Interview with Mishi Kamiya Yamato, June 20, 1982

Material Information

Interview with Mishi Kamiya Yamato, June 20, 1982
Yamato, Mishi Kamiya ( Interviewee )
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Palm Beach County Oral History Collection ( local )
Spatial Coverage:
Palm Beach (Fla.) -- History.


This text has been transcribed from an audio or video oral history. Digitization was funded by a gift from Caleb J. and Michele B. Grimes.

Record Information

Source Institution:
Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Department of History, University of Florida
Holding Location:
This interview is part of the 'Palm Beach' collection of interviews held by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program of the Department of History at the University of Florida
Rights Management:
Made available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International license:
Resource Identifier:


This item has the following downloads:

Full Text

This Oral History is copyrighted by the Interviewee
and Samuel Proctor Oral History Program on
behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of

Copyright, 2005, University of Florida.
All rights, reserved.

This oral history may be used for research,
instruction, and private study under the provisions
of Fair Use. Fair Use is a provision of United States
Copyright Law (United States Code, Title 17, section
107) which allows limited use of copyrighted
materials under certain conditions.
Fair use limits the amount of materials that may be

For all other permissions and requests, contacat the
the University of Florida.

Interviewee: Mishi Kamiya-Yamato
Interviewer: Sumiko Kobayashi
Date,:: June 28, 1982
Place: Washington, D.C.

5: Mishi, what is your full name?and where do you live now?

M: My name is Mishi Mary Kamiya. I live in Washington, D.C. now.

S: The address.

M: I live at 1301 15th Street, N.W. in Washington, D.C.

S: And for whom do you work?

M: I work for the federal government, Department of the Interior.

S: And who was your father, Mishi?

M: Henry Kamimatzu Kamiya.

S: And he was a relative of Joe Sakii?

M: Yes. He was a brother.

S: Was he one of the original founders of the Yamato Colony?

M: Yes.

S: How is it that your father hadaa different surname than his brother' Joe Sakii?

M: Maybe you can explain that.

S: Well, there was a custom in Japan when a family hadino male heirs for them to

take in or adopt a son from another family. Usually it was a relative but not

always, and in that way, that man would accept the family name of the other family,

not the name that he was born with, in.order to carry on the other family's name,

and that's what happened in the case of Henry Kamiya. They call it "Yoshe". Isn't

that right, mother? Yoshe is family name. Yoshe.

S: Where in Japan was your father from?

M: Kiyototas far as I know.

S: Did he have a farming background?

M: I don't know.

S: Was he, had he gone to a university or college to your knowledge?

Page 2

M: No. I don't know that either.

S: I was told that his English was pretty good. Do you know where he learned it?

M: No, I don't.

S: When did he come to Yamato? Do you know?

M: I don't know the year.

S: How old was he when he came?

M: I don't know that either.

S: Was he married the first time that he came?

M: No. I don't think so.

S: So he was recruited by your uncle, Joe Sakii?

M: Yes, I think so.

S: Did he come directly to)Yamato from Japan or did he come by way of Hawaii or the

West Coast?

M: I'm not sure but there are records of what happened.

S: What, what did your father do? Farm? Have a store or what?

M: He did a little bit of farming and he had a general store.

S: Did he ever mention other people who pioneered Yamato? I'm thinking of people like

Mori Kami or Kudira, Yamauchi, Sugi, people like that.

M: Well, I don't know the old, the first ones tiat came, but I remember some of them

like Mori and Mori Kami and

S: Speak up.

M: Can't think of, I can't think of the others. Ashida. I remember their names.

S: Well, what do you know about the early days at Yamato. This is in the pioneer days.

Did your father ever speak of the early days?

M: No. All I remember is that I went to school at the one-room school house.

S: When did your mother come to Yamato?

M: I don't remember much about that either.

S: I guess she came directly from, was she, was she married in Japan and then came over,

or was it arranged and then she came over?

Page 3

M: I don't know.

S: Did she have a profession?

M: I heard that she was a school teacher before she came over here.

S: In Japan?

M: Uh huh.

S: Where in Japan did she come from?

M: Kiyoto I think.

S: Kiyoto. Same town as your father. What was her maiden name?

M: Atsu. A-t-ts-u.

