because Grandpa was a fellow small business person. So they, through that connection, I think they all got to know each other a little more than ordinarily. So most of those years, I remember lots of letters being written. A lot of—I have a couple of them. My uncle George wrote to the Tri-City Herald in that time. I put that in the paper because it was just a plea to remember who we all were.

Bauman: I’ve actually used that letter in my classes.

Adkinson: Oh, have you really?

Bauman: I’ve had my students read that letter.

Adkinson: Yeah, he was in the go-for-broke thing.

Bauman: It’s such an amazing letter, very poignant letter addressing, really, the heart of a lot of the issues, right?

Adkinson: Yes. Yeah, it really went to the point. Yeah. So he was more active then in more or less just getting his family back together. That was really his job. He wasn’t allowed to join the service as he would have loved to have done, because he had a physical heart problem. So that was something he was very disappointed in. So I think that’s why he got involved. Because ordinarily he was a pretty quiet person.

Bauman: So I just want to clarify, which family members then were sent to internment camps? I know your grandparents were initially. Your parents were.

Adkinson: Aunt Mary was living in Pasco. Aunt Mary, her situation was, you might as well say, she was alone. She had a terrible time, because of course they had to close the restaurant; it was closed down. There were some problems between different legion things that happened. She got a job with a local lumberyard and finally was able to survive and support herself. In the meantime, Auntie Fran’s husband, she was a Koyama, and Uncle Spadie joined immediately. He, at wherever point was—they started a school in San Francisco for native Japanese American guys who maybe knew the language, could read, write, interpret and that sort of thing, so it meant that they might have spent time in Japan. Uncle Spadie was an ideal candidate, and they went searching for all of these men. There were, I think, 5,000 they came up with, and went to school. That became a secret for years and years and years. Learned—well, he was in the Army, so he worked under MacArthur in the Pacific, which is where these men were. And a lot of times, you know, people would not believe me when I said I had an uncle who was serving in the Pacific—who had served. But that was his job, was to interpret. He was guarded by any blonde, fair-skinned soldier as a bodyguard to keep from, you know, keep him safe. And in turn, a couple of them lost their lives guarding him. In turn, he named his children, two of his boys after those two men. So Fran was, I believe, in internment, but I don’t know where.

Bauman: Okay. And then George was initially, and then was able to join the military?

Adkinson: He also joined. He had a hearing problem. He was the next-to-the-youngest, and he would’ve been old enough. But he worked at what they called the icehouse at the railroad center out there, and that was considered a security thing because they were used as a supply route. So he was there. So since he lived in Pasco then, he didn’t have to go.

Bauman: Mm-hmm. And you mentioned—so, your Aunt Mary was in Pasco and kind of taking care of some of the business, had to close the restaurant, is that right?

Adkinson: Yeah, yeah.

Bauman: Was it lack of business, was there, you know, some—

Adkinson: I don’t know if they were ordered to close it. I would assume that might have been so. Now, my dad, when he had this land in Kennewick, he bought that land, a farmhouse and five acres where the Angus Village is, from the owner, properties. And when Pearl Harbor hit, he came to my dad and he said, Charlie, he said, we don’t know what’s going to happen. So he said, I’m returning your money. So he gave him the money that Dad paid, which was all of $500, and gave it to him. So we have stories like that all over. My mother’s family was from the Hood River Valley. The neighboring orchardist came to my uncle and said, I’ll take care of your farm for you. And he did. So it was, you know, lots of those stories don’t get told, and I wish they would be. Because it’s important.

Bauman: So after the war, they were able to come back and their farm was still there?

Adkinson: Well, in Hood River, it was a little different. When he got out of—when the family got out of internment camp, they were sent to—they lived in Ontario, Oregon.

Bauman: Okay.

Adkinson: And they were supposed to stay there a year and they thought it would be okay to move back to Hood River. The term was it was still “hot,” so they stayed two years. In turn, he turned that orchard that was a rental place that he was living on into a profit. So he was actually able to return and be able to have a start on regaining his orchard and going right back to work. He was prepared for that. But they went so far as having a memorial where my two uncles on my mother’s side were not on the memorial. Their names were finally put in, I think, in the ‘80s or ‘90s in town.

Bauman: You mentioned earlier that your grandparents were sent to Arkansas. I wondered if you could talk about that a little bit more? When we were talking before we started the interview, you mentioned a little bit more about why that happened and efforts to sort of have them removed from there or whatever. I wondered if you could kind of discuss that.

Adkinson: I don’t know what the conditions were. Terry still lives—actually resettled and he’s a doctor. He resettled in Arkansas and some of his things were to dig into it, into the history of what that place was like in those days. He would have information on that. But to get Grandma and Grandpa out, apparently there was a military board, some kind of a board here in Tri-Cities that oversaw—especially, I suppose, the alien situation. So they applied to there, and after, I think it was four prominent families from Pasco who said they would sponsor them if they would allow them to come back from Arkansas. And then they had my father’s promise that he would be responsible and move inland, away from Pasco. So that’s why we ended up in Spokane until after the war.

