Audio recording of interview with Chiyo Umezuka - abridged

Dublin Core

Title

Audio recording of interview with Chiyo Umezuka - abridged

Subject

Bainbridge Island (Wash.)--History
Japanese Americans--Washington (State)
Yama Project

Description

Recording at end of record under Files.

Chiyo (also known as Chiya Shigemura Umezuka) was the daughter of the Shigemuras who in 1904 bought and then ran the Washington Hotel at Yama.

The interview is almost exclusively about Yama & Nagaya and Port Blakely. Chiya discusses Yama & Nagaya in detail, including her family’s history, their owning and running the Washington hotel and restaurant, several families who lived at Yama & Nagaya, as well as several families and businesses not only at Yama & Nagaya, but also on Bainbridge Island. She discusses many aspects of daily life on Bainbridge, including schools/education, farming, health care, religious and community organizations, and more.

Recording quality: Good

Creator

Tanaka, Stefan

Source

Digitized to a master raw uncompressed WAV file with the resolution of 96,000 hz at 24 bits. Access copy MP3 file of 44,100 hz at 16 bits with reasonable enhancements made for intelligibility.

Publisher

Olympic College Libraries

Contributor

Yamashita, Kasumi, transcription
Hartse, Caroline, edits & revisions
Kattiger, Angela, edits & revisions
Crabbe, Jocelyn, digital editing

Rights

Olympic College Libraries. Rights Reserved.

Format

MP3

Language

English

Type

Oral History

Identifier

OCHL_UmezukaChiyo_19760618

Oral History Item Type Metadata

Original Format

Audio cassette tape. Chiyo Umezuka 18 June 76 (typed on bottom of the case). Side A of the cassette has hand written Umezuka (Sumiyoshi). Note: Tanaka’s handwriting—m looks like two nn (see notes on Tom Takayohsi. Nothing written on Side B. (Note: Date and name match with what is in Tanaka’s thesis (p. 140).Cassette is a D*C60 TDK.

Bit Rate/Frequency

44,100 hz at 16 bits

Transcription

Title: Chiyo Umezuka Interview

Interviewee: Chiyo Umezuka (Chiya Shigemura) (CU)
Interviewer: Stefan Tanaka (ST)
Location: Bainbridge Island
Date: June 18, 1976

