0:00 - Discussing parents; and school

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Partial Transcript: Robert Takashi Sugimoto is from the Military Intelligence Service (MIS). He is born on November 28, 1919, in Watsonville, California. In 1906, his parents Mitsu, and Ikojo Sugimoto, immigrate to the United States. They work on the farm primarily and become independent farmers in Salinas, California. Robert says his family moves to Spence District, about five miles south of Salinas. He attends Speckles Grammar School until the sixth grade than Salinas High School.

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords: education; family; farm; farming; Issei; Issei parents; Japanese Americans; Nisei

Subjects:

2:54 - Discusses father; and siblings

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Partial Transcript: Robert's parents are previously married before immigrating to the United States together. Robert's father is from Yanai, a city in Yamaguchi-ken prefecture, Japan. All of Robert's siblings are born in the United States - four sisters and three brothers. From oldest to youngest is Yaeko Ruth, Shizuko Dorothy, Toshio, Isami Tony, Ray, Robert (himself), Mieko, and Kiyo.

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords: Americans of Japanese Ancestry; family; farming; Issei; Issei parents; Japanese Americans; Nisei; wedding

Subjects:

5:13 - Recalls move; and name

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Partial Transcript: Robert grows up on a strawberry farm in Salinas. After the fifth grade, his family moves to Speckles and harvests lettuce. He recalls going to grade school in Salinas, and his first-grade teacher is Ms. Johnson. Ms. Johnson could not pronounce his Japanese name and gives him the name Robert. From that point on, Robert is known as Robert "Bob" Takashi Sugimoto. However, he goes by Robert T. Sugimoto.

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords: Americans of Japanese Ancestry; education; farming; Japanese Americans; Nisei

Subjects:

8:23 - Recalls housework; and Tulare I

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Partial Transcript: Robert is the youngest of his brothers. His oldest brothers primarily do the house chores. Robert recalls his oldest sister getting married and being the ring bearer at her wedding. Robert's childhood home is not professionally built. He says a group of farmers help one another to build homes. In the house, there is a potbelly stove. Robert's brothers have separate bedrooms, whereas Robert shares a bedroom with his parents. Later his family moves to Tulare, CA. In the home in Tulare, Robert lives in the main house with his parents. Robert's brothers have a boy's room outside the main house. At Tulare, the Sugimoto family is growing strawberries. Robert's job on the farm is irrigation. Robert's sister Dorothy moves to Los Angeles, CA, to work at a Japanese children's home.

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords: employment; farm; farming; Issei parents; Japanese Americans; living conditions; Nisei; siblings; wedding

Subjects:

12:31 - Recalls Tulare II; and Japan I

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Partial Transcript: The house in Tulare does not have indoor plumbing. There is an outhouse and an ofuro. Robert's job is to boil the water for bath time. Robert recalls his oldest brother is sick, and the medical treatment in the United States is too expensive. Therefore, Robert's father takes his oldest brother to Japan for treatment. Within the first year in Japan, Robert's father gets sick. Robert's sister Dorothy travels to Japan to handle the arrangements.

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords: family; farming; Issei parents; Japanese Americans; living conditions; Nisei; travel

Subjects:

15:59 - Recalls Japan II

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Partial Transcript: Robert's youngest sister Kiyo is in Japan. Kiyo is left behind in Japan to accompany their Uncle. Later, Kiyo inherits their grandparent's rice farm. Robert visits Japan a few times, and Kiyo visits the United States a few times.

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords: family; farm; farming; Issei; Issei parents; living conditions; Nisei; siblings; wedding

Subjects:

17:48 - Discusses school years

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Partial Transcript: Robert says he excelled in school. He studies and does well. Robert also mentions that his older brother would help him. In Salinas, he attends Lincoln Grammar School. There are two classrooms, 80 students in each grade. In Tulare, he attends Speckles Grammar School from the 6th grade to the 8th grade. The different classes would share a classroom. Robert's brother is a grade ahead of him. When he graduates, Robert is in the 7th grade. Later, Robert and his brother attend Salinas High School. He recalls riding the bus to and from school.

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords: education; high school; Japanese Americans; Nisei; primary school; siblings

Subjects:

20:16 - Discusses demographic; and farming

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Partial Transcript: Robert grows up in a farming community, and there are no close neighbors. He recalls one of the neighbors is not a farmer, and they have a daughter. Robert says the daughter would drive five of them to school. The demographic of the community is primarily Hispanic families, a few Caucasian families, and one Filipino family. Robert's family is the only Japanese family in the area. Robert remembers his father contracting a larger farm from Speckles to do sugar beet farming during the Great Depression. When Robert's father changes from strawberry farming to sugar beet farming, their economic situation changes for the better.

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords: Issei parents; Japanese Americans; Nisei

Subjects:

24:19 - Recalls farmers

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Partial Transcript: Robert discusses the other Japanese farmers in the area. He says they are Issei from Japan. They rent land to do farming until they save enough to be independent farmers. Corporation farming like Speckles provides the seeds and equipment. Robert recalls when they moved to Speckles, he sees six horses in the barn. Eventually, they sell the horses, and the family gets a tractor. Robert says the tractor is a lifesaver, especially when you are working on 50 acres of land.