Bauman: That’s right, in Spokane. That was considered farther away? [LAUGHTER]

Adkinson: I guess it was inland enough. The Columbia River didn’t go right through Spokane, so.

Bauman: Right.

Franklin: Well, and there was the Big Pasco operation, just with all of that military supplies moving—

Bauman: Mm-hmm, and Hanford.

Adkinson: Naval base was there.

Franklin: And Hanford.

Adkinson: And the Naval base was there, too.

Franklin: So that makes sense in that context, I guess.

Adkinson: Sure.

Bauman: Right.

Adkinson: Yeah.

Franklin: Even though it’s really not—on a map, it’s not that much more inland.

Adkinson: Well, I think after the war, it’s interesting, because Camp Hanford, there was a bus system. So there was travel between the three cities. My feeling was that a lot of the soldiers, particularly if they were Asian, it was suggested that if they wanted to go to a café or anything like that, they could go to Pasco, because they would be welcome there. Consequently, Dad was inundated with some young men in the Army who would get off the bus on the corner and go down a block on Lewis Street there and go into the café and have a meal or whatever. Yeah.

Bauman: Just clarifying a little bit more that, your grandparents were sent to Arkansas, was that because they had been born in Japan and were Japanese nationals, is that why they were sent to Arkansas, or was it because they lived in Pasco, or both, or do you know?

Adkinson: Because they were Japanese natives, yeah.

Bauman: Okay.

Adkinson: As I say, they couldn’t be citizens, so they always had to go into the post office and sign those—it’s a card.

Bauman: Oh, with the registration.

Adkinson: You had to say, yeah, that I am. Every year they did that, even after the war.

Bauman: Hmm. Wow. I wonder, then, if you could talk about after the war, what was it like, either from your perspective, being in Tri-Cities, those of you who were here, in Pasco, what it was like after the war for your family, your families?

Adkinson: Well, when I moved down in the third grade—we moved back in ’49, we were able to come back. And Dad partnered with his sister in the restaurant. I started third grade at Whittier. And I’d have to say, in Spokane, also, I had no trouble at all as a child. It just wasn’t done. The only thing, I didn’t have any knowledge or knew any African American children in Spokane. But I did at Whittier. So it was—when I look back on it, I was really thankful, because we had some interesting, very, very good teachers. One was an ex-Navy guy who became a teacher. He was at the Naval base. He was fantastic.

But going through school in the ‘50s, of course, everybody says it was the happy ‘50s and that was true. For everyone. Of course they all thought we lived like Leave It to Beaver. And then maybe 50 years later, at my 50-year reunion, we found out it wasn’t exactly, you know, that way. Real life wasn’t quite that way in small town Pasco. But at the time, we all had that attitude.

Now, Bruce and Roy and Bea went through the ‘60s. I think there was a time, that was a decade of, ’60 to ’70 was a decade of—and my children had a little bit about that in the late ‘60s—that caused an awful lot of turmoil. Which we never—we weren’t used to. Yeah. And they desegregated, for instance, Pasco, the restaurants, even Pasco was ordered. If a person came from the eastside, and came in for a cup of coffee, you had better serve them. So there was some of that going on, which never—we never had a problem with before. So it was really interesting, I think, especially after Kennedy was assassinated. To me, that was a big turning point.

Bauman: So did all of you, then, grow up mostly in Pasco?

[ALL]: Yes.

Kupfer: Graduated Pasco High.

Satoh: Pasco High graduates.

Bauman: Okay, and--

Franklin: Oh, sorry. And all in east Pasco?

Adkinson: No, the younger ones, by the time I was in the fourth or fifth grade, they started sending the younger ones to Longfellow School on the west side. But I continued to finish—so I had to cross the tracks, which was not supposed to be done, but I did.

Kupfer: You did?

Adkinson: It was dangerous. [LAUGHTER]

Kupfer: You lived under the underpass?

Adkinson: We went—we used to go under the underpass until Sarah Fukazawa and I ran into a problem under the underpass.

Kupfer: Oh.

Adkinson: And we were scared to go down there again, so.

Bauman: So Bruce, Brenda, do you have some more experiences growing up in Pasco?

Yamauchi: I didn’t experience any discriminations. Or I was oblivious to all that. More focus, ethnic-wise, in the ‘60s were the blacks. The Hispanic population wasn’t all that great, or large, at that time. But between me and my fellow students, I didn’t experience any problems.

Adkinson: Was there any problems with the bussing?

Yamauchi: I always walked to school or Mom took me.

Adkinson: Oh.

[LAUGHTER]

Bauman: Brenda or Roy? Similar?

Kupfer: Occasionally in middle school? Someone would say something, you know, discriminatory. But for the most part, no.

Satoh: I felt that because of our restaurant, our family was known quite widely, especially in Pasco. In fact, Mesa, Eltopia, some of the Japanese families up the valley even would come into Pasco and eat at our family restaurant. But growing up—well, Brenda and I, we started kindergarten out at the air base. And then I think I went to Whittier for a year and a half or thereabouts. I can’t remember when Longfellow was built. But then we went to—attended Longfellow. I don’t know if it was the proximity—we lived on First and Lewis, which is right near the entrance to the underpass, and of course, we were exposed to a lot of the, in those days it was the hobos, transients. There was a small Chinese community, and they had the opium dens and the underground tunnels.

