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Toichi Domoto, 1902-2001

Articles: Toichi Domoto, 1902-2001

Toichi Domoto, 1993. A copy of the transcript of his oral history was presented to him at his nursery by staff members of the Oral History Department, Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley. Photograph by George Waters

Perhaps it was destiny that Toichi Domoto should become one of California’s most respected nurserymen. He was born in his parents’ nursery in Oakland and grew up there, surrounded by the wide variety of plants that were the hallmark of Domoto Brothers Nursery. Even as a child, he found much to interest him on the grounds of the nursery; it never occurred to him to consider any other career.

The Domoto Brothers Nursery was a survivor from among the many nurseries that sprang up in the Bay Area in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Founded by two brothers who had left Japan for the United States, the nursery began near downtown Oakland in the mid-1880s, but ultimately ended up in East Oakland. The brothers imported great numbers of plants directly from Japan, as well as from Belgium, Holland, and Australia, and established a strong reputation as leaders in the introduct...


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