Item SR960_T01S2 - Oral history interviews with Tatsuro Yada [Sound Recording 02]

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Oral history interviews with Tatsuro Yada [Sound Recording 02]


  • 1992-03-08 (Creation)


Audiocassette; 00:31:15

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Tatsuro Yada was born in Portland, Oregon, in 1916, and he moved to Salem with his family in 1918. He later attended Willamette University. After his graduation in 1939, his father became ill, and Yada took over the family farm. He became the only Japanese American member of the Civil Defense Corps in Oregon. During World War II, he and his family were among the Japanese Americans imprisoned by the U.S. government at the Tule Lake Relocation Center in California. He was in charge of recreation and taught in the school in the camp. After a short time, he was released to work at a hotel in Lincoln, Nebraska. After the government ended its incarceration of Japanese Americans in 1945, he returned to the family farm in Salem. In 1946, he and Masoko Onishi were married; they later had four children. He died in 2003.

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Tape 1, Side 2. This oral history interview with Tatsuro Yada was conducted by Taka Mizote on March 8, 1992. 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. In this interview, Yada discusses his family background and early life on a farm in Salem, Oregon. He talks about the Japanese community in Salem, his education, and attending Japanese school. He speaks about returning home to take over the family farm after graduating from Willamette University. He discusses his involvement in the Civil Defense Corps before the United States joined World War II; talks about his reaction to the attack on Pearl Harbor; and describes the Japanese-owned businesses in the Salem area. He talks about his incarceration at Tule Lake Relocation Center during World War II. He describes living conditions in the camp, his role as a teacher, and the military service of his siblings. He talks about getting out of the camp less than a year later to work at a hotel in Nebraska, while his parents were incarcerated at the Minidoka War Relocation Center in Idaho. He then talks about returning to the family farm after the government ended incarceration of Japanese Americans in 1945. He discusses his marriage to Masako Onishi, his Christian faith, and the Japanese American community in post-war Salem. He talks about his children, their families, and their careers. He discusses his retirement activities, including farming, as well as his hopes for the future. He closes the interview by discussing serving on the Salem-Keizer School Board.

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

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  • eng

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42.9 MiB


November 23, 2020 3:58 PM

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