S: Last name?

M: Oishi. 0-i-s-h-i.

S: And she had a couple of brothers who also came over?

M: They called him Don. His middle, his Japanese name was Ikmo and my other uncle was,

we called him Uncle John.

S: Did you know your uncle Joe Sakii very well?

M: Not too well but I knew the children.

S: Um hm. They would be your cousins.

M: Yes.

S: Do you remember their names in the order in which they were born?

M: There were ec_- Tomiko, Yoshiko, Shoko. There must have been, there was

another one. CanUt think of her name.

S: Are they all living? They're all in Japan?

M: As far as I know they're living. I don't correspond with them.

S: When did they go to Japan?

M: Soon after the father died.

S: And d6 you remember when the father died?

M: No. I don't.

S: Do you have a recollection of the fact that before he died and then he died and the

family went to Japan/ Do you remember all that?

Page 4

M: He had tuberculosis and he was sent to hospital in Carolina somewhere and he died

S: And he died

M: At the hospital I believe.

S: Yes. According to lat my father said, youi, your, my father, -r ymL?-2- your

father went to North Carolina and brought his brother's body back. Do you remember

the funeral?

M: No. I donlt.

S: You say you don't keep in contact with your Sakii cousins. Did you know that Mrs.

Sakii, your uncle's widow, is still living at age ninety-two or something like that.

Who is in Kiyoto.

M: Who is that?

S: Your Uncle'Joe's widow

M: Oh, she's still living.

S: Yes.

M: No, I don't know anything about her.

S: She was living in 1980 I believe and she was in her nineties, early nineties, about

)cf. After your Uncle Joe died, your father carried on his farming business even

though his family, the wife, widownand daughters moved to Japan. Did you know about


M: Yes. I knew he farmed.

S: Uh huh. Your father sold, your father had the general sttre. Do you remember the

general layout of the general store? What kind of things were sold there..?

M: Just general, general things.

S: Food'clothing ...

M: That's right.

S: Watches. Shoes.

M: Yes, everything that a person would need in a family.

Page 5

S: And gasoline? He sold gasoline.

M: We had a gasoline station.

S: In front of the store?

M;1: Uh huh.

S: And when, when did he, do you remember when he sold the store and the land?

M: No. I didn't know he sold it. I don't remeibber.

S: And he eventually went into the real estate business. Is that true?

M: Well, I know he went, he was in the real estate business.

S: He bought and sold land from the farmers around there?

M: I know he went into real estate but I don't know what he did.

S: When your father sold the general store and the gasoline station and the farming

property, you moved into the old Sakii house?

M: Yes. I know when we moved but I don't know what year or

S: Um hri. Do you remember what that village was like ;? What, oh, first of all,

when you lived near the Dixie Highway, which is where you had the store, did you,

where wassthe house located?

M: Near the, highway.

S: But apart from the store, Wasn't attached to the store.

M: No.

S: And later on you moved into the old Sakii house?

M: Yes.

S: Well, the Sakii house was part of a little village of Japanese families. About how

far away was that from your store?

M: About a mile and a half I think.

S: The Sakii house,was a two-story house?

M: Yes.

S: It would have to be with, a pretty large house with five children. Do you remember

Page 6

S: the other houses around there and who lived there?

M: Kami Kaz, Kami Kami, Mr. Kami Kami lived across the street.

S: He was a bachelor.

M: He was a bachelor and Mr. and Mrs. Ashia lived next door to us and there was a

Mori, no. One with the doge

S: Mori. Mori.

M: Mr. Mori. He had a big dog. I remember that.

S: And did Mr. Fugimori live there? No, he didn't live by himself, did he? He was

M: ;I don't know whether he lived by himself but there was Mori, Mori Kami and Mr.

Shota lived about a block away.

S: Shota. Well, he wouldn't, he lived next door to us. We lived next door to the

Sakii's the short time that we were there. 1922 to 1925. This is the Kobayashi

family., Susuma 0.S. Oscar Kobayashi family and Shota, Sakii, the Sakii house was

on one side and Shota 1-ived on the other side.

M: Well, as I recall Shota was on the same side as Sakii house. Kami Kami was across the

street and then down the block and a half away was the Kobayashi family, H. Kobayashi

S: Hideo.Kobayashi.