Adkinson: But do you think they were there when we were growing up? I don’t think they were there when—

Satoh: I don’t know. I really don’t know. But I do know there was a house of ill repute just down the street from us. I remember playing down the street and seeing ladies up on the second story balcony in their kimonos, having their cigarettes or whatever. None the wiser. We were out there playing in the dirt.

Adkinson: They weren’t oriental, though.

Satoh: No, no, they weren’t oriental, that’s true. But the caution that our parents tried to instill upon us was not so much any of the dangers that kids face these days, you know. We played all over the neighborhood. And we had a close-knit Japanese community there. There was, I think four families that lived within a few blocks of each other. We kind of grew up with those families.

Bauman: Do you know who those families were, what their last names were?

Satoh: Ogata.

Bauman: Mm-hmm.

Satoh: Ono. Yes, Ono. Fukazawa. Was there any others?

Kupfer: I think that’s it.

Satoh: I think that was it.

Adkinson: Well, then we had the Wong Howes and Johnny Lou’s family. So there were two Chinese families, too.

Bauman: And were those families there before the war, as well, do you know?

Adkinson: The Wong Howes were definitely. And the Onos were, as far as I know.

Bauman: Okay.

Adkinson: Ogatas had the little tiny laundry across the street from us. But the Wong Howes had a famous cinematographer.

Bauman; Right, right, I’ve heard of that. James Wong Howe.

Adkinson: Right. I think Picnic and some of the others were his. Yeah, yeah.

Bauman: So the other Japanese American families, the Ogatas, the Onos, was it?

Satoh: Yeah.

Bauman: Do you know what happened with them during the war? Or in Pasco, were they able to stay there?

Adkinson: I’m sure—I don’t know if they went to internment, do you?

Satoh: No, I don’t know either.

Adkinson: Many of the Ogatas had at least two teachers in the family—oh, Ted was also a teacher. So they stayed in the area and taught.

Bauman: Oh, okay.

Adkinson: The Onos worked at various jobs and stuff. They were more along my dad’s thinking about hunting and fishing when they grew up, it was hunting and fishing all the time. For sustenance as well as for just the sport of doing that. Their growing up years consisted of doing all these chores around the house and so forth, but as soon as they were able, they were either at the river, on the river, or off in the fields hunting. Yeah. So their childhood was sort of like I would expect it to be for any early American in those years. Before Pearl Harbor.

Franklin: Did you or your parents ever have any issues with treatment in Kennewick? With the police there or refusal of service or anything like that?

Adkinson: The only time I ever remembered actually experiencing that was in Richland at a woman’s clothing store. They just didn’t wait on me. But Mom and Dad, I can’t recall any time that, in Pasco or Kennewick that they had a problem. Of course, Kennewick was sort of off-limits. It didn’t bother us in high school. We would tootle across the old green bridge any time we wanted to.

Kupfer: I don’t have that many memories of family, because my mother was the first to marry. She had her family. So I was not part of the growing-up that they were part of. I have different memories.

Bauman: Mm-hmm. So where did you grow up then, did you--?

Kupfer: I grew up in Pasco. But I know after Mom and Dad and the siblings were released, I know they spent some time in Payette, Idaho. And then slowly made their way back, but I don’t know when. My sister probably addressed that when she was interviewed. But basically I grew up in Pasco.

Adkinson: And I think, too, your mom had so many responsibilities because your father had died. You know, in ’49 or something?

Kupfer: Yeah, my dad passed in ’49. I was only three.

Adkinson: So then there were five kids. And her only brother, Jerry, was involved in the Korean action.

Kupfer: Korean, yeah. Even though he had been in camp—

Adkinson: He was only 19.

Kupfer: He also joined the service. He was in the Army. And was injured during the Korean War.

Franklin: Wow.

Kupfer: But, yeah, basically, just stayed in Pasco the whole time.

Adkinson: That was quite different, though. The Korean War was so different. Because Truman insisted it was called an “action.” We were all—at that time, then, Bea and her family were living with us. There was a big calendar. They had these big railroad calendar which her older sister, Arlene, would check off where Jerry was. This would be her brother. So I don’t know how many families in Pasco were involved with that sort of thing happening in their family. He was missing in action for weeks and weeks. It turned out, as a medic, he was found. But with various serious—Auntie Cheoko was distraught, everybody was distraught. But I don’t recall this happening outside in the school situation or anything about the Korean War.

Bauman: Interesting. I only have like one more sort of question, I don’t know if you have other questions, Robert, you want to ask?

Franklin: When did your—you mentioned that your parents didn’t talk much about the time in camp, but you did learn stuff about it. When did they finally—did they ever start to open up about it? And a follow up to that: if they didn’t, when did you start to want to learn more about that history and want to talk about that history?

