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The Japanese-American Association of Lane County, Oregon, Oral History Collection

Oral histories of Japanese Americans living in Eugene, Lane County, Oregon, and the vicinity; they document the immigrant experiences of the interviewees' families; their WWII experiences in internment camps; and their lives in the years after the war.

Mitzi Asai Loftus

Mitzi Asai Loftus was born in Hood River, Oregon in 1932. Her parents emigrated from Japan and owned and operated fruit orchards in Hood River. Her father was forced to sell his property after he was sent to the internment camps. She was in the fourth grade when World War II began and her family was sent to the Pinedale Assembly Center in Fresno, California and later to internment camps in Tule Lake, California, and Heart Mountain, Wyoming. In April 1945, the family returned to Hood River where Loftus finished school. When she was in the ninth grade, she changed her name from Mitsuko to Mitzi. She attended the University of Oregon and studied education. She taught at schools in Oregon for 47 years. Loftus taught English in Japan on a Fulbright scholarship. Loftus has written a book, Made in Japan and Settled in Oregon about her family's history and experiences during World War II. She frequently gives presentations about the internment camps and her life as a Japanese-American in Oregon.

Link to Interview