M: Hideo Kobayashi, and

S: They had one son,did they? No, how many children did they have at-the time?


M: I don't know how many at the time but he had two, three sons and one daughter and

the Yamauchi's had one son. They lived across the street f .

S: And his name was Yoshikazu Wilson.

M: That was the son's name.

S: Yes. How many children in the Kamiya family?

M: There were originally six. One was, one died in an auto, motorcycle accident.

S: How old was he when this happened?

M: When he was in high school.

page 7

S: Well, can you give the order of the Kamiya children?

M: Masa

S: That's the daughter, oldest child.

M: In our family, Masa was the oldest and I came next. Franklin. Masco and Kazro.

S: Where did Roco fit in? The one who was killed in the wJ,-

M: He came after Masco.

S:. Each of you had an American name as well?

M: Yes. Franklin never did go by his Japanese name. Masco's middle name is Dorothy, and

S: You're Mary. Youth American name is Mary.

M: Mary.

S: Um hm. You're not married. You never married, but your sisters did. Can you give us

'i: their married names?

M: Masa's last name is Fukushima and

S: She's the one who lived in Los Angeles

M: Yes.

S: and she died.

M: The husband died first and then she died about three or four years ago.

S: And Masco's married to Herbert Suga.

S: S-U-G-A?

M: S-U-G-A. And they live in Long Island, New York, and Frank lives in Lake Worth,


S: And you're the three living Kamiya children.

M: Yes.

S: Y-,rO the youngest carried on in farming in what used to be Yamato?

M: He did at first. And then he had a business of his own later.

S: And he is married to the former Toriko Wamoto?

Page 8

M: Yes.

S: Your mother died before World War II, did she not?

M: I believe so.

S: And she is buried in West Palm Beach?

M: Yes. Family cemetery in West Palm Beach.

S: How many grandchildren did your father have? Just give us a general count?

M: Less than fifteen, but

S: Less than, quite a few.

M: Yes.

S: Are they, where are they living? All over the country or

M: Most of them are in California.

S: Including the children of your New York sisters?

M: Oh, I guess they are scattered. Some in Florida and some, well most...

S: Does he have great-grandchildren as well?

M: I don't know.

S: The family plot that you mentioned, that's in West Palm Beach?

M: Yes.

S: And do you remember, do you know the name of the cemetery?

M: Woodlawn, I believe.

S: You had relatives on your mother's side when you came to this country. Who were


M: Donald Ikimo Oishi who lived in Jacksonville.

S: Later. He lived in Yamato originally.

M: Yes, he lived in Yamato with our family and then Uncle John, we called him Uncle


S: What was his name?

M: Your mother would know.

S: I don't recall. I have it written down some place.

Page 9

M: And he used johe lived in West Palm Beach.

S: What did your uncle s do?

M: Well, my Uncle John was in the fruit business. He sold the fruit. He was working in

a fruit stand at first.

S: In Balm Beach.

M: In Palm, in West Palm Beach.

S: In West Palm Beach. Oh, I thought it was, the store itself was in Palm Beach.

West Palm Beach.

M: And Uncle Don lived with, in our, with our family and helped my father in the

general store and then later on, when my father was farming, he helped on the farm.

S: With the farming too. And, oh, your store was directly opposite the Yamato Post


M: Yes.

S: id who was the postmaster there?

M: His last name was Carroll.

S: Ahd the postmaster didn't change during the time that there was a Yamato Post Office

M: I don't think so.

S: Your, your Uncle John. returned to Japan fairly early, did he not?

M:I Yes.

S: What, do you remember when? He wasn't married at the time.

M: No.

S: And neither was your Uncle Dohn:.

M: No.

S: What happened, eventually happened to your Uncle Don?

M: He got married and moved to Jacksonville Beach.

S: And had a family?

M: Yes, he had a family. Two children. A daughter and a son.

S: And he married who? His wife's name.

Page 10

M: Yoshi

S: Kakami

M: Kakami.

S: Of Jacksonville?

M: Yes. They lived in Jacksonville Beach.

S: And what are the, what are the names of ;;the two children of your Uncle Don?

M: Roy and Elsie.

S: And what, what do they do?