Adkinson: Boy. The only one I—I think I did ask some questions of Brenda’s sister, Arlene. Because they were the only ones that had kids and were in my age group. She even didn’t want to say too much about it. She didn’t like it, that was evident. And Grandma and Grandpa never talked about it. It was just an unspoken thing that you just didn’t ask.

So one of the things—now, this didn’t happen about the internment, but I did have a Marine who fought in the Pacific who came into my US history class when I was a senior in ’59. It was very interesting story about the war. Evidently, he had heard about the interpreters and that sort of thing. Because, at first, he said, oh, no, there wasn’t any Japanese Americans there. Then he thought about it longer, and he said, oh, yeah. So he talked about it in a sort of a distant way about what we were doing at home, because here these guys would’ve been in camp if they hadn’t been allowed to go enlist. Yeah.

Satoh: Yeah, I just recently saw a PBS presentation, I believe it’s entitled Silent Sacrifice.

Adkinson: Oh, yeah.

Satoh: It was about a lot of the internees. That’s basically the same for our family. You just didn’t talk about it. Out of sight, out of mind. For me, it was years later that I heard outside from the family that part of the family was interned. Through the years, just picking up bits and pieces, I think we had some—well, the Ono family, some of the daughters were more—again, this would be the second or third generation as opposed to the first generation, Nisei. They talked about it more than our family talked about it. For me, that was kind of an a-ha moment. My father’s internment and the trip to South Africa and then back up to Japan, I just kind of put pieces together from souvenirs that my mother had, photographs. And it wasn’t like they said it was taboo to talk about it; it just wasn’t mentioned.

Bauman: So I was going to ask, what would you most like people to know or understand about your family’s history here in the Tri-Cities? I say that because I know most of my students—[LAUGHTER]—know nothing, really, about the experience of Japanese Americans here in the area. SO I’m just curious what you would like them to know.

Adkinson: I get complaints from the older folk, and there’s not many left. My cousin Jane Maruta was just complaining the other day that the younger generation don’t want to know anything about Japan. She was born in Japan, she came from the family estate over there, and they sent her here to get an American education. She feels that they should make it part of their heritage to know the family history in the home country. The younger ones absolutely just don’t want to do that. They’re not interested, for one thing. And it seems like they want to live life right now. They really don’t look into the past at anything. That was probably the third or fourth relative that had mentioned that the young people just don’t—they don’t even want some of the material things that are being passed down within the family that’s very important. But they—so I think that we’ve acclimated to being American. We were American from the time we were born, so it’s apparently not appealing to the younger ones. But I am, so I go over and talk to her a lot. Just so—just in case one of the younger ones might come up. I should start writing it down. But my classmate, Doc Hastings, told me, you should write a book about your family in town. And I said, well, one of these days. [LAUGHTER]

Satoh: One of the things that our family, and many, many Japanese families—it was important for our grandparents to instill in us the desire to assimilate into this country to become part of the fabric. Also, to be contributors as opposed to takers. Again, because of his example, my grandfather’s example of this, hard work, entrepreneurship, and willing to do what it takes for his family, again, it was important for him that the boys went to college. He knew that education was one of the main roads to success. Also, it was important to them—they were stout Buddhists. I remember them taking their little offerings to their bedroom. They had a little shrine there. So religion was important to them. There’s a picture of us, I’ve seen it, we’re all dressed in our Sunday go-to-church clothes: white shirts, slacks, ties, girls in dresses. It reminds me of the cover to Abbey Road, the Beatles album, Abbey Road.

Adkinson: [LAUGHTER] Oh, dear!

Satoh: Here’s all of us, in a line, going to church with her older sister leading us to church. So religion was very important to our grandparents.

Bauman: What church would that have been, do you know?

Satoh: It would have been—

Kupfer: Methodist.

Satoh: The Methodist church.

Adkinson: The United Methodist Church.

Bauman: In Pasco?

Satoh: Yeah.

Adkinson: Yeah.

Satoh: So—

Adkinson: It’s—you know, Grandpa did take a couple of trips back to Japan during his years when he thought he’d made it. And one of the trips was rather hilarious, because he took specifically my uncle George. And it wasn’t until he got to Japan that George realized what he was there for. You know, like many Catholics, you get eight kids, you’ve got to pick one son who might be the priest in the family. That’s exactly what he was after, was one of those monastery things where the monks are or whatever they call it. But he got out of Dodge fast.

[LAUGHTER]

Adkinson: He did. He just was astounded. No, no, I’m going home. But that was probably his own culture. Maybe his one contribution to maybe trying to get these, one of the kids anyway involved into his native country, I suppose.

He tried to introduce French fries to his crew over there in Japan. He said, this is really great. Nobody said a word as they tasted this. He said, you know, he told them to get the oil, and they cut the French fries up and everything. No one said a word, but several hours later many of them got sick because he didn’t specify what kind of oil he wanted. So they were French fried into kerosene oil.

Bauman: Oh, wow.

Franklin: Oh!

Adkinson: So that didn’t endear anybody to—[LAUGHTER]

Yamauchi: Crazy Americans.

