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Interview with Theodore Ozawa

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Title: Interview with Theodore Ozawa
LC Subject Headings: Oral history
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Center for Oral History, Social Science Research Institute, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Series/Report no.: Unspoken Memories: Oral Histories of Hawaii Internees at Jerome, Arkansas
Description: Theodore Ozawa, eldest of six children, was born in 1932, in Wahiawa, Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i. His parents were immigrants from Yamanashi-ken, Japan. His father, Yoshikiyo Ozawa, a Soto Mission minister whose Buddhist name was Gijo, arrived with his wife, Hanako, to assume the position of minister at Zenshuji in Wahiawa, Kaua‘i, in 1931. Besides meeting the religious needs of the Japanese community at surrounding McBryde Sugar Company plantation, the Ozawas filled educational and cultural needs. Yoshikiyo Ozawa served as principal of the Japanese-language school; Hanako Ozawa served as a classroom teacher and instructor in sewing and flower arrangement. Yoshikiyo Ozawa also organized classes in martial arts. With the outbreak of war, Yoshikiyo Ozawa was removed from the minister’s residence on December 7, 1941. Initially held at a facility on Kaua‘i, he was later moved to Sand Island Detention Center and to the U.S. Mainland. The Ozawa family—Hanako and four children, Theodore, Donald, Gordon, and Clara—were placed in Jerome War Relocation Center in early 1943. Separated from their father who was held in facilities elsewhere, including Camp Livingston, Louisiana, they were not reunited until all were sent to Tule Lake Segregation Center, California in summer 1944. There, Yoshikiyo Ozawa worked in an office while Hanako Ozawa helped in the mess hall. Their fifth child, Walter, was born at Tule Lake. Allowed to return to the islands in 1945, the Ozawas returned to Zenshuji where they remained until they were transferred to Taiyoji on the island of O‘ahu in 1951. Theodore Ozawa, who earned degrees at the University of Hawai‘i, taught at Willamette University until his retirement in 1994. He has two children and one grandchild.
Pages/Duration: 42 pages
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/33184
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
Appears in Collections:Unspoken Memories: Oral Histories of Hawaii Internees at Jerome, Arkansas



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