M: Roy is a, an electrical engineer and he lives in Palm Bay, Florida.

"iS: And you still see him occasionally.
-M: Yes.
c: And Elsie?

M: Elsie was a, a librarian. She majored in library science and she went to the

University of, or Florida State University in Tallahassee.

H: And where is she now?

M: She's living in California at this time.

S: Still a librarian?

M: No. She has a, she's working in an office right now, but she may eventually return

to Jacksonville as a librarian.

S: (Going back to the Yamato days, you mentioned that you, at one time, had a real farm

with a cow and chidkens and pigs and you had your own, made your own butter. Could

you explain that please?

M: It wasn't a farm. It was a personal, it was on our personal property. We had one

cow and a mule and some pigs and chidkens and we had enough milk for our family and

if anybody, if any of our help wanted to buy milk or eggs, we sold it to them.

S: Can you milk a cow?
M: No.
"7S: Who did the milking?

M: Either the farnfPhands or my father

S: And you got eggs from your chidkens and you also ate the chicken, and how about

Page 11

S: the pigs? Did you have your own, make your own ham and pork?

M: No. We just sold the pigs when they got larger.

S: Now, your personal recollections of how, what it was like growing up in Yamato.

Do you have any real early recollections? How about the names of people who lived

there? Well, you mentioned some of them but dogs, do you remember our dogs?

M: No, I don't remember any animals.

S: But you did mention the big dog that was owned by a man named Mori.

M: Yes, just the one.

S: And what do you remember about that dog? What makes that dog stand out?

M: Nothing except he rode in the car with Mori.

S: What did, what was Mori like?

M: I don't have, I don't have the least idea.

S: You just remember his dog. Do you remember much about the Yamato Post Office?

M: No.

S: Do you remember going to collect mail there?

M: No. We were too yOoung I guess.

S: Do you remember when the Yamato Post Office was closed?

M: NboQ

S: Where did you go to school?

M: In the one-room school house.

S: And where was that located?

M: Oh, about, well I would say abbut two or three blocks

S: From

M: From Home.

S: So you could walk there. It was, what grades were taught in that school?

M: First through the eighth.

S: And about how many students were there altogether at any one time?

M: I would bay less than twenty.

Page 12

S: About two, an average of two pupils per grade?

M: Two or three.

S: Two or three. Who, were they all Japanese people, youngsters going to the school.

M: No. There were white families and only about two or families and their children.

S: Caucasian families?

M: Yeah.

S: So most of the children were Japanese from Yamato?

M: No. White families.

S: Oh. Most of the children were white farmili-es and there were only a few from the

M: Our families only ones Japanese except when ounr-ousins were there.

S: And Yamauchi and Hedeo Kabayashi's family? Well, the majority were caucasian then.

M: Well, in the early days.they were.

S: Who, who was in your class?

M: In my class there was only one, one boy.

S: Who was that?

M: His name was Harry Smith.I believe.

S: And where did he fit iTto the Yamato picture? Did, I guess he must have lived


M: Well, no. Quite far from the school.

S: Oh. Well what was it like? Well, firstof all, who, who, do you remember the names

of your teachers there?

M: Yes. I remember there was a Mrs. Pine, Molly Monroe Hilda Grey, Bly Davis.

S: Well, I guess none of them stayed very long if you had a succession like that.

M: Well, Bly Davis was the last one. I think she taught longer than anybody else.

S: And

M: I don't remember the first teacher. I thought it was Mrs. Pine.

S: What, Bly Davis is still living?

M: Yes. She lives in Lake Worth now, but she was originally from Del Rey Beach.

Page 13

S: Did you have a best friend while you were going to school in Yamato School?

M: No. None of them were my age. My sister had someone her age that she went around


S: That must have been kind of noisy with eight grades being taught in the same room.

M: No.

S: No?

M: It wasn't noisy.

S: Did you think you got a pretty good education?

M: I suppose so.

S: Must have been pretty hard work to a teacher.

M: Yes.

S: Did you help each other out? Did the older children help the younger children?

M: No.

S: What did you do for recreation? After school, weekends, summer vacation... do

you remember?

M: Well, at recess children go out and play in -e yard. They'd play baseball or some

kind of ball or some little game. At home, I don't remember. We didn't have anything.