[LAUGHTER]

Adkinson: Yeah! I thought that was just hilarious. But I could see where he had made sort of a weak attempt to kind of get somebody assimilated enough to come back—or rather, stay there.

Bauman: So how long did your grandparents live? I know the photo of you and you’re a teenager or whatever. But at least, you must’ve spent a fair amount of time with them.

Adkinson: Mm-hmm. Well, Grandpa died—both Grandma and Grandpa died after I got married. Grandma died the same—

Yamauchi: It was in the ‘60s, wasn’t it?

Adkinson: Well, I got married in ’61.

Yamauchi: Late ‘50s, early ‘60s.

Bauman: Okay.

Adkinson: And then Grandpa was 89; Grandma was 75. Yeah.

Satoh: Yeah, I got a copy of the obituary.

Franklin: Was there—so you said your grandparents were Buddhist and remained pretty devout. Was there ever any tension there between—or did—because it sounds like your parents were Methodist. Did your grandparents want them to adopt Christianity and not be Buddhist, or was there every any tension there between—?

Adkinson: In Spokane of all things, during the time we were up there and having to stay there, there was a Buddhist church in Spokane on South Hill. One day, Grandpa told my mom—I was the oldest child, so—he said, we want to take Reiko to the Buddhist church. I was six, I think. I was scared. It’s so different from the Methodist church, you know. It’s got—well, it’s kind of Catholic. It’s got incense, it’s got rosary beads. They have the gong and the whole thing. I was absolutely terrified. And I cried. Grandpa was so mad at me, he wouldn’t take me again. I thought, yes! You know? [LAUGHTER] It was—so they did try. But I think that they thought once I did that, everybody else—the kids weren’t going to—

And they did try to start a Japanese school, Grandpa did, in the ‘50s. He got the Ogatas and all the Onos. He had my dad build school tables and ordered books from Japan to teach us the language and so forth. That didn’t last beyond skates and bicycles and after school.

Bauman: Now, was that where the mural was?

Adkinson: Mm-hm.

Kupfer: In the basement.

Adkinson: Right in the basement.

Bauman: Right.

Adkinson: Yeah, that was an old bank building.

Bauman: Okay, and that’s in Pasco somewhere.

Adkinson: On First and Lewis.

Satoh: Yeah, it’s gone now.

Yamauchi: It’s demolished.

Adkinson: Yeah, but they had—the bank was going to build a brand-new, it was supposed to be brick; it ended up being concrete, because the Depression hit in ’29. So a couple years later they left it as that, and Dad bought the building.

Bauman: And they were able to save the mural, is that right? Was the mural saved?

Adkinson: City of Pasco did.

Bauman: City of Pasco did save it, the mural. So what timeframe would that have been that the Japanese school that your grandfather—

Adkinson: In the ‘50s. Early ‘50s, because I was still in grade school.

Bauman: Okay.

Franklin: Wow.

Bauman: And so do you have memories of that, of going to the Japanese school?

Adkinson: Well, I don’t remember anybody sounding very enthusiastic. It was deathly quiet when Grandpa was up at the board doing stuff. People say, oh, you missed your chance to learn some culture there. And I said, well, at the time, I didn’t think I missed anything. [LAUGHTER] But he did make attempts, I guess. But at the same time, he was really educated-minded. So he wanted—

Kupfer: He got the rest of you to go.

Adkinson: Hmm?

Kupfer: He didn’t get me to go.

Adkinson: You didn’t go at all? Oh, my gosh! Oh, Bea!

Kupfer: I was one of those, you know, wrapped herself in her mom’s skirt.

[LAUGHTER]

Satoh: Yeah, there was a little stage in front of that mural. It was about, maybe, two feet high. I’m not sure if it was for the 88th birthday celebration, which is a big event for the Japanese culture to celebrate your 88th birthday. But they tried to teach us different Japanese dances. I have some pictures of us dressed in kimonos in front of the mural on the stage. I think I understood it to be for his 88th birthday, but I don’t remember exactly.

Kupfer: Well, Pop-pop painted it himself.

Satoh: Yes, he did, yeah.

Kupfer: I guess he knew he was going to have a birthday celebration.

Adkinson: They did celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary American style.

Kupfer: And that was down there in the basement.

Bauman: That was down in that same—

Adkinson: Uh-huh, but it was all done just the way their neighbors would have a 50th. So it was nice.

Bauman: So the City of Pasco was able to save the mural. Where is it now? Do you know where it is?

Satoh: The last I heard is they cut it out of the wall and while they were building the new police station, they put it in one of the warehouses intending to maybe incorporate that into the new police station. But I haven’t heard any more and I haven’t been to the police station myself.

Bauman: That’d be really interesting to find out where it is, if it’s incorporated into the police station.

Satoh: Yes. I initially couldn’t remember if it was painted on concrete or on some kind of a wall. So my intention was to see if there was any way to salvage that. While they were demolishing the building, I was able to get access to the building and go down there and examine the mural. In fact, I took a few pictures of it there while it was there. But I discovered it was painted on concrete, so there was no way I could haul that out of the building. So in my mind, that was the last of the wall. But then it was quite a surprise when we learned that the city was going to try to restore it and save it.

