Oral History Interview with Chii Miyazaki Watanabe
Issei female, born November 26, 1905 to a farm family. In order to meet a 1924 U.S. Immigration law deadline, she entered into an arranged marriage with Kiyoshi Watanabe. Chii arrived in Seattle, Washington at age nineteen in May 1924 and Kiyoshi farmed nearby. Eventually they moved to French Camp, California and managed their own farm. They participated in a training program by accepting agricultural students from Japan annually and teaching them basic farming skills. Chii took them into her home and cooked and cared for them. In time, the Watanabes were presented with a certificate of honor from Prince Takamatsu at the Japanese Consulate in San Francisco. Chiiï¿½s reaction to the bombing of Pearl Harbor was one of shock and disbelief as Japan had neither the ability nor resources to win a war with America. The family went to Manzanar in May 1942 when Chii was thirty-seven, her youngest child was born there. In 1944 the family was moved to Tule Lake, California. She worried about her childrenï¿½s future as their lives and education were disrupted, their freedom deniedï¿½barbed wire fences were a constant reminder. The Watanabes left camp in 1945 and returned to French Camp.
Transcript available at Sacramento State University, Sacramento University Library
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