Masatatsu Yonemura oral history interview, part 2 of 8, June 4, 2005


Dublin Core


Masatatsu "Mas" Yonemura discusses his parents' personality. His Father is a philosophical person who enjoys reading and subscribes to the Rafu Shimpo. His Mother is very stoic and handles the household finances. Growing up in a large family, he recalls his Mother being a very good cook.

In a predominate community of Hispanics and African Americans, the community did have a few Japanese owned and run businesses such as Ochai Family grocery store and Japanese provisions store owned by the Nishimoto Family.

Yonemura graduates high school in 1934 during the height of Depression Era and moves to Los Angeles, California. In Los Angeles, he delivers flowers for a year . His sister Yoshiko (who is nine years older) encourages him to go to college. He returns back to Riverside and to attend Community College. Later he transfers to University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and graduates in 1939 with a degree in economics. At the time there are no jobs available and a friend suggests that Yonemura goes to law school.

Yonemura applies to Berkeley Law School and gets accepted. He is the only minority at this time at law school. Yonemura feels his classmates have the advantage coming from middle class families and many aspect of law whereas he comes from a different background.








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 2 of 8, June 4, 2005,” Japanese American Military History Collective, accessed July 15, 2024,