Densho Digital Archive
Japanese American Museum of San Jose Collection
Title: Dave Tatsuno Interview
Narrator: Dave Tatsuno
Interviewer: Aggie Idemoto
Location: San Jose, California
Date: January 20, 2005
Densho ID: denshovh-tdave-01-0016

DT: Oh, we were regular Nichibei Bussan, Arrow shirts, Levis. American goods. And then what happened? My brother was running the San Francisco store, and he said, "You know, people that come from back east, Japantown and San Francisco, they don't want Levis, they want Japanese goods." So we converted the store in Japanese goods, they sent all the American goods to us. In the meantime, over here, big shopping centers opened up. And so die a slow death. And we said, "Ah-hah. We have to change our whole tactics." And so we went into Japanese merchandise, we got rid of all our American merchandise, and that's how we survived. The department stores downtown, two of 'em, big ones, closed up. They couldn't beat the shopping store competition. But we had things that they didn't have, you see. Kimonos, happi coats, martial arts, that's what happened.

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