We played jacks for a, you know, at home.

S: Did theyboys play baseball?

M: Boys played with the girls.

S: Oh, everybody played but it was one-base baseball?

M: One base, yes.

S: Where did you play? The school yard?

M: Yes.

S: Do you remember an indian mound near the school?

M: Yes.

S: Was it, there were rumors, there'd been rumors that it wasn't a genuine indian


Page 14

M: It was, it was, I'm sure it was.

S: Can you describe what it looked like?

M: It was a hill, and kids would Slide down the hill, the mound or, just play, run

up and down.

S: Was it grassy? Was it sandy?

M: Sandy.

S: Sandy. Whiteesand?

M: Sort of white.

S: Was it a complete mound or was it flat topped on, flat topped?

M: No, it wasn't flat. It was hilly. Sort of hilly. It wasn't very high.

S: Oh. And no grass, no grassy areas. It was only white sand?

M: Yes.

S: Did you, do you know if any indian artifacts were found there?

M: Yes, I heard there were arrows or stone, stone arrows.

S: No pottery or bones or anything?

M: Not that I knew of. Somebody might have found something later. Not when we were

going to school.

S: As far as you're concerned, it was just a place to play.

M: Yes.

S: And slide down the hill

M: Yes.

S: Do you remember going to the beach, beach parties?

M: I don't remember any beach parties but we used to go there as a family gathering

on weekends. Maybe Sunday for picnic and fishing, picking shells.

S: Did you speak Japanese at home?

M: No.

S: Spoke English at home?

M: We spoke English and our parents spoke Japanese to us.

Page 15

S: Can you understand Japanese?

M: A little. Enough to get along.

S: And can you speak it at all?

M: No, I don't speak it at all.

S: So, your parents would speak to you in Japanese and you would answer in English.

M: Yes.

S: All of you?

M: Yes.

S: Not, even the oldest child, Masaco.
M: No.
S: No. Meaning she wohld answer in English too? She didn't speak Japanese?

M: No.

S: Usually the oldest one learns, knows something

M: Not our family.

S : Not your family. Did you go to visit your cousins, the Sakii's, very often?

M: Yes, we,visited them or they visited us on Sundays.

S: Almost every Sunday?

M: I don't remember.

S: Well, I asked you who lived near the Sakii's and you-answered. And do you remember

anything about -my mother and father, O.S. Kobayashi? Oscar they called him.

And Sui?

M: Well, I remember when you lived there, but I don't remember, I remember we had

parties, gathering once in a while of all the, a lot of Japanese and

S: Where were these gatherings held?

M: Well, some of them near Sakii's house.

S: Near Sakii's house, not at Sakii's house?

M: Yeah. At Sakii's house in the yard somewhere.

S: Do you remember me? I wasAbout, I wasn't qfite two years old I think when I, when

left. I was born there.

Page 16

M: Oh.

S: You don't remember me? You remember a Jim Yoshida? He would be a few months older

that I was.

M: Yes, I remember that there were two sons that, in that family.

S: And where did the Yoshida's life?

M: They lived on a farm.

S: They didn't live in the village near the Sakii's?

M: No.

S: And was one of the Yoshida boys killed in World War II?

M: Yes, the second one. And the oldest one, he married two or three times but he died

within the last seven years. He was drowned.

S: Oh, within the past seven years?

M: Uh huh.

S: Oh. He drowned?

M: Yes.

S: A boating accident?

M: In Florida.

S: Swimming? Do you know any details?

M: No. Except that, no. I don't know how he, I just heard he drowned.

S: Were there any other Yoshida children?

M: No. Just two.

S: The two boys arid they're both dead now so. Did the, did June Yoshida leave any

children? Do you know?

M: No.

S: No children.

M: No.

S: Do you know what happened to any of the other Yamato residents after the colony

broke up?


Page 17

M: Kobayashi family live in Fort Lauderdale now.

S: This is the Hedeo Kobayashi family.

M: Yes.

S: Who are the, the whole family lives there? How many children were there?

M: Three b6oyS and one daughter.

S: And Tom Kobayashi was one of

M: He's married. That's second time he's married. Son is married.

S: And he supplied some information I believe to the Morikami Museum.

