Masatatsu Yonemura oral history interview, part 1 of 8, June 4, 2005


Dublin Core


Masatatsu "Mas" Yonemura discusses name, birth date, birthplace and familial description. Yonemura's Father Tameki Yonemura and Mother Keku Yonemura
immigrate to the United States (US) with the early wave of Issei. When Yonemura's parents arrive to the US, they are already married and have one child (born 1909 in Japan). They settle in Hawaii working on a plantation and eventually move to Riverside, California. In Riverside, the Mother runs a noodle restaurant and the Father is a gardener. Yonemura's parents have eight children and Yonemura is the sixth child.

Yonemura grows up in a conservative town. The demographics consist of Hispanics, African Americans and four to five Japanese Families. Due to the demographic of the community, Japanese school is not offered regularly and there is no organized program available. However, primary school is year round. When Yonemura starts Junior High School he meets Caucasian students for the first time.

At home, Yonemura speaks Japanese with his parents although his Mother attends night school to learn English. Yonemura's Mother is also fluent in Spanish due to neighborhood. At an early age, Yonemura sees discrimination at the community pool and joining the YMCA. He also recalls a traveling movie company which he enjoys as a child.








Oral History Item Type Metadata


Date of Birth

1916 Oct 07

Location of Birth

War or Conflict

Branch of Service

Entrance into Service





Yonemura, Masatatsu: narrator, Nakayama, Stuart: interviewer, and Go For Broke National Education Center: publisher, “Masatatsu Yonemura oral history interview, part 1 of 8, June 4, 2005,” Japanese American Military History Collective, accessed July 19, 2024,