Item SR952_T04S1 - Oral history interview with John Murakami [Sound Recording 06]

Identity elements

Reference code


Name and location of repository

Level of description



Oral history interview with John Murakami [Sound Recording 06]


  • 1992-07-20 (Creation)


Audiocassette; 00:30:37

Name of creator

Biographical history

John Yoneo Murakami was born in Sherwood, Oregon, in 1919. His parents, Shuichi Sam Murakami and Yaeno Goto, immigrated to the United States from Japan around 1917. When Murakami was 7 years old, his family moved from their farm in Sherwood to Portland, where his father owned a grocery store, called Johnson Street Grocery. Murakami dropped out of high school in his sophomore year and later earned his GED. In 1942, he and Sumi Matsushita were married. That same year, Murakami's family was among the Japanese Americans incarcerated by the U.S. government at the Minidoka War Relocation Center in Idaho. Murakami enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in the European Theater during World War II. He was injured in France and was discharged in 1945. He was awarded a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star. After his discharge, he returned to Portland and worked in construction. He then taught building construction at Benson Polytechnic High School. After ten years of marriage, John Murakami and and Sumi Murakami adopted two children. After John Murakami's retirement in 1984, he was active in numerous community organizations, including the Japanese Ancestral Society, the Nisei Veterans Committee, and Portland Taiko. He died in 2005. In 2011, he was posthumously awarded a Congregational Gold Medal.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

Tape 4, Side 1. This oral history interview with John Y. Murakami was conducted by George Katagiri from July 13-20, 1992, at Murakami’s home in Portland, Oregon. The interview was recorded as part of the Japanese American Oral History Project, which was conducted by the Oregon Historical Society to preserve the stories of Japanese Americans in Oregon. This interview was conducted in three sessions. In the third and final interview session, conducted on July 20, 1992, Murakami talks about his children, their education, their families, and their careers. He then talks about his retirement activities, particularly his involvement in Japanese American community organizations. He also revisits the topic of his Army experience during World War II. He shares his opinion about Civil Liberties Act of 1988, which granted redress to Japanese Americans the government incarcerated during the war. He closes the interview by reflecting upon his life and accomplishments.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

Copyright for this interview is held by the Oregon Historical Society. Use is allowed according to the following statement: Creative Commons - BY-NC-SA,

Physical access

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

Languages of the material

  • eng

Scripts of the material

Language and script notes

Finding aids

Acquisition and appraisal elements

Custodial history

Immediate source of acquisition

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information


Related materials elements

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related archival materials

Related descriptions

Notes element

Specialized notes

Alternative identifier(s)

Description control element

Rules or conventions

Sources used

Access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Digital object metadata





Media type





42.1 MiB


November 23, 2020 3:47 PM

Digital object (Master) rights area

Digital object (Reference) rights area

Accession area