A Long Journey


"I couldn't read Japanese anyway."

"[My parents] had friends in California that they knew there. So that’s the only place…all they knew was Oxnard, California. And from El Paso they went all the way to Los Angeles to Oxnard. Walked all the way...My dad went to work for...the owner of a farm and he started working there.

I wasn’t on a farm there. We moved into the town of Oxnard and, uh, that’s all I know...We were leasing eighty acres of farm. My brother was in charge of it. My father…they made pretty good on tomatoes, so [they] moved to Japan in 1939...Well, they tried to take me but I said no, I’ll just run away. And I couldn’t read Japanese anyway."

Editor's note: Jimmy Doi was the youngest of five children, and even though he was still in high school when his parents decided to return to Japan, he chose to remain in the United States.