Tomiye (Tomichi) Muneno Oral History

Dublin Core


Tomiye (Tomichi) Muneno Oral History


Tomiye Muneno was known to most as Tomichi, a nickname given to her by her Kindergarten teacher, Ms. Gladys Curtis. Tomichi was born April 1, 1914 near the corner of Anacapa and Canon Perdido Streets and grew up in the Presidio neighborhood. In 1933, she married her husband at age 19 and moved to 129 East Canon Perdido Street where they operated a store selling Japanese merchandise. Tomichi, along with most of the Japanese American community, was relocated to the Tulare assembly center and eventually Gila River internment camp during World War II. However, after the war, she and her family returned to Santa Barbara and moved back into their old house on Milpas Street.

Clip 1: Tomichi recalls the ethnically diverse Presidio neighborhood, conjuring up old Japanese American businesses and Chinese American community members who lived across the street in the Whittaker building

Clip 2: Again illustrating the ethnic diversity of the Presidio, Tomichi recounts how one of her Italian American friends introduced her to Tuna Salad sandwiches. A snack her mother seemed to have a little trouble making.

Clip 3: Tomichi tells the story of how Mr. Frank, a mechanic with a garage on Milpas, took care of her family’s house while they were interned at the Gila River internment camp.


March 30, 2009



Oral History Item Type Metadata


Barbara Lindemann


Tomiye "Tomichi" Muneno


Santa Barbara, CA

Original Format



38 min

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