Learning how to be a gardener

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After the war, we moved here to L.A. where my father started gardening. A lot of the Japanese came back to L.A. and started gardening. But there were more gardeners here in L.A. before the war so I think that’s what encouraged other people to come back to L.A. to start gardening. Since they had the background of farming, horticulture, I believe that’s why my dad came here.

He worked hard. They all worked hard—long hours. I remember my dad waking my brother and I up at 6 in the morning to go help him. Every weekend, every holiday, you name it, we had to go to work. We didn’t play.

This is where I learned my trade as a gardener, through my father, his friends—I would ask questions. I would go to the nursery and ask questions. They would tell me what to do, what not to do, names of plants, where to plant the plants, in the shade or full sun, what to feed them…I think that gave me a lot of encouragement to know exactly how to do the gardening work.

Date: December 1, 2005
Location: California, US
Interviewer: Daniel Lee
Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum

gardeners gardening Los Angeles

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