M: Yes. I heard that.

S: How, the Yamauchi's, Yoshida's, how about George Morikami? Do you remember anything

about George?

M: No, except he was a bachelor and he didn't come to visit us very often.

S: You didn't keep in touch -with the Yamauchi boy, Yoshikaza Wilson.

M: No, I think my sister corresponds with him at Christmas.

S: He left for the Detroit area after school? After finishing his

M: College

S: College. You, yourself, went to college. Where did you go?

M: Tallahassee. It used toT-be called Florida State College for Women.

S: And you trained to be a teacher?

M: I majored in commercial subjects and I got a teacher's certificate.

S: And did you teach after you finished your course there?

M: Yes, I taught two years in Jupiter, Florida and one year in Del Rey, Del Rey Beach.

S: And then you started working for the federal government, after that?

M: Yes.

S: You moved to Washington, D.C.

M: Yes.

S: And have been there ever since.

M: Still there.

Page 18

S: When did your brothers and sisters leave if they did?

M: Two brothers never did leave Florida.

S: They were Frank and Kaz.

M: Kaz.

S: Kaz continued to farm for a while.

M: Yes.

S: How about your sisters?

M: Maso got married as soon as she finished college and she moved to California.

S: To the Los Angelesearea?

M: Los Angeles. And Masco got married not too long after she graduated and she moved

to New York.

S: Well, there weren't many Japanese in the Yamato area around that time. How did they

happen their husbands?

M: Well, there are a lot of Japanese in Miami and Maso met her husband in Miami I


S: Do you remember the last time yourwere all together?

M: When my, when my brother died, when Kazo died, yeah. Maso flew down from California.

S: Your father eventually went to live with or near Masaco, didn't he?

M: Yes. When they got out of camp.

S: So he was living on the West Coast at the time of World War II?

M: Yes.

S: And he was put in one of those camps.

M: Manzinar.

S: Manzinar which is in California, western California.

M: He was, he was living with my sister then and they were all evacuated to Manainar.

S: Then after the camps were closed he went back to Los Angeles area?

M: Yes.

S: And eventually he returned to Japan, didn't he?

page 19

M: And he remarried.

S: And he died there?

M: Yes.

S: Do you remember what year he died?

M: No, I don't remember the year offhand.

S: There was a write-up in the local paper when he died.

M: There should be records.

S: The Del Rey newspaper.

M: Yes. And there should be records in the, that have been written about Yamato.

S: He was cremated and his ashessare partly in Japan and partly in West Palm

M: West Palm Beach.

S: What, did you live in a big house?

M: Where?

S: That, near the Dixie Highway and later the Sakii house'

M: Yes, I think we discussed that.

S: Oh. Sorry. How many stories? Two-story house?

M: Two-story.

S: What, do you remember what kind of fuel you used for cooking and for heat and for,

what kind of lighting you had?

M: We had kerosene lamps.

S: Later electricity.

M: Well, When we moved to Sakii's house, my father had a delco system on lighting.

Lighting facilities.

S: You generated, your own generator. It wasn't strung and it wasn't, the wire wasn't

strung out from the city or town. What did you do for heat in the winter. You did

need some heat.

M: We had a stove, a wood stove

Page 20

S: And how about cooking. Do you remember how your mother cooked?

M: She used the wood stove.

S: Wood stove. And your mother was a good cook, was she?

M: Yes.

S: Did you have a Japanese-style hro bath in your house?

M: We might have in the early days but I don't remember any. At the other house we

hadea regular bathtub I suppose.

S: Western style. Just as an explanation, a Japanese Ofro is a deep tub. They're,

some of the new houses in California and other parts of the country have this same

type of tub and in the Japanese Ofro you wash yourself, get cleaned up outside

before you go into the water. The water's very hot. And then you just soak in the

tub up to your neck. But you're clean when you go in so it's like apool. Many

people can use the same water without dirtying it. Energy efficiency. Your

father's store was where? On the Dixie Highway?

M: Yes. The first house was on the Dixie, near the Dixie.

S: Near the Dixie.

I; And, late, not in the beginning, but later on you had a gasoline pump.

You sold gas to the local people?

M: Oh, that was when we had the general store.

S: Yes, uh huh.

