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Transcription below by: Michael P (2010)
My name is Mikhael, my name is Jane, my name is Greg, and my name is Jessica and we're here with Paul Ohtaki on January 31, 2008 in San Francisco, California.
I was born on Bainbridge Island on September 29, 1924. I went to school—Lincoln School—on Bainbridge Island and Bainbridge High School until the war came on. And that's about it. Then we got taken into Manzanar Relocation Center. From there [I went] to Hunt, Idaho. Then I could go east but not west so I went to Chicago and I worked there for about a year. Then I got drafted in to the Military Intelligence Language—it was the Japanese Language School. My assignment was I went over to the Philippines. I was lucky, the war just ended as I got there so all I had to do was do peacetime interviews. Our forces dropped leaflets up in the hills of Luzon, and they told them to come down, "the war is over, come into the camp." Then when they came into the camp we interviewed them as to what unit they were in and where they were and so forth. If we had anyone that we thought had something to do with the atrocities, we'd asked them and had them tell us who their commanders were and so on. Otherwise they were able to go back to Japan.
Take us from Chicago to San Francisco.
From the Army, my folks moved out to Minneapolis—my brother was out there so he moved my folks out there—and when I got my discharge from the Army I resettled in St. Paul actually, and I went to a small college called Macalester College in St. Paul Minnesota under the G.I. Bill. After that, since I had this experience in working in a newspaper shop I got a job with a printing company in Minneapolis. I sold business forms. It took me about fourteen years to realize that Minneapolis is pretty cold. When I was out sometimes making calls I'd warm up the car first, get in the car and go out to my customer. Then I'd go in and take my overcoat and everything off and talk to the costumer, and in about ten minutes time, come out to the car and the car was already cold. I hated to go through that routine so I decided to move out west and I moved to San Francisco. I got a job with (Schwab Ecofie). It was a new experience because of the history of the West Coast towards Asian-Americans, so I wasn't too sure if I wanted to go into selling out here but they gave me a chance. Their equipment wasn't designed for my type of selling so I actually quit and became a business forms broker. I probably was the second person to become a business forms broker, but after about five years there were more than 400 to 500 business forms brokers. Now the marketing has changed and now you don't have personal selling but you work through faxes and email and such that they don't need personal contact as much, and, of course, it was time for me to retire anyway.