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords: farming; Issei; Issei parents; Japanese Americans; Nisei; siblings

Subjects:

26:32 - Recalls dogs

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Partial Transcript: Robert discusses his childhood activity. There are not many children that live nearby. Therefore, he spends time with his dog, Tip, hiking and looking for squirrels. When Tip passes away, Robert gets a German Shepard. After the German Shepard, Robert finds a stray dog to take in. He describes his dog chasing rabbits.

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords: Japanese Americans; Nisei

Subjects:

30:23 - Recalls Japanese School; and marbles I

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Partial Transcript: After attending school in Speckles, Robert gets a ride to Salinas to attend Japanese Language School for six years. He recalls taking tests and being a marble champion. Robert explains how to play marbles. When he joins Military Intelligence Service (MIS), he attends Japanese Language School again.

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords: childhood activities; education; Japanese Americans; Military Intelligence Service; Military Intelligence Service Language School; Nisei; primary school; secondary education

Subjects:

34:37 - Recalls marbles II

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Partial Transcript: Robert discusses playing marbles. When you play marbles, you play on the ground. Although you play on your knees, Roberts says they wear clean pants/jeans, whereas now kids like to wear jeans with holes. Robert keeps his marbles in a sack and hides them. He recalls a classmate who is mean to him at school, and later they become friends.

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords: childhood activities; friendship; Japanese Americans; Nisei; primary school

Subjects:

36:43 - Discusses high school

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Partial Transcript: Robert explains his level of English in High School. Besides his academic classes, Robert takes elective subjects such as auto shop and woodshop.

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords: education; Japanese Americans; Nisei

Subjects:

38:55 - Discusses mentors

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Partial Transcript: Besides Ms. Johnson, Robert has other mentors at his grammar school in Salinas that impacted his education. He recalls his 2nd-grade teacher Ms. Hill, and his 3rd-grade teacher Ms. Lafferty to name a few. There is a 5th-grade teacher that Robert is especially fond of because she is kind. Robert says he learns many different subjects and topics from his mentors. At Speckles Grammar School, there is Mr. Cook. Robert recalls playing tackle football.

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords: childhood activities; education; Japanese Americans; Nisei; primary school; sports

Subjects:

41:59 - Recalls bus; and church

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Partial Transcript: When Robert attends Salinas High School, there is a bus system. He recalls missing the bus one time, and he walks home four miles. Robert's mother feels it is vital to go to church. Therefore, the family attends Salinas Presbyterian Church on Sundays. Robert's father has to work on the farm and unable to go with the family. The Sugimoto family owns an old Buick, and they would drive to church. The church later builds a basketball gym, and Robert says the kids have a lot of fun.

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords: childhood activities; family; farming; Issei parents; Japanese Americans; Nisei; sports

Subjects:

44:55 - Recalls sports; and father

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Partial Transcript: Rain or shine, Robert goes to the basketball gym at the church. Robert recalls his older brother taking him to basketball practice, and his father would watch him. Robert's father loves all types of sports and follows the local sports leagues. Robert describes his father as a quiet, generous, hard-working man. Robert's father does all the farm labor on their farm and teaches Robert's brothers. Robert's mother is the one who does the child-rearing in the household.

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords: child rearing; farm; farming; Issei; Issei parents; Japanese Americans; Nisei; siblings; sports

Subjects:

47:37 - Discusses mother

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Partial Transcript: Robert says his mother is the boss. She would help on the farm and also maintain the household. Robert's mother would cook all the meals. She also makes her soap. Robert remembers his mother giving five haircuts at the same time. When Robert's father and brother go to Japan, Robert's mother works at a family member's tomato farm. Robert's mother is a tiny woman. Working on the tomato farm is piecework. The labor is hard.

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords: Americans of Japanese Ancestry; family; farming; Issei; Issei parents; Japanese Americans; Nisei

Subjects:

49:53 - Discusses language; and Japan

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Partial Transcript: Robert recalls special moments with his father going to local sporting events. Robert's parents do not speak English. He communicates to his parents in easy Japanese. Robert's older sister handles the business administrative work for the farm. Therefore, his parents focus on farming labor. When Robert's father and brother go to Japan, Robert is about fifteen years old. Robert says when he is five years old, the entire family travels to Japan together.

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords: family; farming; Issei; Issei parents; Japanese Americans; Nisei; siblings; sports; travel

Subjects:

52:58 - Discusses Watsonville; and movies

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Partial Transcript: After the passing of Robert's father and brother, Robert's family moves to Watsonville, CA. In Watsonville, the family grows strawberries. When there is spare time, Robert goes to the movies. The movies cost about ten cents during that time. He recalls the usher would escort them to the second floor. However, when the lights turn off, they move to the first floor. Before the movie, there are newsreels and comic cartoons.

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords: childhood activities; farming; Issei; Issei parents; Japanese Americans; Nisei

Subjects:

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