M: I think we've already talked about that.

S: And your father managed it with the help of your Uncle \>ti, Don

M: Yes.

S: Did you ever help in the store?

M: No. We were too young.

S: Did you have a radio?

M: Well, when the radios first dame out, I guess we got one but

S: Did you have a victrola?

Page 21

M: I remember the victrola.

S: Did you have, what kind of records?

M: American records.

S: What music?

M: I don't remember what records we had but I imagine music.

S: What do you remember about the climate?

M: I don-ut remember except that is was warm. I mean, Florida has warm weather.

S: Mosquitoes?

M: It didn't seem to bother us then but I know there are a lot of mosquitoes.

S: Wildlife. Did you see wildlife like deer and raccoons?

M: No, they don't have deer in Florida. Not that I know of.

S: You didn't see deer?

M: We had snakes.

S: Snakes?

M: Rattlesnakes.

S: Armadillos? Did they have armadillos in those days?

M: No.

S: Not yet. They hadn't gotten that far.

";' Eagles, hawks, other birds? Buzzards?

M: Buzzards.

S: Alligators.

M: Not too plentiful, but there were alligators.

S: What kindso6f people did you come in contact with? Besides Japanese.

M: What kindoof people?

S: Caucasians, indians, blacks, gypsies?

M: Blacks. White, we called them Negroes then.

S: Uh huh. Blacks you mean.

Page 22

S: Your brother Frank mentioned that the gypsies would come through once in a while and

camp on your property.

M: Well, I just remember that there were gypsies and we'd see an irldian once in a while

walking down the highway. They'd walk from Miami to Palm Beach.

S: Miami to Palm Beach? They walked?

M: I imagine they did cause they were indians so that was the only place

S: How were they dressed? How could you tell they were indians?

M: I don't know. They had, Seminoles dressed a certain wayy.

S: Do you remember holidays in Yamato? What holidays were celebrated? Fourth of July?

Memorial Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's?

M: I don't think we did anything on Memorial Day, but I don't remember.

S: No parades?

M. I don't remember. Del Rey was the closest town besides Boca Raton and they didn't

have any celebration in Boca Raton and I don't remember whether they had any

parades in Del Rey or not.

S: Christmas?

M: Christmas we always had a big tree

S: In the home?

M: And we decorated out trees. 1%

S: Exchanged presents?

M: We exchanged presents among:ourselves.

S: Uh huh. How about Thanksgiving? Do you remember Thanksgiving?

M: We always had a big chicken. Not turkey, but either chicken or duck.

S: Cooked American style or Japanese style?

M: American -4%5e. Roast chicken.

S: Oh. How about New Years? Did you continue the Japanese style New Year's?

M: Yes, my mother and father always cooked the Japanese food before New Year's.

They spent the whole, practically the whole day, preparing for New Years.

Page 23

S: Do you remember what kind of food that they cooked? Your father helped too?

M: Yes. He was good at cooking.

S: Oh.

M: I don't know the names of the different things they fixed, but a lot of things came

in cans.

S: ory, ,j probably.

M: Yes.

S: And seaweed that you tied into knots.

M: Um hm.

S: And did you haveany f-i- h Kazimoko?

M: Yes.

S: You remember Kazimoko?

M: Yeah. They all came in cans and we prepared

S: Where did you order from? Do you remember?

M: I think we ordered from New York.

S: Do you remember, do you remember the place?

(tape ends here)

S: How about Christmas at school? At the one-room school house. Do you remember putting

on Christmas plays, things like that?

M: No. I don't remember that.

S: You don't remember taking part?

M: No. Not when I was, not when I was there.

S: What kind of,' you had automobiles, a family automobile and or truck when, when they

came along. Do youiremember what kind of transportation you had?

M: Well, my father always had a truck of some kind

S: For the farm?

M: Yes. And when my father was in the real estate business he had a'cadillac I remember.

S: Did he also, do you remember also the chauffeur that he had?

Page 24

M: Yes. He had a chauffeur. Helped himjn real estate too.

S: Oh, he did? Well, what was his name? Do you remember?

M: I think it was Jimmy Le .

S: Going back a few years, do you remember any, oh, you said you had a mule along with

a cow and chickens, pigs.