Adkinson: You know—

Bauman: I’d like to find out where it is.

Franklin: Yeah, me too.

Adkinson: Could I say something about the difference between a place like Seattle and the Tri-Cities? I found it was very startling with—I went to an Asian—I think it was their annual August where they have what they call a dance and a festival. A young man I knew from Spokane came up and said, this girl that you went to Girl’s Day with, she’s here and she wants to meet you and introduce you to her friends because if you come up to the University of Washington, you could get into their group. And I said, what kind of group is this? And she said, it’s a sorority. And I said, you mean it’s all Japanese? And he said, yeah, he said, it’s really special if you get to get into there. And I thought about it for two seconds and I said, no, I don’t think I’d be interested.

It really shocked me how segregated, even though all of this has happened after all these years, these big cities are still segregated. They still work as one culture and some of them blend into each other’s. I know in Los Angeles there’s a mixture, and Seattle it’s the black community and the Oriental and Japanese communities pretty much close together there. Whereas we in the Tri-Cities, we’re scattered between everywhere. You go to a school, you don’t have a separate quote-unquote group. You join what you want to join, or enter sports and whatever you want to do. But it really kind of shocked me at that time and it’s still going on today. I think even in athletics in Seattle, they’re having their problems because of some of the way they do their athletics bussing and transferring and stuff.

Bauman: Well, is there anything we, you haven’t had a chance to talk about yet about your family’s history, that we haven’t asked you about that you’d like to share, or think you should share?

Satoh: Well, Linda mentioning Seattle and sororities reminded me of a story, and our cousin Gail couldn’t be here; she’s out of town. But her father, Jim, went to the University of Washington. His intention was to become an engineer. So he enrolled in the engineering program, and I’m not sure how long he was in it; a year, year-and-a-half is what I recall. But an instructor came to him and said, Jim, being that you’re Oriental, Japanese, the chances of you becoming an engineer and getting a job as an engineer is just not in the works. That’s the only time in my recollection that our family has been addressed in that manner, you know.

Adkinson: I think it happened to all the ethnic groups over the years, but one bright spot, WSU, my son in the early 1980s had a girlfriend and she was telling me that her grandmother was Native American. She was the first Native American to graduate from WSU. I forgot what her major was. But it was an amazing story. Because, you know, her grandmother, well, that must’ve meant way back, when, I have no idea. But it was a wonderful story of somebody persevering and that happens today. Dallas Barnes was in my class in ’59. He became an employee after he went through school. And I know there were times when he would call CJ Mitchell and tell CJ, you know, I just can’t, it’s tough. And he said, you’d better hang in there. Your parents are counting on you. So when you persevere, you will succeed. Yep.

Bauman: Great, well, I just want to say thank you to all of you—

Franklin: Yes.

Bauman: --for coming in, sharing your stories. This has been fascinating.

Franklin: Yes.

Bauman: And I really appreciate you being willing to come in and do this.

Franklin: Me, too. Thank you very much.

Satoh: Well, thank you for having us.

Adkinson: Thank you.

Bauman: Appreciate it. I believe, Linda, you said you have some photos. I don’t know—

Adkinson: I have some photos, but they probably wouldn’t show up. Some of them are pretty small.

Bauman: Oh, okay.

[VIDEO CUTS]

Adkinson: And this is the collection I have of Gladys Coleman.

Bauman: Okay. Now, is she related to the Reverend Coleman?

Adkinson: He was a—yes, evidently he was—you know, I never did meet him.

Bauman: Yeah, okay.

Adkinson: But it sounded as though she was—her family came here in 1906, the same year Grandpa did.

Franklin: Oh, I was just going to say I think the top picture was—

Satoh: [inaudible] in the internment camp, huh?

Bauman: I know, because Reverend Coleman was interviewed a long time ago, and I’d seen a copy of that interview.

Adkinson: I’m going to show that to my girlfriend and see if she knows if it’s a Yakima person.

Bauman: Oh, okay. So this was a classmate of yours?

Adkinson: No, no, no, no. This is way back. Way back. Yeah, I have a copy of it made for the Tri-City Herald when they had that—

Franklin: Linda, is this you here, or—who is this?

Adkinson: No. That’s Aunt—I believe on the back it says Mary, doesn’t it? And Lou, Roy’s mom.

Franklin: Yeah, A. Lou, little one Mary.

Adkinson: And that’s Gladys Coleman.

Franklin: Okay, so that’s one of the stores that your grandfather—

Adkinson: One of the stores, yeah, uh-huh.

Franklin: Okay, yeah. That’s really cool.

Adkinson: Grandpa was very interested in the Grand Coulee Dam, so there were some pictures, but I didn’t know if you really wanted to look at this.

Franklin: Wow, yeah, that’s really neat.

Adkinson: This is an interesting picture I ran across. This has nothing to do with the Tri-Cities, but it’s a photo and in the back it said that this guy named Lee Pong is a nephew of the former owner of the M. & M. restaurant. And underneath it, look what it says.

Bauman: General Chiang’s Army?

