California Japantowns - Exploring the preservation of history, culture, and community...
NISEI STORIES Leo Saito: Memories of Oakland's Japantown

Leo Saito: Memories of Oakland's Japantown

Donna Graves and Jill Shiraki interviewed 92-year-old Leo Saito in his Oakland home in October, 2007. Click the Listen button to hear any portion of the interview. Real Player required.

CLICK TO PLAY FAMILY BEGINNINGS. Leo Saito spent most of his 92 years in Oakland. His parents ran Saito Shoe Repair and Swan Cleaners at 2019 23rd Avenue up until WWII. 5.08mins.
FAMILY HOME. Saito describes his family home in West Oakland and their Victorian house at 823 Market Street. 3.26mins.
COMMUNITY LIFE. West Tenth Street Church located at West & 10th in West Oakland served as a social and spiritual center for the Japanese American community. 5.37mins.
WAR YEARS. Saito was completing dental school on the eve of WWII and was drafted to serve in the U.S. Army. He married Margaret Iyeki iin 1944 at Topaz internment camp in Utah. 3.22mins.
NIKKEI BUSINESSES. Saito describes some of the early Japanese American businesses including the operations of Market Laundry, 718-730 Myrtle Street. 4.56mins.
FAVORITE MEMORIES. Saito remembers Japan Day at the 1939 Treasure Island Fair and his years on the University High School varsity basketball team in the early 1930s. 3:20mins.