Oral History Interview with Ida Sayoko Nishiguchi Otani
Nisei female, born on October 24, 1922 in Wattis, Utah. Her father was a coal miner and mother cooked at a boarding house for single workers. They were the only Japanese in the community and felt accepted by residents. During the depression her father got a job with Western Pacific Railroad in Salt Lake, Utah and rose to the position of foreman of an extra gang. Ida's two brothers were drafted into the U.S. Army prior to December 7, 1941, while Ida attended Westminster College in Salt Lake City. Father was fired by the railroad on orders of the U.S. government after war was declared. The family had to vacate company housing and lived in cramped, stressful conditions for four months. The family moved to Reno, Nevada where father found a job with a Japanese farmer. The family was not evacuated under Executive Order 9066, as they did not live on the west coast. In 1952 the McCarran Walter Act enabled Japanese nationals to become eligible for U.S. citizenship. Father was the first Issei in Nevada to become a citizen. Ida's application for redress under the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 was denied since her family was not interned. This decision was overturned in 1998 due to appeal by Japanese Americans who were fired by railroads and mining companies.
Transcript available at Sacramento State University, Sacramento University Library
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