Adkinson: Yeah!

Bauman: Wow.

Adkinson: Isn’t that something? And this—

Bauman: General Chiang’s Army. Chiang Kai-Shek, I think?

Adkinson: This picture shows the family still enjoy life and this is the regular work day and on the back it was taken in 1941. So I thought it was kind of ironic.

Bauman: Right, the timing of the photo.

Adkinson: Do you have this one?

Satoh: Oh, possibly, yes.

Adkinson: I think I did give you that. Yeah, I think I did give you that last year.

Bauman: Pasco, May 24th, 1941.

Adkinson: She’s gorgeous.

Kupfer: I have a picture of your mom before she got married. And Jean when she was a toddler. So firstborn Yamauchi child with the first grandchild. Just a little teeny tiny thing.

Franklin: Cascade on way to Pasco, Washington.

Adkinson: This is Grandma and Grandpa.

Bauman: Oh, okay.

Adkinson: And there was a lot of pictures that really just show the many friends they had here. It was a completely integrated community. This is the old house—building on First and Lewis.

Satoh: That’s where the mural was.

Adkinson: And this is the little quote-unquote Chinese laundry of the Ogatas’ across the street. And then there was two sisters who lived on the corner who were from, I think, Louisiana. They were African American. So we all lived across the street and down the corner from each other.

Bauman: Now what’s this classroom?

Adkinson: I think that little Oriental girl has to be either Brenda’s mom or Aunt Mary.

Bauman: Oh, okay.

Kupfer: Not Mom.

Adkinson: It’s not Mom?

Kupfer: No.

Adkinson: But the rest of them are mainly just to show—and here, this shows the comfortable us. You’ve got two guys, Mr. Ono and Grandpa, sitting, taking it easy in front of the courthouse like any other small-town folks do. Guys.

Bauman: That’s a great photo. These are wonderful photos.

Franklin: Yeah, they are.

Adkinson: These are all photos of—

Satoh: Yeah, share them.

Kupfer: Those are two of my sisters.

Bauman: Oh, at Heart Mountain.

Kupfer: Yeah. I didn’t have them. Roy gave them to me. My older sister has all pictures of the family.

Satoh: You should have it then so you can give it to your kids.

Kupfer: I know.

Adkinson: These are a lot of the businesses are in this, on the back, it’ll tell you.

Franklin: “Tough Nuts”

Brenda: But I have nothing.

Bauman: So when were you born, again, Brenda?

Kupfer: ’45.

Bauman: ’45. I didn’t remember that. Okay.

Kupfer: And the youngest one, she was born in ’41. But I think after she was born, I think they were interned.

Adkinson: Right, because she was born in November of ’41, Connie was. So she was one of the four I was talking about.

Bauman: Right. And I know general internment happened in like early ’42.

Adkinson: Yeah, I think it took a year, didn’t it?

Bauman: February/March of ’42 is when the Executive Order—

Adkinson: Oh. Oh well that’s really close then, because December 7th would be ’41.

Bauman: Yeah, it wasn’t immediately but it’s—

Adkinson: So that’s months.

Bauman: Yeah, within a few months.

Adkinson: Oh, that’s shorter than I thought.

Bauman: I think the Executive Order was sometime in early ’42.

Adkinson: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

Franklin: Mm-hmm.

Bauman: Early ’42, right? The internment was? Yeah.

Adkinson: One of their buildings burned down, as you can see. [LAUGHTER]

Franklin: Yeah, that was that first picture.

Adkinson: Yeah. But there’s, I think, one of them is market and one of them is a restaurant, the M. & M. Restaurant. And then there’s another building of a—I think there’s a pool hall in there. I’m not sure.

Kupfer: Your mom and my mom loved pool.

Franklin: I love the fashion.

Adkinson: I didn’t know she played.

Kupfer: My mom loved to play pool.

Adkinson: Oh my gosh.

Satoh: Because it’s from the pool hall!

Adkinson: What did Grandpa say? He wouldn’t even let anybody go into the card room!

Franklin: Pasco High.

Adkinson: Yeah. My dad graduated from the old Pasco City Hall which is a high school now—I mean, the city hall now, in 1929.

Franklin: Is there any way—would we be able to scan these and make them digital?

Adkinson: Yeah! I just found a couple more.

Franklin: And could I take them and then either hand-deliver them to you or mail them certified mail back to you?

Adkinson: Sure.

Franklin: Oh, that would be wonderful. And if you want digital copies too—

Adkinson: Well, I’ve pretty much—oh, here’s the pool hall.

Franklin: Make you digital copies as well. Because these are just fabulous, just in documenting—and there’s so many pictures.

Adkinson: Yeah, and it’s all taken in Pasco, so—

Franklin: Yeah. A lot of these look like they were liberated from scrapbooks.

Adkinson: They were.

Franklin: I can tell.

Adkinson: My grandma’s—

Franklin: I do a lot of this in the archives. Sorry.

Adkinson: My grandma’s scrapbook.

Franklin: Yeah, it’s sad because it’s not good for preservation.

Adkinson: It isn’t.

Franklin: Because the glues and everything.

