San Francisco 1906 Earthquake Marriage Project
by sfgenealogy.com

Yosuke Masuda (1869-1943) and
Kin Kato (1882-1919)
Married: 25 April 1908, San Francisco

Yosuke Masuda was born 8 April 1869 in Japan and arrived in San Francisco in 1898. Kin Kato was born in Nagoya, Japan on 15 April 1882.  Her family's large home was also headquarters for Canadian Episcopal Missionaries. When the missionaries returned to Canada, she went with them, and eventually moved to the United States and San Francisco.

After the earthquake, they each went to a refugee center in Oakland. They were introduced there by a matchmaker. They married in San Francisco on 25 April 1908. Later, they settled outside of Livingston, California. They eventually had six children.

IMAGE: Amache Internment Camp, 1945Kin Y. Masuda passed away on 20 December 1919 in San Diego county. During World War II, Yosuke Masuda was sent to the Amache internment camp with his family near Granada, Colorado (see photograph right). He passed away on 28 November 1943. He was one of the 106 who had died there between 1942 and 1945.

IMAGE: Ken Masuda, 2005The story of how they met was passed down to their grandson, Ken A. Masuda (pictured left). He composed a song about the story and had it recorded. The lyrics are presented here. If you are interested in listening to the song, please contact Ken.

Ken may be contacted via email at longwayhome23@aol.com

Safe for the Day

Early on an April moming I was lying in my bed
Many thoughts of the future running all through my head 
Just a young girl in the city, 1906 was the year
San Francisco was the place, and I thought I'd settled there

Then the ground it shook and the buildings tumbled down 
Like a scene from hell, fires blazed all through the town 
We grabbed what we could, took a boat across the bay 
On the opposite shore we were safe for the day

At a refugee center, in a courtyard cool and shady
I met my future husband through a matchmaker lady 
I caught him looking at me, in his own special way
I knew I loved him, and for a moment, I forgot yesterday

When the ground it shook and the buildings tumbled down 
Like a scene from hell, fires blazed all through the town 
We grabbed what we could, took a boat across the bay 
On the opposite shore we were safe for the day

Now he is a farmer, and I am his wife
Far away from the city we have a new life
In the sand and the dust, we'll plant and we'll reap 
The work of our hands, it will be ours to keep

San Francisco's earthquake is now an old memory 
Today and tomorrow shine brightly for me
With a husband and home, and a child on the way 
I am happy, contented, and safe for the day

The Lord above me, my love beside me, I'm safe for the day.

Lyrics © 2005 Ken A. Masuda

Credits: 
Information, lyrics, and photographs provided by and used by permission of Ken A. Masuda. 
Photograph of Amache Internment Camp 10/1945, courtesy of National Archives, Hikaru Iwasaki, photographer.
Thank you to the Hirasaki National Resource Center in Los Angeles for research assistance.

15 October  2005, updated 17 October, 05 November, 06 November, 18 December 2005, 03 September 2007 | copyright © 2005-2007 Ron Filion and Pamela Storm. All rights reserved.

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