M: Yes. My father used a mule on the farm.

S: And there was a time when Yama, Mrs. Yamauchi had to go to the hospital and she was

taken in a horse and buggy or something. Is this before, 1 .uc: s

M: I guess it was a wagon or, and I don't know whether it was one mule or two mules or
was. a
whether ite mule or a horse, but I remember them taking Mrs. Yamauchi on this

S: Could have bean when Yoshi, Cousin Wilson was born.

M: Either that or, I don't know whether she was serious ill or what, but they didn't

have any other transportation and of course we don't tell the children anything at

that age.

S: No. Is this from after, a lot of people in Yamato had "Trcts 0,J C rS You know, did,

did mules and wagons still exist alongside?

M: I think they still used the horse or mule and wagon.

S: You mentioned I think parties. Were they family parties or community parties?

M: We had a few community parties

S: On special occasions or just when the spirit moved yod!u?

M: I think it was special occasions like Fourth of July or something like that.

S: Was it mostly Japanese food or American food like fried chicken and watermelon?

M: Yes. American food I think.

S: Oh. Do you remember beach parties where you, where Mr. Hedeo Kobayashi I guess made

o- __ That's Japanese noodles.

M: No. I don-t remember that, I don't think he took them on, to the beach h, but he did

make Ojri and invited the Japanese to his home I believe.

S: Oh.

Pgge 25

M: Because it would be hard to carry noodles

S: Do you know what happened to some of the residents of Yamato after the colony broke

up, like Mori and Morikami I guess, and who's the other, Ashida family and people

like that.

M: N6, I don't. I don't know when they moved or why.

S: But the, who are some of the families that remained in Florida? Where didy isn't

their family in Fort Lauderdale?

M: Yes, they moved, I don't know,

S: Who is that?

M: Kobayashi.

S: Hedeo Kobayashi.

M: Yes. They moved to Fort Lauderdale. I don't know what year it was but

S: And Yamauchi's moved to Miami?

M: Yes.

S: Aroufid

M: Yes. They moved first I believe.

S: And there's a family that moved to St. Cloud, I believe. Do you know about that?

M: Yoshida family?

S: Could be.

M: Yoshida family moved to St. Cloud.

S: Do you maintain contact with any of these families?

M: Only with Kobashi family in Fort Lauderdale.

S: And of course your brother's widow and his children and \ your cAji's

in Montana, is she not?

M: I think she's in Montana. Or lettme see. Yes, -' /3 o I believe. I'm not sure

where she lives.

S: Where, can you just give us the names of your father's descendAnts. Who is a child

of his six children, those who have children.

Page 26

M: I don't know.

S: Who, who, who, the names of your father's grandchildren. \

M: Well, my

S: Your,some of your sister Maso's children in California.

M: Maso is my oldest sister and she had three. Yuri, Sumi and Patricia. They call her

by her American name.

S: And are they all in California?

M: Yes, they are all in California. And my other sister, Amasco Suga lives in Long Island

New York and she had three children. Barbara, Ronald and Steve and they're all married


S: And living nearby?

M: Living in, Barbara and Steve are in California near Los Angeles and Ronald is in, live

in Massachusetts and he has three boys. And

S: Course you didn't have any children and neither did Frank.

M: -We're not married.

S: No. Kaz, though, had children.

M: 'Kazo is the youngest son and he has, he had five. Susie, Sally, Sandra, Henry and

Karen. And I can't name the children. Susie and Sally and Sandra, they are all married

except the youngest.

S: The youngest is a son9 and he's presently attending college, is he not?

M: Yes.

S: Florida Atlantic?

M: I think he's going to Atlantic University.

S: Well, I guess that about wraps up the Kamiya family. Do you have any other comments

or recollections that you would like to add?

M: No, I can't think of anything right now.

S: Would you characterize living and growing up in Yamato as a nostalgically pleasant

experience or did you, were you, do you remember feeling unhappy?

Page 27

M: Yes, we had a very happy childhood. We had a big family and we had a good time when

we were kids.

S: And now you're scattered.all across the country.

M: Yes.

S: Well, thank you very much, Mishi, for adding your bit to our knowledge of the

Japanese colony called Yamato in Florida.

M: And thank you for the interview.