Note: Hiss and background noise as on original tapes. Parts 2, 5, and 6 end abruptly.
Transcript available at California State University, Sacramento University Library.
Description: Nisei male, born on July 21, 1931 in St. Helena, California. His father was in the import-export business in San Francisco. Kenneth had no contact with his parents, an older brother and himself. The Ozawas moved to Berkeley, California where Kenneth met Herbert Pekonen, a loyal friend throughout his youth. The fact that Kenneth attended private schools throughout his educational career - except internment - makes him a rarity among Nisei. His mother became a Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) on shipboard en route to America. He attended the SDA Academy in Berkeley for elementary through high school, SDA College in Angwin, California for undergraduate studies and Loma Linda University for his medical degree. After December 7, 1941, he experienced racism against him and his family; e.g., "Are you a Jap?" to which he learned to reply, "No I"m Indian." Caucasians threatened to break windows of their home. In the spring of 1942, when Kenneth was eleven, the family was sent to Tanforan Assembly Center. Herb visited Kenneth there and wrote to him throughout internment. Kenneth vividly describes Tanforan horse stall living conditions, unappetizing and small portions of food, activities and events. The family then went to Topaz, Utah. In 1945, at age fourteen, Kenneth left Topaz for Hunter"s Point, San Francisco where the family lived in a hostel with other families. His father got a job at Macy"s department store and his mother cleaned houses. Kenneth commuted to the Berkeley SDA Academy. Later the family moved to Oakland, California where Kenneth worked at the Oakland Boys Club to help with activities. The youth were mostly black and this exposure sensitized him to the effect of racism: black and white encounters and ways to defuse untoward outcomes. For example, as a camp counselor he gained the cooperation of Redding, California police and movie theatre staff to allow the boys" attendance at the movies rather than face possible confrontation showing up in a large group unannounced. In 1958, after finishing medical school, he joined the marines to get an internship at Oak Knoll Naval Hospital in Oakland. Upon discharge from the military, Kenneth and his wife moved to Sacramento where his distinguished medical career progressed. See appendix in the bound copy for positions held, institutions served, committees and boards to which he was appointed. In 1981, he, his wife and three children visited Topaz. Kenneth found the family barracks and dug up lapidary stones left there by his father. The children made an artistic display of the stones and presented it to their surprised and delighted grandfather.
Source: 4 Tapes of 4: 1/8 inch audio cassette
Call Number: TC469
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