Adkinson: And so many of the pages were also torn, too, of the album itself. So Mary, she started it and I think she had one half done that was left, and I did that. But she did have one in the modern times.

Kupfer: I think that was the only way you could do—

Adkinson: You can’t even take the picture out of the book. What?

Kupfer: I think that was the only way you could do pictures, was to use the black things, you know, back then.

Adkinson: Mm-hmm.

Franklin: These are just—these are great, and the stuff on the back, and just explaining some of them—

Adkinson: Yeah, I tried to find the ones that had the writing on it.

Franklin: Oh, they’re so great.

Adkinson: That is Aunt Mary and I think one of her waitresses. That’s the Eddy’s Café, that’s the last café that she and Dad were at.

Bauman: I see the Eddy’s Café. That’s awesome.

Franklin: Whoa, Winter Tacoma Hotel.

Adkinson: Now that was the—I think that’s the M. & M.—

Bauman: Second M. & M., it says.

Adkinson: Yeah. What they were famous for, they served American food also because that’s what it was when they bought it. And they put it in the first Chinese American restaurant. What they got famous for is their homemade noodles. So they’d come in after drinking beer all night at the nearby taverns, they’d come in for bowls of this broth and noodles.

Bauman: That sounds good.

Adkinson: Pork slices on top.

Franklin: Was it ramen?

Satoh: Yeah.

Franklin: Or did your grandparents make saimin because they’d lived in Hawai’i?

Adkinson: Just homemade noodles. They had a humungous noodle machine. I mean, it was a stand-up—you’d have to stand next to it. In the end, I think Bea’s mom was making it.

Kupfer: Yeah.

Adkinson: For the café, too, after she worked.

Kupfer: There’s no place around that has—

Adkinson: I have the recipe.

Kupfer: Do you?

Adkinson: But it’s ridiculous. I can’t do it.

[LAUGHTER]

Kupfer: Oh, gosh.

Adkinson: It’s just like four items. Flour, egg, and water and maybe something else.

Kupfer: But, I mean, the broth.

Adkinson: Oh, the broth. Oh, I can do that.

Kupfer: Can you?

Adkinson: Yeah, I can make the broth. It’s easy now.

Bauman: That sounds nice. These photos are great.

Franklin: Yeah, they are.

Bauman: Really amazing. Yeah, so. This is yours, right? This is also a great photo because it’s from Heart Mountain.

Franklin: Oh, wow.

Adkinson: Oh, that’s a good one.

Bauman: Yeah, Brenda’s two older sisters.

Franklin: Oh, man. Wow.

Adkinson: I think Jean has some from internment camp.

Kupfer: I’m sure she does, yeah.

Adkinson: Pictures, because I think there’s one on—didn’t she graduate from high school? Didn’t she—did she get her degree--? I think she--

Kupfer: She came back—

Adkinson: Well, Arlene graduated in ’54. Jeannie would’ve had to have graduated earlier.

Kupfer: She graduated, not necessarily in camp.

Adkinson: Oh.

Kupfer: But she graduated early. She was young when she graduated.

Adkinson: Yeah, yeah.

Bauman: So I was just thinking of something else. I may pester all of you again to see if any or all of you might be willing to come to one of my classes at some point and talk about some of the same stuff. It wouldn’t be this semester; it would be next—I teach a freshman level US history survey course, but it’s sort of the second—so at some point, we’d talk about World War II. I’ve had them read your uncle George’s letter in the past.

Adkinson: Ah. Yeah.

Bauman: And talk about some of those things. So I think it might be great to incorporate all of you if you might be willing to do that.

Kupfer: Those two are the spokesperson.

Adkinson: You know, US history-wise, I won the local DAR contest and then I won the state. Years later, somebody told me that this was the first person who wasn’t white—

Bauman: Wasn’t white to win the state? I was—

Adkinson: --won the state. I don’t know if that’s true or not.

Bauman: I would not be surprised. Wouldn’t be surprised.

Franklin: I wouldn’t be surprised.

Adkinson: Yeah, it was surprising. My mother was ready to fall in a dead faint, because she was mad ever since Marian Anderson was denied opera space in Maryland or something. I guess she really loved that woman’s voice. I don’t remember her at all, but, yeah.

Franklin: These are all your pictures, Linda, except for this picture, which is yours.

Kupfer: Mm-hmm.

Franklin: Okay, and it’s okay if I scan this one too?

Kupfer: Yeah.

Franklin: And I have all your mailing addresses. Would you prefer me to mail them back certified mail, or--?

Adkinson: Why don’t you mail it all back together to me, and then I can give it to her.

Franklin: Okay. And we’ll do it certified with insurance so they’ll just know—

Adkinson: Okay.

Franklin: Yeah, this is really something.

Adkinson: We’ll have an excuse to go to lunch then.

[LAUGHTER]

Franklin: Go get them scanned. I mean, wow. Yeah.

Files

Yamauchi Family.png

Citation

“Interview with Yamauchi Family,” Hanford History Project, accessed September 23, 2021, http://hanfordhistory.com/items/show/2431.