ST: When you mentioned that the Port Blakely Japanese town was divided into upper and lower. How was it divided?
CU: Well, we used to call one… the upper part of it, “Yama” and then the lower part, “Nagaya.” I don’t know what was the reason.
ST: “Yama” is “mountain.” Nagaya , “gaya” is…
CU: Nagaya is generally used… it’s more of a row of houses together but why was it that way? The row of houses were more in Yama that it was down in Nagaya.
ST: So all the shops were in Nagaya then?
CU: All the shops that we had were just the Takayoshi’s general store and our restaurant. That was the only thing. And then the Tsunehara’s farm down at the…
ST: Did you have a “tokoya ?”
CU: Oh, tokoya was the Nakao family. Nakao.
ST: Sam lives right on the island.
CU: Yeah, I’ve talked with him but never mentioned that they had a tokoya.
ST: Yeah, his father, mother did.
ST: I see. How about… Did he have bath houses too?
CU: Oh that was my place. That was a hotel, a restaurant… Primary was the restaurant, then we had a hotel, and then we had a pool hall, and then we had the dance.
ST: I see. So that was all... When did your father start this restaurant? Do you remember?
ST: No, he took over. So that was back in uh… Let’s see. 2, 18, about 1910, I guess...
ST: What kind of… Well, at the restaurant and the hotel, what kind of people did you serve? Were they the lumber mill workers?
CU: The lumber mill workers.
ST: The nihonjin or hakujin ?
CU: The biggest meal was the, until we had a… when did that happen? In the beginning… When we there … most of them were married and had families so that’s why it was only hakujin.
ST: I see.
CU: And then the fort was right there… on paydays, we had the soldiers come in too.
ST: So there weren’t many nihonjin bachelors?
CU: No. It was after the… WWI, I think they came.
ST: After WWI?
CU: I was sure it was… No, before. During the WWI, I think.
ST: So the bachelors came.
CU: So bachelors all came and so the… they did have some boarding in the homes, but they weren’t happy so they just started coming to the restaurant. So we had quite a number of Japanese but then the noon meal was always mixed. Hakujin and…
ST: Did those bachelors who came, around WWI, did they come straight from Japan?
CU: No, no, no. They came from elsewhere.
ST: From Seattle?
CU: Seattle and from other lumber camps.
ST: I see.
CU: Eatonville, Selleck, I don’t know where else. Snoqualmie…
CU: So my father’s always been a cook anyway. And then he had… For the time being, he had a cooking school in Seattle.
ST: Cooking school?
CU: Uh-huh.
ST: For Japanese? Were these the ones who came off the boat? New people? He would have to teach them how to cook.
CU: So they could go out and work in the families, as a family cook.
ST: I see, I see.
CU: Because that’s what my father did, except for the time that he was on the boat. . .
ST: I see. And then, what… How long did your father stay... Did he stay at the
restaurant? Did he stay there until the mill closed?
CU: Let’s see, my father… The parents stayed there until 1922, I think.
ST: . . . What did your mother do? Did she run the restaurant?
CU: It was a family affair. We all…
ST: Well, what did the other women do while their husbands worked at the mill?
CU: Well, until World War I, I think they were just plain housewives. And then, I think, during World War I, they started going out as laundry women for the country club people.
ST: Hmm, I see. Domestic workers or housekeepers kind of thing, or…
CU: I don’t know… Some did some housekeeping but then it was just what they called, “day work.” They just go for the day and then come back.
ST: Uh-huh, uh-huh.
CU: But there weren’t too many doing that, though.
ST: I see, so most of them were just housewives.
CU: Housewives… and then by the end of the World War I, I think majority had… I know most of them had gone back to Japan.
ST: Hmm. So most of those people who were at Port Blakely returned to Japan when the mill closed? …or at one time?
CU: Most of them, I think…

Keywords:
Katayama
Winslow
Port Blakely
Lumber mill
Fort Ward
Tsunehara
Fletcher Bay
Horishige
Matsushita
Fusako
Seki
Bush Hotel
Broadway High
Yama
Nagaya
Takayoshi’s general store
Tokoya
Nakao
Bath house
Bailey Gatzert Elementary School
Yano
Eagle Harbor
Creosote plant
Nihonjin
Hakujin
World War I
Cooking
Yamaguchi
Tokuhisa
Bainbridge Island Historical Society
Frieda Addams
Fay Bainbridge
Tome Takayoshi
Masonic Temple
“Jap Town”
“Dago Town”
“New Sweden”
“Toe Jam Hill”
Presbyterian Church
Viola Thompson
Lundgren
Housewives
Laundry
Yutos
Akimotos
Ichihara
Ichikawa
Nini
Komatsus
Hamai
Matsushimas
Tacoma
Nisei
Chinese laundry
Hawaiians
Japanese barber shop
Nikkeijinkai
Kenjinkai
Baptist Church
Buddhist Church
Nihongo Gakko
Nomi-sensei
Hashiura-sensei
Chicago
Collins Plachio
Karazawa-sensei
Ms. Heard
Isoden
Oshima-gun
Baishakunin
Kawatana Onsen
Kawakubo-shi
Nihonmachi
Pleasant Beach
Moritanis









Interviewer

Tanaka, Stefan

Interviewee

Umezuka, Chiyo

Citation

Tanaka, Stefan, “Audio recording of interview with Chiyo Umezuka - abridged,” Olympic College Libraries Digital Archives, accessed June 24, 2024, https://ocdigitalarchives.omeka.net/items/show/1011.